She had the heebie-jeebies and she needed to shoot up. Her man was lolling around on the bed, eyes dilated and rapidly going into nod. She stomped around the room, dressed only in a thong shaking out her purses and digging through pockets both his and hers.
Damn, where was her tab? She went into the washroom and noted that her partner’s fit was lying on the side board.
“Did you take my last tab?” she screamed.
He gave her a lazy grin, and clasping hands behind his head proceeded to nod off. She reached in on him and shook him awake and he put his hand into her face and pushed her off the bed. She fell to the floor with a thump.
“Give me some fucking money so I can score.” she wailed
“Ain’t got any, I spent it all on the Rolling Stones tickets. Get your ass out on the stroll and turn some tricks, you lazy bitch,” he said and rolled over and nodded off again.
She whimpered and muttered, “I need me a new man.”
“I heard that, bitch!” he shouted, “Tell me about any other bitch going to the Rolling Stones? Right, the other bitches will be turning tricks so don’t give me anymore lip or I’ll trim your sorry ass,” he shouted raising his right fist threateningly.
She cowered on the floor hands over her eyes weeping. She got up when she saw that he had nodded off and went into the washroom to repair her makeup and dress for the stroll. She thought that she would wear her best outfit. A white peasant blouse, with her black bra, a white leather vest and a white leather mini skirt, a black thong that accentuated her bum and thigh high white leather high heeled boots. All held together by a wide faux gem white belt.
She noted that it was raining and selected a big white umbrella and a full length “flasher” black leather coat. Then she rechecked herself in the mirror, loaded her small clutch with condoms and lube and started to head out the door.
She looked at him snoring on the bed and took her rolled up umbrella and whacked him on the soles of his feet and ran out the door. She took the stairway exit because she didn’t want him to catch her.
He appeared at their door and cursed her down the hallway but didn’t follow as the elevator door opened and several people got out and looked quizzically at him standing buck naked in his doorway. He turned his back and mooned them and then closed the door.
“Fucking tourists,” he muttered
His tab was starting to wear off and he was still pissed about the way his bitch had disrespected him. He rummaged around putting on a pair of boxers and looking for some drugs, any drugs to get rid of the yips he was feeling. He couldn’t wait for her to come back because he had no idea when she would return.
He found three tabs of crank and gulped them all down with a flat beer. He got an instant rush that fuelled his anger and he started to scream curses and trash the room. His neighbours on either side pounded on their walls and shouted to him to be quiet and when he wouldn’t, they phoned the desk.
The desk clerk, an old Air force vet, sent one of the bouncers from the strip bar with a pass key to see if he could quell the disturbance. The bouncer arrived at the door with several people from the adjoining rooms milling around in the hallway. He knocked on the door after telling the others to go back to their rooms. He knew the pimp on the other side of the door and called out to him by name and warning him that he was about to enter the room. The ruckus stopped and he cautiously unlocked the door and stuck his head in only to be slashed in the face with a broken beer bottle.
Badly cut, the bouncer recoiled back into the hallway closing the door behind him. One of the neighbours who had not returned to his room yelled,
“Somebody bring a towel and phone 911.”
Blood was spattering all over the hallway and walls as people attended to the bouncer. Several of the bouncer’s co-workers arrived with a first aid kit and attempted to stop the bleeding followed by ambulance attendants and police officers.
Inside the room the pimp was wrecking the bathroom, throwing things at the door seemingly impervious to the pounding on the door by the police officers. Then suddenly all was quiet and guns drawn the police kicked open the door and entered the room only to find it empty and the window to the street open.
The room was on the sixth floor and the window opened just above the site of the large neon sign with the hotels name on it. The police officer cautiously looked out the window to see the pimp perched on top of the hotel sign.
The backup police were arriving and clearing the closing time crowds off the streets and blocking the incoming bridge traffic and redirecting the traffic down Drake and Seymour streets; the far side of Granville Street quickly filled with people and the drunken crowd started to chant, “Jump, jump, jump.”
Inside the next hotel a small birthday party was in progress for a well loved performer. Joe was photographing the proceedings and the singer was cutting his cake when there was a frantic banging on the locked main door. At first they all tried to ignore it because drunks often thought they should be able to participate in the after hour goings on in their favourite bars but the knocking was persistent so the bouncer and Joe went to see what the problem was.
The bouncer shouted through the plate glass door “We’re closed.” and then putting his ear to the glass listened to what the man outside was shouting and opened the door.
“Someone has just jumped off the Cecil sign.” the bouncer announced and, with Joe, went into the street.
The scene was pretty ghastly; the pimp had taken a swan dive into the pavement landing head first driving his head into his chest cavity. There were blood and brains spattered all over the roadway and one of the attending police officers was throwing up in the gutter.
“Please don’t take a picture.” one of the police officers quietly asked and Joe took in the scene and recognized that this was not the time or the place for pictures.
He walked back into the bar and barely resisted the urge to have a drink, had a piece of birthday cake, packed up his gear and went up stairs to develop his film. The street was empty as the coroner loaded up the body and departed. The fire department hosed down the blood and gore until there was no visible evidence of what had happened.
She was laying on her back with her legs apart and in the air and a large redneck from Surrey humping her in the back of a family camper van. She had just finished giving his two friends blow jobs and had $300.00 stashed in her bra and a 6”switch blade palmed in case things got out of hand.
The trick finally finished and she got out of the van and repaired to the local all night restaurant to clean up, make her connection, shoot up and have a cup of coffee and return to the room. The cafe was all a buzz about the suicide and stabbing but she didn’t make the connection,
She scored another two tabs for her sweetie. She was mellow from the heroin and couldn’t wait to make up with her man. After all he had two tickets to the Rolling Stones and she was the envy of all the other ho s who couldn’t pass up the business from all those horny out-of-towners. Besides she could hook to her heart’s content after the concert.
She walked back to the hotel in the four a.m. and walked into the lobby and asked for her key. The old Air Force vet told her she couldn’t have the key because the room was a crime scene.
She said, “What the hell is going on.” fearing that it was some kind of drug bust.
The old vet told her to wait, contacted the police and an officer and a detective quickly came down from the crime scene to interview her.
She was stunned by the news and sat down and said in a little voice. “I’ve got to get into the room and get my tickets to the Rolling Stones.”
The old vet rolled his eyes at the seemingly callous statement in the face of the horrendous goings on and realized he now had a tale to top all the others at Sunday’s coffee klatch at the hotel with some of the other old sweats.
Joe finished developing his film and the tragedy finally overwhelmed him and then went to bed and into a nightmare sleep.
The next day after the weekly coffee klatch when the desk clerk told his side of the story from the night before Joe returned to his room and wrote this poem in his journal.
©Copyright July 9, 2006 by John-Ward Leighton
SUN, SUN, SUNNY DAY
The Cecil Hotel, Vancouver
Photo ©Copyright by John-Ward LeightonThey weren’t neat and they weren’t clean
only kind of stupid and pit bull mean
Fighting over drugs in that cheap hotel
right in the cross-hairs between heaven and hell.
She slammed the door and went on her way
he didn’t have the jam to make her stay.
He just didn’t fit in with her plan
she’d have to find herself another man.
She wasn’t having any of his bullshit jive
and he was useless to her dead or alive.
So he dove head first off the hotel sign
a five point five on the incoming lane.
He twitched amid his brains and gore
he couldn’t look up and check the score.
A cop tried to find a pulse
then gagged and said it was no use.
He was bagged and tagged and loaded into the old meat van.
Then they wailed him off never to be seen again.
No one in the crowd knew his name
he was just another loser who’d left the game.
She returned just before the sun that day
three tricks, three dicks, a fix, some pay.
She had some dreams from her junkies fit
but she really knew her life was shit.
The tag had just been tied to his toes
but she didn’t know or care.
She just wanted her tickets to the Rolling Stones
hidden in his room somewhere.
The blood ran across the road and into the drain
the fireman washed away the stain.
A tortured life disappeared that day,
Why, I really could not say.
No matter, the sun will still rise
and the rush hour is in its way
Just another dumb ass horror
for a sun, sun sunny day.
©Copyright November 21, 1989 by John-Ward Leighton