Walking through the shadier streets of Soho, he felt the warmth of embarrassment stealing over him – although this was where the sex shops were, the bohemian nature of Soho also drew above-board types out, media types, artistic types, and with them the more respectable bars and restaurants – thriving on the slightly risqué nature of the area.
So there were more people walking through here than just the types that haunted the strip clubs and the adult video stores, sex shops. Did they know he was thinking about going to a strip club? Could they tell? Did they think he was a dirty old man, too?
Damn it, he didn’t care – how could he care? The sensation of humiliation was stronger from what his wife was up to than from anything he could do as a ‘single’ guy in Soho. No – she was challenging his manhood, her actions clearly stating he was not man enough for her. This was merely restoring that manhood.
He got to the doorway marked with a red neon sign that read “Charlie’s Angels”. It didn’t look very glamorous, didn’t look like the kind of places you saw in the movies. It was just a depressing doorway. A guy went in – old, older then him. Gloomy, downtrodden. Almost a tramp.
Was he really reduced to that?
Tom wavered on the curb. He couldn’t decide. His stomach felt full of molten lead as the indecision, excitement, horror and grief burned at his insides. Come on, it wasn’t illegal to go into a place like that. It wasn’t something to put in your memoirs, but there was nothing wrong with looking at young girls willingly taking off their clothes. It wasn’t like his wife could take the high ground in this.
He was just about to cross the street over to the club, when he noticed the car driving along the street, faster than it should have been. He stepped back, up onto the pavement to wait for it to pass – he hated this hesitation, this delay. If he was going to go in, better to go in quickly, so people didn’t notice him on the street.
But while he stepped back onto the kerb, he saw that there was someone who was not doing so. She had crouched to tie up a shoelace – just in the wrong place.
The driver wasn’t looking – not that he or she would see the girl crouching in the street, dressed as she was in dark clothing. The last thing Tom wanted to do was draw attention to himself. Not then. Not in that part of town.
There was an accident about to occur, though.
He had no choice.
He stepped into the road, his back to the girl, facing the oncoming car and waving his arms like a lunatic.
It all seemed to happen in a flash. The girl looked up, startled but suddenly shocked, seeing the approaching vehicle. A dull-grey Mercedes, which shouldn’t have been in that part of town. The driver saw him – how could the driver not have? But a little too late.
The girl was saved, but Tom was hit.
Tom woke to find himself in a strange place.
“Uh…sure. JD on the rocks would be great.”
It was a smallish place – not huge, at any rate. There was a bar, some tables – at which sat a smattering of other men – and a stage, on which danced a beautiful girl. Come to think of it, there were quite a few beautiful girls in the place. Not wearing much, either.
Had he died?
No – he saw the man who he had witnessed going into the “Charlie’s Angels” club over the other side of the place. The drinks mats showed the same seedy neo logo displayed over the doorway – someone must have taken him into the club.
He felt the bruises down his legs after a few moments, and gladly took the Jack Daniels from the young lady that offered it, drained the glass and asked for another. Sure, these places sold drinks at prices akin to the Amsterdam diamond exchange – that was the way a lot of them balanced the books – but he needed alcohol. The fuzzy cushion to soften the pain of the accident, and more so the pain of losing his beautiful wife.
There was some comfort in looking at the girls, too.
Sure, it was a little strange, he’d never been in such a place. But down here, he did not feel the humiliation he expected to feel being in such a club. He thought perhaps it was because everyone else was there for a similar reason – either to get the same thrills or to give those thrills. There were no judgements being made.
This was quite an experience – his wife was younger than him by ten years, but these girls were young enough to be his daughter, almost. Their bodies were so incredibly lean, breathtaking in their beauty and athleticism. He felt his cock filling with the lust induced by the dancer on stage and the girls wandering around the club. Stunning. All that velvet skin, the exquisite curves. It wasn’t real – and yet it was real. They were far too beautiful for any of those men to ever hope to get for themselves, and yet here they were taking their clothes off for them.
The swell of their breasts, the flat toned stomachs, the enticing triangles of their abdomens pointing down at their hidden delights, hidden only by the slightest scraps of g-strings.
Everyone was here for the girls down here, and the fact that it was all happening was unremarkable for all concerned. It was only remarkable for Tom, who had never been to such a place before. The alcohol helped. He wasn’t much of a drinker – and that was telling, the booze now going to his head – but it was undeniably a comfort at this time. It helped reduce the number of thoughts he had concerning his wife – although, it didn’t totally wipe them out.
The man who had been with her had been ten years her junior.
How could she?
The girl standing before him now was exquisite. He thought he recognised her for some reason, but with a little booze inside him he could not remember.
Her perfection was awe-inspiring, and he could hardly believe it was real, standing so close to him. He felt things stirring seriously between his legs and felt bad – was that allowed in a place like this? She was so pretty – large eyes, elfin face, long cocoa hair. She wore a cute, girlish set of pink-and-white checked underwear, which seemed almost scientifically engineered to inspire men on to lustful thoughts.
“Sure,” he said, realising that his hesitation risked turning into a leering pause.
She smiled – a warm and genuine smile, sweet as molasses. How could such a beautiful girl be reduced to earning money this way? How was it that she wasn’t a model, or an actress?
“I’ve never seen you here before,” the dancer said as she led him by the hand through to the private rooms. He wondered for a moment if she was cold, or if she felt strange walking around in just bra and panties. She must have been used to it, though.
“I’ve never been to a place like this before,” he said, then, as she flashed a look that suggested she couldn’t quite tell if he was kidding her, he explained. “I was married.”
Just before they entered the room, she ran her eye over him and grinned, saying cheekily, “Whoever she was, she shouldn’t have let you go, honey!”