April 29, 2021

The Ticket and the Tomato

47

The stench of sweat and decay permeated every corner of the Motel 6 making me want to retch. As sunlight tried to gain an audience through grimy windows, the lobby’s inhabitants wrapped themselves in shadows like skunks ferreting for trash.

All except Beatrice, the resident two-dollar hooker, whose enormous tattooed breasts blinded lost travellers like searchlights at sailors on a fogless night. I had once been caught in Beatrice’s trap, her saggy breasts, like twin Sirens, had left me shipwrecked on the shoals of desperation. I had survived, just barely, and we had never spoken of it since.  Recalling my own descent into the murky depths of her overpowering sexuality, I watched as she started the evening ritual of relieving yet another mark of the bulge in his pants and his wallet. 

I left him to his fate and veered out of the lobby towards the pool. As I tread down the filthy corridor, I reminded myself that Beatrice fleecing the occasional drunk salesman out of his bankroll with her pounds of gooey flesh, still paled to my own chore of having to relieve the Tomato of life. What’s more, I was paying a much steeper price for the pleasure, which made Beatrice seem positively shrewd by comparison.

The Tomato was my nickname for the ugliest woman I had ever had the misfortune of meeting. I had come up with it after watching her launch her 400-pound frame into the centre of the hotel pool, like a hulking battleship on patrol in the Mediterranean. Then, as now, she had managed to defy and cruelly twist the laws of gravity and physics by somehow managing to squeeze her grossly oversized body inelegantly into the confines of a cherry red strapless bathing suit which, to my eye, caused her to look like nothing so much as an oversized garden tomato ready to explode. Quite frankly, I was forever surprised by the strength of that swimsuit. I clearly owed a huge debt of gratitude to some nickel-a-week kid in a sweatshop somewhere who had had the courage to use extra thread.

On this particular evening, I could see the other guests were trying desperately not to drown in her wake as all 400 pounds of flesh skimmed across the water at them in a fury reminiscent of a tidal wave.

“Trey? Is that you sweetie?” she said.

I watched her bob precariously on the surface, punishing the limited ego of the inflatable raft squeezed between her legs and worried that I might have to dive in after her if the raft gave out and she sank to the bottom. The thought of watching her drown brought a smile to my face and I had to remind myself that, while Jimmy wouldn’t care if I killed the Tomato, I wouldn’t be paid until I secured the ticket. Since I had already spent four agonizing weeks enduring more pain and humiliation than any man should in pursuit of that elusive ticket, I would be damned if I was going to lose sight of it now, no matter that her inevitable death would be deliciously satisfying.    

I mustered a tepid greeting in reply and said more sweetly “how was your day at the spa princess?”

As the Tomato drew up to the edge of the pool, I forced myself to crack a smile, brought my hand up to her face and gently squeezed her double chin. Her skin was loose, oily and waterlogged like a slab of bacon ready to be fried.

“Oh, Trey it was an absolutely miserable day. Louis was so busy eying all the pretty young girls outside that I just couldn’t seem to relax and enjoy myself. Honestly, for what I am paying him, I can’t understand why he seems so hard done by. I mean is it too much to ask that he focus his energy on me for even ten minutes? I am not paying to be seen by one of his underlings. I mean honestly. I don’t know, I think I just may have to find someone new.”

“It sounds positively dreadful, princess. Why don’t you let me take you upstairs and see if I can’t work out some of your stress? You must be exhausted?”

“You just have no idea what an ordeal it was. To be treated that way. So the man is chiseled like a god — no offence Trey — but does that give him the right to treat me like a worn pair of shoes? I mean, does it? Look at me, who wouldn’t want what I have to offer? I deserve better.”

“Of course you do princess. Of course you do. Come on upstairs, all this talk of you and Louis is making me jealous.”

“Oh Trey, I like that you are so attentive but you just can’t understand what it is like to be with him. It is just electrifying. And now? To be thrown away like a pair of raggedy old shoes…”

“Why do you torture yourself like this princess? Please, just come upstairs. I’ll take your mind off it.”

The Tomato eyed me skeptically, uncertain as to my motivation. “Why are you always down here trying to drag me out of the pool?”

“We have been over this princess. I’m just worried about you. An uptown girl like you in a hovel like this, someone’s bound to try and take advantage. Plus, upstairs in our room, I don’t gotta share you with anyone. Not even the illustrious Louis.”

Satisfied with my explanation, she slid off the raft and clambered out of the water. I did my best to wrap the towel around her and we walked arm in arm to her room upstairs.

Ten minutes later, the tomato was impaled on me like a marshmallow on a campfire stick. With each bounce of her hips, I could hear the bed groan its disapproval, while the sound of Tomato’s thrusting reverberated around the room like the sixteen hooves of the apocalypse. Only after she came for the second time, did I fully grasp the depths of my humiliation.

At shortly before midnight, I found myself crawling on hands and knees yet again, searching vainly for the ticket. As I listened to her laboured snoring, I realized that if I didn’t find and liberate that ticket soon, I would be forced to collect what was left of my pride and bury the tomato.

“I don’t like you talkin’ about her like that Trey. Chloe may have taken what’s mine but it’s just ’cause her aura is out beside her, man. Just yesterday, I was down at the studio doing some soul work and I realized that she has some deep ceded issues to work out. I am sure of it.”

#

I was lying on my bed the next morning at the Howard Johnsons, thumbing through the latest issue of Penthouse magazine and watching some girl on girl action on the all-porn channel when Jimmy’s number flashed on my cell.  

“Where the fuck you been, man?” Jimmy said. “Where’s my fucking ticket?”

“Jimmy,” I said, trying to sound calm. “I was just considering that very situation.”

“I’m not paying you to consider nothing, Trey. Where is my fucking ticket?”

I had met Jimmy three months ago at a Bikram Yoga studio in midtown where I had been boning the instructor for some weeks. Jimmy was the only other guy in the place so I had simply assumed he was there trolling for pussy. I later discovered that he was deeply immersed in the whole yoga philosophy — so much so that he told me he had meditated for a half-day before deciding to send me in search of the Tomato.

“Take it easy Jimmy. It’s gonna take time. You knew she wasn’t going to just hand me the ticket. Cut me some slack. You think I’m enjoying this. She stinks like a fucking wild bore and ruts like a dog in heat. You can believe no one wants to find the fucking ticket more than me.”

“I don’t like you talkin’ about her like that Trey. Chloe may have taken what’s mine but it’s just ’cause her aura is out beside her, man. Just yesterday, I was down at the studio doing some soul work and I realized that she has some deep ceded issues to work out. I am sure of it.”

“So what, you don’t want me to take her down now?”

“Naw, man. The bitch is done. I’m just saying I wish she had tried harder, dug a bit more, gotten back to the womb.”

“Rest easy, Jimmy. I’m gonna find the ticket. As for Chloe, I don’t know shit about her aura but her shadow’s so large, I get cold just standing beside her.”

“Why you gotta go and talk shit about her like that Trey. You not hear me just tell you I still got time for her.”

“Ya, well sorry. I’m just saying this ain’t been no fucking picnic over here.”

“Whatever, man. Do your fucking job and save me the commentary. Be at the studio on Saturday with the ticket or Chloe won’t be the only one looking to ride you. You got me?”

With that, my phone went dead and I was back to being alone with my thoughts and the two hot chicks tonguing each other like cats. Having watched a lot of porn in my time, I had grown accustomed to the second act lesbian interlude. It was a favourite plot device of pornographers the world over, though I must confess it never held much interest for me. Pearl necklaces and facials were more my speed. Everything else was just so much noise.   

As I watched them gyrate and fake their way to mutual orgasms, my cell lit up again.

“Hi sweetie” I said, “What time did you get up?”

“’round 10. Why’d you sneak out on me this morning, Trey?”

The Tomato had a voice like an angel, which I had long ago learned was a common ingredient among fat chicks everywhere. It was also a key ingredient of the ugly girl sorority. Perhaps it was god’s way of equalizing the dating scene but more likely it was merely a cruel joke directed at straight men for being so shallow. I had come to that realization at the tender age of 11, after being conned by a friend of mine to call this girl up and ask her out on what can only be described charitably as a blind date. After talking to this chick for an hour on the phone, I decided that she must have been pretty fucking hot and I agreed to take her to the local public school dance. Well, hope springs eternal, but no amount of prayer was going to drop the pounds off the chunky monkey who showed up at the dance hall that night. Since then, I had come to associate any angelic voice on the other end of a telephone as being that of a harpy working a 1-900 phone sex scheme. Unfortunately, I had also come to find that I was rather addicted to phone sex.

“I didn’t wanna wake you up, sweetie. You seemed so peaceful. Are you scheduled to see Louis again today?”

“I don’t know. After the way he treated me yesterday, I have half a mind to quit him cold turkey. But then, who would do my hair?”

“Maybe you want me to go with you. Talk some sense into this Louis guy. Make it clear that you need some personal attention.”

“That’s sweet dear but let’s face it, you’re hardly a contender for Louis’ attention.”

“What’d ya talking about Chloe. I have dealt with this kind of problem before. Who took care of your cleaning staff?”

“Please. There was no staff, just a twenty-something dike who might have made you cry had the manager not intervened.”

“Let’s not fight, Chloe. What times your appointment? I am gonna go with you.”

“I didn’t make the appointment yet. I told you I was thinking it might be time for someone new.”

“Don’t worry, sweetie. I’m gonna straighten out this whole situation.”

“Why the sudden interest in Louis, Trey?” Once again I was startled by the Tomato’s processing speed.

“What interest, sweetie? I just want to make you happy. You don’t want to see Louis again, I’m fine with that. Just offering my help is all.”

“Ya, well, in four weeks you never seemed so interested.”

“Not true, Chloe. I always hear everything you gotta say. So what, you gonna see Louis today or we doing something else?”

“Alright already. I’ll call him. Stop nagging me like you’re my wet nurse.” 

This was a crucial turn of events. Having searched her room high and lo, I had come to the conclusion that she must have either given the ticket to someone else to hold or had hidden the ticket somewhere accessible. Either way, I didn’t intend to let her out of my sight until I had the ticket in hand. Sensing my grin, she added “stop smiling Trey and come and pick me up.”

To be continued…

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