Scarred but Smarter II
“I really don’t mind the scars,” Wilson started, she pushed her sweatshirt hood back and looked over at me “it’s the itching that kills me,” there was a twinkle in her eye and a hint of lechery in her smile.
I didn’t say anything in response, for a moment I wished that I smoked, but I never had and never would. We had just escorted the model to security and were headed back from Detroit Metro.
“That’s to say, it’s not the…..” she started,
“I got you, I heard,” I was a little gruffer than I needed to be, but that was my way. I was gruff with the help, mostly because of my friendship with the boss.
“So I have been tasked to, well,” she paused and looked ahead. I nodded, keeping my eyes on the road.
“We want to know what’s your deal? Why are you so…” I heard her words and took a moment to wonder how I should respond. There was the temptation clam up, shut down or joke, but in the end, I had to give some credit to her for asking.
“Distant, cold, detached, uninvolved.” I offered
“Yeah,” she looked back at me, her eyes were slightly downcast and she was doing that thing with her chin that is supposed to evoke sadness or submission, if she had been standing I wondered if she would have been twisting her arm around to expose her wrists.
“I don’t really know, it’s the mode that I fell into when I would come into the office, and then it became a bit of a joke, which I played up too, and then it just kinda stuck.” I wished the radio had been on so that I could play with it, I had to settle for adjusting my hands on the steering wheel. I wanted a cup of coffee that was a prop that I could have toyed with.
“That’s sad, why no change that? You should come to a after party, or join the gang for lunch and you know…. Just be yourself,” she looked forward again, and then I could see her look out the window. Outside the sun was setting on another grey winter Michigan day. Soon we would be passing the Ypsi Ford plant and soon enough we’d be back at the office.
“Well,” she started again
“We’re almost back to Ann Arbor, so just what ever is on your mind,” I didn’t believe that I was really saying that. I had made a point to be detached from the business; I was after all just kept on retainer. The fact that I was driving people to the airport was simply a favor, a favor for cash, but still a favor.
“I guess, it’s just that people, staff, ok, us girls wonder what’s going on with you and the boss?” She looked right at me and our eyes met, I could see there was something important in the question.
“Listen, I am the itching, something get’s ripped, or damaged, or cut, and I come in an patch it up, but I am the irritant, and because it’s the job, I am separate from the gang. I also report to Megan, and we have become…. Well, it’s not really clear, but” I stopped; I really didn’t know what more to say. I didn’t know how to really answer the question. I knew that my relationship the business wasn’t like theirs, and because of that I had access to the boss.
“Ok, I think I get it, maybe” I looked over and gave her a smile. She was young, she was pert, and full of life, but she was real. On the surface she looked like any 20 something young professional, only she worked for a place that sold fantasy images, she worked around the far edges of the sex industry, there had to be some scars in there.
“For the record, I don’t mind the scars either, the itching I think I might like, because sure it can get annoying at the time, but after the fact you know there was a story behind the whole thing.” I flipped on the turn signal and pulled the car onto the on ramp and we re-entered the city limits.