Warning. The material covered in this piece is strictly over 18. Sure, it might start off tame, but it does get sexier…
Accompanied by the spluttering gurgle of a worn-down tumble drier and the whine of a fading florescent light stained bronze with age, I find myself once again blessed by solitude in a precarious midnight hour. It’s during this undefinable limbo between dusk and dawn, through bad habit or subconscious longing for a flirtation with danger, I always decide to do my laundry in undoubtedly the seediest part of downtown San Francisco; a place sooner lit by the ends of cigarette butts, police sirens and neon strip club signs rather than beautiful stars in the night sky. I can’t help but find the emptiness of the laundromat comforting and the chatter of its run down mechanic occupants soothing, therapeutic even. Why else would I forgo a warm bed in preference of taking a bag barely filled with dirty clothes half an hour away from the hotel I was holed up in, the same hotel that offered a cleaning service free of charge?
The truth is this ramshackle room offers me freedom, not just from the debilitating pressures of immediate success, but most importantly from myself and the shame of feeling like a phony, an imposter, a fool who tripped over the Holy Grail and then the world claimed I had ‘discovered’ it. While others have dedicated their entire beings and careers to gaining recognition for their art, I find myself lavished with it after the first role of the dice. Am I a prodigy or am I just lucky? That’s a question I torture myself with every time I look in the mirror or when I’m forced to sit dumbstruck in the expectant glare of film critics. However, not here. In this hideously beautiful sanctuary, I’m allowed to be a vacant zombie merely existing, never having to answer the dreaded question,
Don’t they know I haven’t got a clue? That I know as much as they do when it comes to knowing what’s next, which is absolutely nothing?
Occasionally the glass door covered in dirty finger smudges and crude felt-tip drawings swings open and societies aborted children, its dirty little secrets, it’s ‘better if they’re forgotten’ slink in. Mostly they’re trans sex workers in between shifts, the homeless or Mexican nationals equipped with barely a, ‘hello’ or ‘my name is…’ in English. However, not once do any of them cause me any strife, in fact without ever speaking to me, innately they understand my need to escape from life. But the best thing about our estranged relationship is that they haven’t and probably will never see my film and even sweeter, to them the accolade of being the youngest winner of the Best Director Award at Cannes means absolutely nothing. To these people I’m a stranger of the night, another nameless ghost haunting the city streets – just like them.
Remember when I said this midnight hour was precarious? Well, one minute I’m happily wondering in foggy disconnect, in the next a beautiful black woman, dainty enough to be a damsel but badass enough to never need saving, comes striding in and completely shatters my solitary bubble. She is dressed in stone washed denim dungarees, a pink turtle neck stained with something and has a cassette player strapped to her waist. Looking at her, I’m instantly reminded of Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future Part II, when he steps out of 1985 and into 2015. Is she a hipster with an obsession with all things retro or is it fancy dress? I haven’t got a clue, but either way I can’t stop smiling at this unexpected sight. Soon trailing behind her are more 80s refugees; one of them is clad in a nostalgia inducing Saved by the Bell T-shirt under a kaleidoscopic printed shirt, while another rocks an oversized denim jackets over a Bill and Ted tank top. My favourite of the bunch is a guy who blatantly models his entire look on Radio Raheem from Do the Right Thing, fully equipped with the ‘LOVE’ and ‘HATE’ knuckle dusters and he even carries an old school boom box on his shoulders.
I’m in complete shock as within minutes of entering the place and without a hint of hesitation or self-consciousness, the gorgeous woman feathered in the finest dark chocolate – so smooth and luxuries even a Swiss or Belgian chocolatier couldn’t compete – whips off her stained turtleneck and dumps it in a nearby washing machine. Wanting to start the machine, she searches her pockets but can only pull out singles, she turns to her time traveling compatriots and in mocking response they collectively display their credit cards. For the first time acknowledging my presence, she snaps her head towards me and in a southern drawl more suited to Atlanta than the queer streets of San Francisco, asks:
“Do you have a spare couple of quarters? I wasn’t expecting to need coins tonight.” Then looking down and referring to her turtleneck, “I got a little excited with the wine.”
“Yeah, I have some.” I reply, trying to sound as unfazed as possible.
I notice as they stifle surprise at my British accent, but it’s the topless woman who seems most intrigued by my foreign tongue – a sly and seductive smile appears on her face. Fully aware that all the eyes in the room are on me, I get up and walk towards the woman with a fist full of quarters. As I drop the coins in her outstretched hands, a light of recognition behind her eyes suddenly turns on.
“Is your name Tim Taylor?”
Stumped. How could she know me when I’ve barely been ‘famous’ for less than a week? That’s if you can call me famous. Embarrassingly, I don’t even have a Wikipedia or a IMDB page…
“I saw your film during Cannes when I was in France – it blew my mind. You deserved your award, no doubt! You’re a real inspiration”
I blush. This is a strange experience for me.
“Thank you so much. What’s your name, by the way?”
“Well, officially…I’m a performance artist constantly focusing on reinvention. So I’m kind of in between names right now.”
Turning back to her friends, “I’ll catch up with you guys later.” They roll their eyes, clearly all too aware of her antics. They exit, leaving us to alone. I’m now like a dear in head lights, unsure what to do or say next, I sit down to buy myself more time as she places the quarters in the washing machine. Finally, I ask:
“What type of performance art do you do?”
She stifles a chuckle, “Well, my art mostly centres around sex. Specifically, fucking in public.” As she says this, she barricades shut the door with a bench and hangs a discarded towel over the glass door.
she strides towards me and sits down next to me, I’m suddenly aware of her breast cradled in her purple laced bra. She catches my gaze, embarrassed, I pretend to be looking at something else in the same direction. Next thing I know her hand is resting on my thigh, dangerously close to my crotch. My seam swells as I go hard. I try to conceal my erection with my hands, but she moves them away and places her hand on top of my penis. She rubs it whilst making unflinching eye contact with me. I notice that her eyes are an entire shade below brown, almost like the colour of fresh honey.
Grabbing my shirt, she leads me to where her turtle neck washes. She sits against the Machine and draws me closer and closer until my hips press up firmly against hers. Undoubtedly she can feel me thick and wanting against her thigh. She slips off her dungaree strap and allows the whole thing to drop to the ground with echoing clatter.
My heart is beating so quickly that it feels like a constant drone in my chest. Overwhelmed by carnal craving, I firmly grab her plump buttocks and hoist her onto the washing machine – instantly its rampant vibration course through both our bodies. Now faced with her tantalising dark flesh before me, I’m hungry to bite and claw at every inch of it. I need to consume her – I must be inside of her. I sink my teeth into the side of her neck, not hard enough to draw blood, but certainly hard enough to cause her eyes to roll back in the sweet embrace of pleasure.
Desperate for her, I hurriedly pull and tug at my belt buckle. My penis is so stiff and throbbing now, containing it in my pants is too painful. It needs to be in the open where it can be caressed by her delicate and smooth yet urgent hand. She stops my fumbling and takes over plying my jeans down. With aggression that almost startles me, she takes my shaft in her hand, firmly and slowly she masturbates me.
She brings her head towards mine, but stops at the cusp of our lips touching and allows her mouth to hover agonisingly close to mine, allowing me to feel the warmth of her breath on my tender lips and inhale her sweet perfume, now spiced with the scent of animalistic sex. I take her breast in my hand and draw my tongue towards her erect nipple yarning for attention. While my other hand pushes her satin underwear to the side and roams around her labia, inside her now soaking wet vagina and finally up toward her clitoris. With the tips of my fingers, I start of by rubbing it gently and then in synchronisation with the pressure and speed of her tugging my penis, I increase in tempo and firmness. I pull my mouth away from her breast and kiss her passionately, ensuring she can feel every ounce of my desire.
Suddenly she pulls away from the kiss.
“Lie down on the ground!” she assertively whispers.
I’m excited by her commanding tone, I hurriedly oblige. As I lie down on the cold and hard tiled floor, I notice how my penis is incredibly engorged with desire and oscillating with heat like a furnace. Ping, the sound of the washing machine finishing its cycle. She takes her turtle neck out and places it in a nearby tumble drier.
A second later she is placing her hand heavily on my chest and then easing herself on top of me. Fashioned into a strip, her pubic hair guides my eyes from her toned stomach down to her pussy. Her pleasure palace that is unbelievably moist and tight. I can feel the walls of her vagina clinging to my penis like a seductive vice. I look back up at her and as I do so, I’m momentarily mesmerised how for a moment the florescent light in the ceiling seems to cast a fuzzy halo above her head, making her look angelic. She rides me with the confidence of a woman in complete acceptance of her carnal needs and tuned into her raw sexuality. I sit up and bring her into my arms, her spine bends backwards as she yelps a final cry of pleasure. I feel her entire body contract, release and quiver.
Knowing I haven’t cummed yet, she pushes my chest back until I’m lying on the floor again and dismounts me so she can take me in her mouth. Like a warm and moist hurricane her tongue twirls around the tip of my penis. With one hand she strokes and teases the shaft, whilst with the other hand she unexpectedly places two fingers into my anus. In that instant I erupt like a volcano. However, she doesn’t take her mouth away from my member, instead she continues to suck and tease until my entire being surrenders to body shuddering ecstasy…
Without a second word or glance she gets up and takes her turtle neck out of the drier, puts it on along with her denim dungaree and strides towards the door. After pulling back the bench and taking down the blanket, she turns back to me:
“Good luck with your career. I know you’re going to be incredible.”
“Thank you. But do I even get to know your name?” I barely splutter out in between shallow, urgent breaths.
“Just call me your Midnight Muse.”
She opens the door and is immediately swept up by the glow of dawn. And with that, she’s gone. After a second to process the magic and craziness of the night’s events, it suddenly occurs to me that without me even knowing her name, this glorious, time warped, ethereal stranger of the night has just changed everything for me…
I put on all my clothes, gather all my laundry and hail an Uber. With my two feet barely inside the hotel room, my publicist is already at my door ready to brief me on the day’s interviews. A couple of hours later I’m back opposite a journalist who has just asked the same question 100 have asked before her “What’s next?” However, this time I don’t stammer without an answer, instead I look at her dazzlingly in the eye and tell her without hesitation that the next film will be called ‘Midnight Muse, but the plot will be kept strictly under wraps for now”.