On Wednesday night the room is bright.
It’s cold and I reach for my sweater.
Derek tears it from my hands; he narrows his eyes.
You’re like a song, he says and takes a drag from his cigarette.
I smile. Which one, I ask.
“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, he says and blows the smoke in my face.
He throws my sweater on the floor. Wipes his boots.
What’s that you’re wearing, he asks. What’s the name of that perfume.
Do you like it?
Smells like turnip greens, he says. Hey. You know what?
I say, what.
You know what you remind me of?
He draws a zero in the air.
I gotta take a piss, he says. He leaves the door wide open.
The room is cold. I reach for my sweater.
Derek comes back with a bucket of ice.
I’ll show you cold, he says.
He lights another cigarette.
You’re vile, he says. You disgust me. You’re a worthless piece—
He looks at his watch.
Time’s up, he says.
I wipe the dirt off my sweater.
I leave a C-note on the table.
The room is cold. The light is bright.
See you next Wednesday, he says.