In her boots, after she took off her coat, Mary made the bed. Not that she knew it needed it, but she flipped the mattress too. She put her sheets and pillow cases on and made the bed look nice with the electric blanket on top.
Bill took a long, hot shower. While he lingered in the hot water, Mary came into the bathroom. She sat herself on the closed toilet and didn’t say anything until Bill asked if she were there. When she said yes, he asked if she wanted to join him.
“I would, but I just had a shower before you came for me. Later, baby.”
Bill peeked out from behind the shower curtain. “Know what I forgot?”
“We got the bourbon. And the weed mellow me out.”
“Wait till you pop a couple of Quaaludes. You gonna purr like a kitten.”
“I ain’t never done them.”
“There’s always a first time. Trust me, you’re gonna like them.”
“What they gonna do?”
“They gonna make you relax, make your body relax and make you feel at peace.”
“Told you, I’m already purring.”
“Well, you’ll purr more.”
Bill shut off the water and opened the shower curtain. Mary stood and looked at him in his nakedness, then she threw him a towel she had brought and left on the counter. She watched Bill dry off and wrap the towel around him.
“It’s cold in here,” he said.
“We could get into bed.”
“Naw. I want to sit in the living room and get high.”
“Meet you there.”
Bill dressed in his street clothes. They were clean since he had worn the uniform all day. What he didn’t do was put on his underwear. He did put on his socks since it was chilly in the apartment.
Mary had brought paper cups with her and had poured bourbon for them both. She was sitting on the sofa, her mules on her feet now. Bill stopped to look at her before he sat down, was enthralled by how beautiful she seemed to him. She was more woman, he thought, than any woman he’d ever had. Only Lorraine ran a close second and he guessed that was because of her age and her style.
“What?” Mary asked, seeing him staring at her.
“I like,” he said. “You’re absolutely gorgeous.”
“I hope you been thinking about what you want.”
“It’s all I can think about.”
Bill rolled three joints, thick ones, not pin joints. Then he lit one, puffed it and passed it to Mary. When they’d smoked it down, he pulled a roach clip from his pants pocket and they did the roach too. Only then did Bill take a good drink of his cup of bourbon. Mary did the same, but before she could finish what was in her cup, he handed her two Quaaludes. She swallowed them with the rest of the bourbon. Bill did the same then refilled their cups.
“Now, baby, talk to me,” Bill said. He got on his knees before her and gently helped her spread her legs open. Then he sat back on his heels and looked at her, looked up her legs, rubbed from her calves up her legs to the tops of her thighs where the nylons ended and bare thighs began.
Mary leaned back on the sofa and closed her eyes. “I could use some more bourbon,” she said.
“Go easy for a few minutes,” Bill said. “Let the Quaaludes kick in.”
“You like what you see?”
“You’ll never know how much.”
“Why should I lie? I already got you here.”
“That you do, and against my better judgment too.”
Bill gently kneaded the bare flesh at the top of her thighs with each of his hands, careful not to touch anything other than that flesh.
“Just one thing,” he said. “No embarrassment. No shyness. No limits other than not hurting each other, none. No matter what we do, long as we agree on it, it’s okay.”
Mary smiled at him dreamily. The Quaaludes were taking effect.