There was a slight chill filling the meeting room. Too feeble to make an attempt of shutting several windows that were opened all day, I cocked my head slightly to my partner's direction, who appeared to be taking note of several suggestions made by an executive marketer; this meeting was set up only to hear what other representatives from other firms have to offer in order to plan a budget in hopes of selling more consumer products. I continued to ignore several presentations while pretending to be listening--I thought I was the only one who thinks this meeting was trivial. From time to time, as few of the businessmen made their presentation, I would play with my pen by swirling it between my fingers--although my partner frequently reminded me that this was an official meeting, not a place where one is permitted to act leisurely.
"You'll get in trouble if you don't stop acting foolishly," whispered my partner, who made so much effort not to try raising any suspicion in the room with sixteen well-mannered individuals.
I was utterly depressed and stressed for no particular reason. I began wondering what might have caused me to feel so unhappy and apathetic. I had been happy every seconds of my life. I would often thank the lord for giving me blessing and luxury, and a beautiful family. I am married to a Polynesian for six years now; she is a full-time district attorney and is recognized almost everywhere due to her accomplishments. I have a young son who was named after my great uncle--though after naming my son I began wondering what pushed me to name him after someone I did not know pretty well.
My life was perfect up until this moment, sitting in a chair, both elbows on the table while resting my chin on the back of both hands, facing straight at a short, bald man wearing a lavish suit that may have looked too large for him. I pondered whether my life was incomplete—maybe a glass of tequila would do fine. Money wasn’t the issue. Having a kid who’s so keen in modeling didn’t bother me the least. My sex life was somehow unhealthy and unexcited—it’s been about two years since I had sex with my wife. I couldn’t say if my sex life was the trigger to my depression.
The meeting ended at three in the afternoon. Once everyone has vacated the meeting room except Jake, my partner, and myself, sunshine struck on the window panels more intensely than it previously had; I could feel the thermal energy radiating through my skin. At that moment I decided to leave the windows open. As I gathered my work-related portfolios and tucked them in a suitcase, my partner approached me.
"You haven't been yourself lately, Dean," said Jake, somewhat under the impression that I was using narcotics and other elicit drugs.
"I just don't feel myself right now," I claimed, hoping he won't persist the conservation as I was preparing to leave for home.
"Look," he said, "if you want to talk about something, you know I'm here…"
"Thank you, but no thanks," I said, standing in the doorway."Why did we have this meeting anyway?" I questioned him, though I still felt nothing matters now.
"Our business hadn't got far than we'd expected, especially while we are facing few obstacles..."
"Such as," I asked.
"Such as the economy," he responded with certainty. He came closer to me and rested his right arm on my right shoulder. "Whatever you have going on in your internal life, try to resolve it before it's too late."
He withdrew his arm and disappeared from sight. I grabbed my leather coat and readily left the building.
I walked aimlessly on the street of New York City to brighten up, though my headache intensified every now and then. A faint sound of a police siren became louder and more violent as I crossed one street after another. A couple of meters away were three police vehicles stationed linearly across one wide road, which obstructed any car from going through. The road leads to the parking lot at which my car was parked. I was compelled to take either the bus or train instead.
Behind the police vehicles was a wrecked minivan lying upside down. The front bumper began to show sparks of fire, then a sudden flame flared up. After standing while watching the scene, I opted to take a bus home and went to the closest bus stop. Coming to a stop when the streetlight turned green, I spotted the bus approaching. Afraid of missing the chance to get on the bus, I recklessly crossed the street even when the light was still green. At that moment I wasn't afraid of death and didn't mind being hit by a car, which could lead to two possible outcomes: death or severe injuries. As I sprinted toward the bus stop, several drivers honked at me while others swore as much as they could come up with a new word to describe a young man who feared no death by crossing the road when the streetlight becomes green.
Before reaching the bus stop, I realized the bus was no longer there. Thereafter I decided to shoot myself, literally. I felt like hitting something hard with all my might to induce pain, because I figured the only way to rid myself of pain is to cause pain. Though I decided not to hit something after considering the consequences If I had broken something expensive and were charged for property damage. Therefore I sat on the bench at the bus stop, contemplating only the view that stood before me.
It was ten minutes past before another person sat beside me on the bench, and still no sign of a bus. The person wasn't just any person; from the look of the person's bottom appearance, it was an attractive woman: she had on transparent pantyhose and wore a pair of lavender high-heeled pumps.
As I carefully surveyed her appearance and making my way up to her curly hair, I quickly became aroused. Her dress was also in lavender, but appeared less opaque than it is transparent. Her dress revealed too much of her private parts, say, her nipples. She was beautiful, though not the type to perceive as a wealthy individual. She was not the rich-type of people. But as I battle over the urge of wanting to examine her body bottom-up, the thought of me wanting to do this hot chick got me off the edge. I tried to evade the thought, but her looks seemed to have gotten absolute control over my body--I was too blinded from the fact that I was already married.
"You look tense," said the woman. I pretended not to listen. She continued, "You missed the bus, huh?"
"Yeah, apparently," I said, though my speech became unclear as I cleared my throat. "It's always like that," she said. "Everyday."
"How everyday?" I asked. "You take the same bus here every single day?"
She reached her small lavender purse and fished out a tiny mirror. "No, I don't take the bus," she said as she held the mirror in front of her and at the same time applied a lavender lipstick on her beautiful lips. "I just wait."
I examined her once more from head to toe. Everything about her was lavender. I waited before she finished her makeup moment and asked, "What do you mean by 'wait?'"
She looked at me in a flirtatious way, and from that moment I knew who she was, what she does for a living. "Oh," I said with surprise and remained silent.
"I know what you want," she claimed. This time her tone was different, as if she was horny or something. Just great!
"Yeah?" I said. "And what do I want exactly?"
"I can give you pleasure," she said with a smile.
Without thinking about it, I said, "How much are we talking?" At first I became utterly shocked and disturbed by my agreeing to sleep with a prostitute. From then on I didn't know who I was or whether I have something good in life.
"One-hundred for a blow job, one-seventy five for intercourse, or two hundred for full service," she said as if she was an expert in the field.
I was amazed by the high demand of the prices. "What exactly is the 'full service?'" I bothered to ask.
"Anything you ask of me," she said. "My apartment is two minutes away. I don't charge customers for sleeping in my place. But I do charge taxes, depending on the circumstances."
Prostitutes charge taxes? Depending on the circumstances? The more I pondered them the better I began to realize that my world was turning upside down. Momentarily, silence broke in, and neither of us said a word until two kids, a boy and a girl, got into a dispute over who gets to ride on their dog first. It became apparent that the mother of those kids, who lost control of them or didn't know what to do but watch, decided to let them settle on their own as far as the public is concerned.
"I love kids," she finally said. "They're so adorable."
"If you love kids, why not have one?" I said.
"I can't," she replied, looking down at the ground and returned her gaze upon the kids. "It would be impossible now."
"What do you mean 'impossible?'" I said. I looked at her, and behind her, far distance away, came the bus. The bus would come any minute now. Thank god!
"I can't have kids when I'm not in love with someone," she said. While following her every move, she went through her lavender purse again and reached out a lavender handkerchief. With it she wiped off the tears that ran down her cheeks. "I can't fall in love. I need this job because it's the only way to survive in this world. Nothing's free, you know."
When the bus reached the bus stop, a sudden ringtone of one of Bob Dylan's greatest singles came from my right pocket. I reached out my blackberry and looked at the calling ID. It was my wife, Meecha.
As people got off the bus I turned to where the woman sat, but she was no longer there. As I searched to which direction she could've gone it became clear that she was no more in sight. I got on the bus and sat at the farthest end. I pondered what she said and tried to pretend as if she was just an illusion, but her sad words recurred in my mind every now and then. After a long exhale I stretched my arms and looked through the window. At that moment I felt free, free from stress because I learned that there are people who have problems far greater than mine, especially the important things in life that not many aren’t so lucky to have: a family and a well-paid job. Perhaps I should consider myself lucky.