Standing half-naked with his back towards the lounge room, Markus Thompson looked out the massive windows of his studio apartment upon a dead city. Living on the 12th floor had its advantages, from this height you couldn’t see the depressing looks on people’s faces as they walked by and in return they couldn’t see yours, from this height people looked like little ants scurrying along to invade someone’s picnic. He enjoyed watching the people scurry about, making up stories in his head all the while about who they were and where they were in such a hurry to get to. But on a day like this there were no ants to be seen, no picnics to be had. It had been raining non stop for two weeks now. The biggest rain storm Markus had ever seen and the biggest Manhattan had seen in thirty years, for Markus James Thompson was born the day after a super storm that rampaged Manhattan for two weeks ended.
Markus stared out into the dark haze that had been clocking the city for the last two weeks and wondered if this same storm overcame Manhattan every thirty years. He wondered if thirty years from now he’d be standing in the same spot looking out on the same stormy city thinking the exact same thought, but he doubted that he’d live that long.
He stood transfixed by the storm and when the unexpected noise of running water erupted from his ensuite he jumped a little, the shower had been turned on, he turned around suddenly suspecting an intruder but breathed when he realised the only intruder was a young girl who didn’t know when to leave. He had picked her up the night before and had thought she was a hooker, but when she hadn’t left by morning he realised she was just a lonely girl with bad taste in clothes.
Turning back towards a suddenly darker Manhattan, the clouds had grown thicker beyond the grand windows drawing water from who knows where, he looked down at his wrist watch. It was only 7 a.m.; it looked like 7 p.m. outside. He thought about his options, how he was going to approach this random piece of ass that just wouldn’t let go, he thought he might throw her out the window, towel and all, but that’s just silly, wasting a perfectly good towel like that. He decided to just sneak out, maybe she would catch on.
Markus swiftly but silently walked to his bedroom, snatched his keys off the dressing table, picked his creased shirt from the floor. He didn’t care about his appearance anymore; he wasn’t out to please anyone. He hastily started to button his shirt, as he did he stared off into space thinking to himself all the time “what was her name…Sally? Sam? Sarah?” he made it half way through the alphabet before he realised what he was staring at, he stopped buttoning his shirt, stunned and confused by the sudden appearance of a fifty dollar note on his side table. Picking it up he held it between thumb and forefinger and examined it. The young girl emerged from the steaming bathroom, he turned on his heels in one swift movement still with the note held in front of him, she was clean and fresh but in the same stale costume she had been wearing the night before, for that’s what it was, the costume of a ten dollar whore.
Looking at her now without the inch thick makeup she was quite pretty, more so than any hooker he had brought home. He stood frozen to the spot, looked from her to the note and then back at her again, a puzzled look on his face. He opened his mouth in an attempt to speak but changed his mind, then opened it again. Just before he could ask “what’s this?” the girl looked him up and down then looked at his left hand, “where you off to?” he looked down at his hand, at the keys in his hand and opened his mouth once more this time attempting to spit out some bullshit explanation but before Markus could even think of something she saved him from the chore.
Sliding her jacket on she said “don’t worry bout it I’m going now anyways, thanks for last night that money’s for the cab…keep the change” and with that she walked straight out of his bedroom and into the lounge room, he just stood there with his mouth gaping open. Apparently she wasn’t just some lonely badly dressed girl looking for comfort as Markus had suspected, she had been out for a one night stand all along, “gagging for a shagging” and dressing for it too.
Standing in the middle of his bedroom, shirt half buttoned, keys in his left hand, he stared at the fifty dollar note in his right. He could hear the girls high heels clicking on the hard wood floors as she made her way past the kitchen and towards the apartment door, Susan her name was, he remembered now, she was 23, pretty girl. The heavy front door swung shut and silence ensued. A smile slowly grew on Markus’ face, he shrugged and then pocketed the bill. Stepping out of his bedroom he looked at his watch once more, it was 7.07am, he decided to make himself a coffee, he had had a late night, a little caffeine would do him good.
As Markus James Thompson stood in front of the massive windows once more, now partially dressed and with a steaming cup of coffee in his hand, he looked out on a cold, grey city and wondered…would the rain ever end.
It’s a story of a man who doesn’t realise how sad and alone he really is until he has an encounter with a woman who to his surprise is not quite as sad and pathetic as he originaly thought.