My Man.

I pulled my collar up against the wind. It was trying to bite hard and I wasn’t going to let it. The evening wore on like an uncomfortable shoe, never feeling right. Sure the streets were well lit, but in my experience, things like to hide in the smallest of shadows.

My trench coat was the wrong choice. Damn television, never right. I walk quickly; I have somewhere I need to be and 10 minutes to get there. The hookers are out in droves, they don’t seem to mind the cold in their little skirts and tanks, though their erect nipples seemed to say otherwise. I ignore the whistles and the come-ons and keep walking.

I reach the front of the cheap hotel within the deadline I had set for myself. Out front is a group of down and outers, that’s my nice way of saying bums. We’ve all been there in our lives and I never blame the bum. This life can beat you down like an ex-wife on alimony day. Life on these streets seemed to be a lot like exes…fucked up.

I enter the dirty L’Hotel D’Arms and walk up to the worn front desk. There’s a scent of old oak and old scotch in the air around Chuck the night manager. He looks at me and smiles. He knows if I am there he is in for a quick fiver to let me into a room. It’s not the first time I have visited this hole in the wall and honestly it won’t be the last.

“Still wearing that trench coat?” He asks cheerfully enough.

“What’s it to you fuck face,” I reply.

He always laughs when I insult him. I don’t try to understand him, I just throw him the cash and he throws me the keys. Chuck is a good hush man, he doesn’t ask questions and when I get my man he always keeps whatever’s left.

I walk up the stairs, rather than taking the elevator. The stairwell stinks of piss and puke. Lots of the residents of this dive pause while making their way to their rooms, too drunk to wait to release those bodily fluids that ache to be free. Hey I’ve been there, when I first got to this infested city, the smell alone made me spew my guts…literally. I can’t complain too much. If not for this seedy part of town I would surely have ended my days like a rat swimming against a swollen river, paddling and getting no where.

I reach room 406. If Chuck’s throw was right, and it usually was, the key would let me in to the room of the man I was looking for, healthy for the most part and unaware that I had found him. I turn for a moment and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I look tired and old. A stereotype of those old detectives from the TV shows of the 50’s. Oh well I am what I am.

I knock on the door first, no need to be evasive. He wouldn’t know who I was. I see the eye hole darken as the man peeks out.I smile my widest and warmest grin, I hear the door unlock then the door swings open.

“Yes, can I help you?” He asks in a tired voice.

He is dressed in very little, which is perfect.

“You sure can sunshine,” I reply quickly opening my coat.

Of course my coat is just an illusion, an extension of me. My mouth if you will. I envelope the human in one swift movement, push my way in to the room and we fall on the bed. It will take me 3 hours to fully digest the man. I get as comfy as I can. When I crashed on this planet, I was prepared to fit in, but information was off by decades. Though I am trapped in a form slightly out dated, I am safe in the knowledge that food is not scarce.

But I miss home like a flea misses its favorite dog.

My Man.

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