Thursday, December 01, 2005
A CUT ABOVE THE REST
by Milton Trachtenburg
The word was out on the street before anyone had time to make a single phone call. "The meanest dude ever born must've just moved to town." The talk spread up and down the street filled with decaying brownstones, and the people who inhabited them, faster than a fire in an insured, unsuccessful business. For days all you heard on the street was conjecture, rumor, and the wild exaggerations that accompany too much talk, too much heat and too much cheap wine. It was, "Rodney this," and, "Rodney that." By the time the word got around for the second and third times, the story had the makings of a `B' movie script, a dirty ballad, a cheap detective novel. Maybe no one but me will ever know for certain what really happened. Maybe all I'm doing by telling you the story is contributing to the confusion. The newspapers sanitized it. Neighborhood gossip glorified it. The cops pretty much wrote it off as just another pimp war, though I'm sure they'd tell you differently. The question you might ask, is, what is someone like me doing associating with the likes of Rodney . . . ?
Rodney Webber was perhaps the most prosperous and most successful man who worked in his overcrowded and highly competitive business. People who knew him said, "That Rodney, he was born to be a pimp!" He didn't disappoint any of the well-meaning busybodies who gathered on the brownstone steps and rickety webbed chairs to share gossip and drink cool wine on hot days. Rodney Webber was, indeed, a mean man in a profession that called for mean men. He demanded 75 % of his ladies' earnings - and almost never got a short count. "I'm more than worth it," he would say. His girls had to admit that when they were straight with Rodney, he was straight with them. "Not only does he protect us, but he can be one hell of a good-time man," said Jade, his number one lady. "He was always buyin' me nice clothes and, let me just tell you something, was he some jazz man in the kip, if you know what I mean."
One of the Rodney stories that had been circulated for a long time and contributed significantly to his reputation as a ladies man, told of his first sexual encounter at the age of ten. The story was that four teenage girls from his neighborhood, all with particularly overactive glands, had decided to initiate Rodney as they had so many others they picked out on the mean streets where he grew up. Supposedly, they had lured him into an alley, held him down, pulled off his pants . . . "Lookit that thang!" one of them was heard to exclaim. About two hours later, the four girls left the alley with smiles on their faces. Rodney discovered that night that he had a power over women - and reveled in that knowledge. By the time he was eighteen, he began profiting from his knowledge.
Rodney believed in the eloquence and finality of lessons learned on the streets. Once, one of the customers used a soda bottle in a sadistic fashion upon the body of one of Rodney's ladies. For nearly a month she was unable to contribute to Rodney's accustomed high standards of living. This irked Rodney far more than any concern he might have had for the discomfort suffered by his employee. Shortly afterward, the unfortunate, but deserving customer was found with his brains splattered all over his living room carpet. The police determined without too much difficulty that the damage had been done by a soda bottle which was inserted indelicately into his anus after it was used to separate the top of his head from the remainder of his body.
Rodney knew that occasional exhibits of such violence not only protected the stable of women in his employ, but also served to keep them in line. "Violence swings both ways," Rodney would say. "Just so long as everybody know I'm the swinger! In more ways than one." Rodney liked to hum that old Jim Croce ballad, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. Except, he believed he could take both Leroy and Slim! And, up to that time, anyway, no one had proven him wrong.
Rodney was a man of regular habits. One of his habits was to meet his `ladies' in a small, conveniently located, but little used park several times a day to collect the proceeds of their labor and to make certain that they were maintaining productivity levels commensurate with his economic needs. The gentle upward slope toward its center made the park a safe haven because it offered Rodney both a panoramic view of the surroundings and near invisibility from prying eyes. He stood on the crest under a gnarled oak tree. From that vantage point, he was able to see anyone who approached because they stood out in stark relief against the background of the well lit streets. Rodney hated surprises.
It was nearly midnight and the park was deserted. Nobody used the park after dark except people like Rodney and others who were up to no good. "Where the fuck are they?" Rodney said to the still night. "I find those bitches holdin' out on me, I'm gonna slice them one end to the other. They don't like Rodney's razor. Not even a little bit. They don't work for me, they don't work for nobody! They not here soon, I cut them so bad, when they spread their legs, they open clear to the chin!" Rodney smiled sadistically. He enjoyed hurting people - especially women. And, when things didn't go exactly as he planned, he became paranoid and his penchant for violence increased.
Rodney sensed more than saw or heard the presence of someone approaching. Alerted, he kept his hand firmly around the small caliber automatic he kept concealed in the pocket of his baggy jacket. "Hate to think about havin' to ruin another perfectly good $500 suede jacket, but, you know, business is business," he said to himself. He hadn't heard the squeaking of the hinges of the old iron gate on the fence surrounding the small park. That meant that someone had been in the park the whole time. He saw a movement in the shadows. Somebody's out there, he thought. And, whoever it is, better know who they're playing with! Rodney maintained his silent vigil. There was no light under the tree against which he leaned and even close up, Rodney appeared as just another huge gnarl on the old tree.
Rodney watched the woman emerge from the shadows about fifty yards from him. The mercury lamps along the pathway cast a purple glow upon a figure Rodney couldn't identify. Her long, slender, unsheathed legs below her black miniskirt and black leather jacket were juxtaposed against the darkness of the park which momentarily created the illusion of disembodied legs approaching him. When Rodney could see her outline more clearly, immediately he noted that the woman walked with a casual insouciance that told him that she was a working girl - definitely top-shelf.
The woman sashayed, more than walked, directly toward Rodney as if she knew exactly what she was doing. The click of her high-heeled boots ceased as she left the path and walked across the soft grass. Rodney maintained his sense of awareness, but calculated that she believed he was a John and was about to solicit him.
Man, is she in for a surprise, he thought. We'll just see who solicits who for what tonight. She's goin' to be working for a new main man before this night gets much older. Rodney temporarily forgot about his ladies as he concentrated on every movement of the lithe body approaching him. He was disturbed to find that he was becoming aroused. Hey, come on there, Rufus. This is business. You get your turn later. His penis wasn't listening, but simply becoming increasingly tumescent as the woman approached. Rodney didn't like feeling out of control - not even a little bit. His eyes were riveted on the triangle at the juncture of her legs, clearly outlined through her tight skirt. She ain't wearing nothing under that thiing. Damn!
"Got a light, mister?" Rodney had to glance upward to see her face. Even without the spike heel boots, she would have been somewhat taller than him. Rodney was always intimidated by tall women and compensated for his feelings by acts of bravado and coercion which kept them in fear of him.
"Pretty lady, I got anything you want." She stood close to him, her crotch almost rubbing against his pulsating erection. I swear I can feel the heat coming off her, Rodney thought as he reached into the pocket of his now too-tight slacks to offer her his solid gold lighter. Lookit my hand shaking. I'm acting like a twelve-year-old cherry, for Christ's sake! The woman held his shaking hand while she accepted the light he proffered. An electric shock passed through him as she brushed casually against his erection.
"Man! My imagination sure is runnin' in high gear tonight." He felt as if Rufus was going to jump out of his trousers and attack her without him if he didn't take action soon. Staring at her crotch, he became increasingly agitated when she failed to react. "No bitch can stare down Rodney and this one ain't goin' to be the first!" he thought.
"Want some?" she asked, staring brazenly at the obvious bulge in his trousers. "My, my! That is some beautiful piece of manhood you got there, mister."
"Yeah, baby, and I know how to use it to take you to heaven."
"Well, I've been about every place else. Maybe if you're nice, I'll show you some places you've never been before. How would that be?" As she spoke, she placed her forefinger on his lips and began tracing a pattern, first around his mouth, then straight down his center - past his chin and neck, through the center of his chest, slowly, inexorably downward. As she passed along his erection, Rodney shuddered involuntarily. She continued the line between his testicles and as her finger began the long climb up his back, she proceeded to slither between his legs face up making certain that her lips brushed against his testicles. Rodney gasped. He wanted to grab her and have her that moment, but he felt powerless to move. Her finger traced over the top of his head and back to his mouth. She pushed his mouth open forcing him to suck on her finger.
"Man!" was about all Rodney could say.
"Come on, let's go someplace really private. I haven't even begun with you."
A small voice deep inside Rodney was warning him that something was wrong but his throbbing erection was talking too loud for the voice to be heard. Rodney contemplated the security of having the revolver in his jacket pocket and the razor in the back pocket of his trousers. "Hey," he thought, "I've had grown men pissin' their pants when I come into a room. No way I need to worry about this skinny bitch. After I fuck her brains out, we see who's boss. Maybe Rufus deserves his turn first. Anyway, she just some hot-pants bitch lookin' to make some time. She's just pretendin' to be a workin' girl. We'll soon see just how good she is. Hang in there, Rufus."
Rodney remembered leaving the park, but time seemed to telescope after that. He awoke to find he had been transported to a bedroom. The blinking red light reflecting in the mirror above the dresser in the otherwise darkened room told him he was in a motel. Lying naked on the bed, he tried to reach up to scratch his nose but couldn't move his hand.
"What the fuck?" he hissed. By this time, he was more angry than frightened. "I'm tied to the damn bed. Hey!" He heard water running in the bathroom and the sounds of objects being placed on the vanity. Rodney's mind raced. "Maybe she's into kinky. That's fine with me, but don't nobody tie me up. I do the tyin'."
The bathroom door opened. The sudden light temporarily blinded him. When he reopened his eyes, the woman was standing at the foot of the bed.
"What you think you doin' to me, woman?" Rodney said in his most intimidating voice. She smiled and said nothing. "Hey! I'm talkin' to you!"
"I'm not really in the mood for talk. There's a lot of other things we can do."
"You untie me, an' I mean right now!"
"No, I don't think so. That would spoil everything. You just relax and let me do all the work, okay?" Her voice was calm and soothing and at the same time, the sexiest sound that he'd ever heard. Rufus was beginning to react again.
The woman placed one high-heeled booted foot on the bed. Rodney's gaze was riveted on her long white legs, now fully exposed. Her skirt was raised above her hips. "I was right!" he thought. "She's not wearin' a damn thing under that skirt." In the darkened room, the stark juxtaposition of the dark triangle at the juncture of her legs was more Rodney's imagination than reality.
"Why don't you take off those rags and let me see what you got, baby?" he cooed.
"All in good time, my dear. All in good time. Half the fun is the anticipation, right?"
Rodney relaxed since the more he strained against the ropes which bound him to the bed, the tighter they became. His thoughts returned to the foul-smelling alley where he was initiated into the rites of manhood by a group of `horny neighborhood chicks,' as he came to call them after the incident. "This is more of the same and I'm just goin' to lay back an enjoy it. Then after... man, is this bitch ever gonna be sorry she played with Rodney."
Perching on the foot of the bed, she kneeled and placed her hands on Rodney's bare legs. Slowly, she slid her hands along Rodney's legs and torso, careful not to touch his tumescent penis. The soft touch excited Rodney even more. She proceeded to kiss him, nibbling him all over. He moaned softly, totally forgetting his vow to destroy the woman. He was lost in the ecstacy of the moment.
Rodney thought he would explode before he had the chance to enter her body. His ego wouldn't permit him to lose control in the presence of a woman. He was unable to command his body and prayed that she would stop playing games and let him have his way with her. Just as he was about to ejaculate, she leaned back and stared at him. He was unable to decipher her expression.
"You ready for something you'll remember for the rest of your life?"
"If you are," Rodney answered, his bravado returning.
Without another word, she mounted him, drawing his penis deep inside of her. Rodney felt the muscles lining the walls of her vagina squeezing his ready to explode penis. Feeling the tension building in him. "Slow down, big guy. There's plenty of time. Just lay back and enjoy the show."
Rodney had no choice. He watched the muscles in her limber legs contract as she pushed herself up from him and then down upon him. He wished he could reach out and squeeze her breasts and thighs, maybe enough to put some hurt on her - "Women like that," he thought - but he had to take his time. Sooner or later she would cut him free, and then, "It's my way, bitch!"
The woman leaned forward and began biting his neck; first, tiny nibbles and then harder bites. She kept him tightly inside her all the while. Rodney winced at the pain and thought to himself that soon it would be his turn. Slowly, she sat erect again and while continuing to gyrate with Rodney inside her, slowly unbuttoned her blouse. Rodney could almost feel the soft silk as she pulled the blouse out of her waistband. When it was unbuttoned, she allowed it to hang free. He almost believed he could hear the whisper of the delicate material as it brushed against her nipples. She leaned forward so that her breasts hung free of the blouse. She passed them tantalizingly close to his mouth, but not close enough that he could touch them with his now puckering lips.
Rodney emitted a low moan and felt himself losing control. "Now, baby, now. Yeah, do it!" he shouted, oblivious to anything else. If he had noticed her reaching behind her back, he might have become frightened or cautious. If he had seen the flash of stainless steel as she brought her hand down between their joined bodies, he might have tried to make some kind of resistance. But, as fact would have it, just as he began to ejaculate, he felt a sharp pain at the base of his penis. He was so caught in the throes of ecstacy, that for a moment he did not realize what had happened. When he looked up, the woman was standing across the room, continuing to undulate. The enormity of the pain was beginning to hit him. He felt soaking wet, still not aware of what had just happened to him.
The woman stood at the foot of the bed, smiling. She flicked something wet and shiny on his chest. "Oh, here's your razor back. I won't need it any more. I told you it would be something you would remember for the rest of your life. She reached down between her legs and removed his now flaccid and detached penis from within her. She placed it delicately on his chest next to the razor.
"I'll bet you're asking yourself who, what, why, whatever - right? Well, I'm not the kind of girl who fucks and runs, so I'll tell you." The circle of blood emanating from Rodney's crotch was inexorably spreading. "Bleeding a little there, bunkie? Well, you certainly made enough other people bleed, one way or another."
Rodney was experiencing the kind of detachment that comes with severe shock. He felt more than saw his penis on his chest. "How did you...?" he slurred.
"How did I get you here? Simple. I've been following you for weeks and I know what makes you tick inside and out. That's just the way I am when I want to get someone badly enough. I was laying under a blanket in the park every night just waiting for you to show up. I watched you sit up there under your tree like the king of the hill. I watched you smacking those women around when they didn't give you as much money as you wanted. You know, if I hadn't already decided to kill you, what I saw would have given me reason enough.
"Anyway, to cut to the chase, when I played my little finger game with you, I had a little surprise on my finger. You couldn't imagine how easy it is for a nurse to get just the right prescription for the job. I knew your ego would make you do whatever I wanted you to. When you passed out, I brought you here, and you pretty much know the rest."
Rodney slurred something that the woman barely understood, but she knew what the next question would be. "Jeffrey Holt," she said. Rodney's eyes went wide with terror. "Yes, Jeffrey was a philandering pig and a lousy lay, but he was my husband. And, he didn't deserve to die the way he did with his brains splattered all over my carpet. I don't know, maybe I'm more upset about the carpet, but in any case, the score is settled."
Angela Holt removed her silk blouse which was covered with Rodney's blood and rolled it into a ball. When she exposed her breasts, even in his condition, Rodney had a last sexual reflex and opened his mouth into a wide `O' making it easier for Angela to stuff the blouse into his mouth in a single movement. "We wouldn't want you waking the neighbors - if you get uncomfortable, now would we?" Angela stepped out of the leather mini-skirt. From her oversized carry-all, Angela extracted slacks, a modest sweater, and a pair of Reeboks. She dressed quickly in a businesslike manner. "Now, that's more me."
Angela put the skirt and her spike heeled shoes in her bag and turned to leave. As if it were an afterthought, she turned back to Rodney. "I guess it's okay to take a souvenir of my adventure, isn't it?" She delicately picked up his penis as if it were a confection and placed it in her bag. "Oh, yes, let me leave you this," she said, laying his automatic on his chest next to the razor. "Maybe whoever finds you will get a kick out of seeing you lying there with your little automatic phallic symbol. I have to leave you something, after all!" She turned without a further word and left the room and Rodney's waning life as quietly and much more unobtrusively than she had entered it . . . .
On the mantle over the artificial fireplace in my apartment is a brine-filled jar containing what at first glance appears to be a large, darkened pickle. The contents amuse some of my friends and amaze others. When they ask me, "Angela, where the hell did you get that thing?" I smile mysteriously and say, "That's a long story. But it sure is a cut above the rest, isn't it?"