And then there is the approach of Autumn and September impatiently tapping at the window, intimidating August, chasing it away. I reach out my hands in an attempt to catch hold of it, but it is already overshadowed by distance, one step removed. Only yesterday it was April and there was the whole of Summer; it was a time of promise and hope. I naively believed that I deserved it, that I would be delivered unblemished months. It was such a bad winter, so very long and cold.

But here I am on the edge of the season, dragging so...

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A Sad State of Affairs
It is three o’clock in the afternoon and she has kept the same position since breakfast, writing in her journal, nursing each fresh drink, drawing it out so that her budget (small) will see her through until she is forced to give up her seat. She is in no hurry to leave, having nowhere else to go, no pressing appointment – except with home, and the house is depressingly quiet and yet still too full, inhabited by a long line of hours waiting impatiently to be filled, the space between now and then too vast...

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A bubble of blood oozed around the tip as he held the blade on his thumb. The knife was unbalanced and sharp. There's a metaphor in there somewhere, he thought.

Hi. My name's Steel. Chinese Steel. I'm unbalanced and sharp. And dangerous. And cheap. And I'll probably break the first time you try to use me.

Bad metaphor, he thought. Or too good.

With a flick of his wrist, the blade bounced in the air, spinning awkwardly in a half-arc. It fell, jabbing into the ground in the middle of the circle of empty beer cans. Close enough to the...

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You slide a cool hand across my chest, toying with the thick hair before following it downward.

"Treasure trail..." you whisper, your breath warm and moist against my ear, "... that's what we called it."

You move your hand downward, teasing, toying with me, making me wait for it. Your manner tells me that I have to say something, say the magic word before you complete your motion. You wait for me to speak, and I grow frantic with the nearness to your goal.

I guess, desperate in my hope that I'm saying the right thing. "What... what do you...

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I'd paid for the whole night, thinking that I might as well go for the whole enchilada.

Half an hour would have been $80-plus, the "plus" being a sliding scale based on what I wanted to do in the half-hour. An hour would have been $200-plus. She said the full hour cost more than two half-hours because the clients usually wanted to be more exotic if they have a whole hour to work with.

I paid $2000-plus for her to stay with me the whole night. All the hours she'd do nothing but sleep with me, she could have been...

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