Keith Burroughs can really sing.
He sells new and used cars by day and at night he likes to party—mostly drinking and a bit of coke toward the end. He is a regular, especially on the weekend when the bands play. He sits in now and then, lending his rich baritone to blues standards like Stormy Monday and Steamroller. He also favors classics by the band Chicago.
I am twenty-four, divorced. A cocktail waitress on the late-night shift. I am impressed by this man’s voice and his stage presence. He shows a real command of the audience. He is in his early thirties, classically handsome with thick, dark hair and moustache, always neatly trimmed. He is tan, tall and strong. I think he is sexy…and he likes me too!
He has an on again off again girlfriend/fiancé, Kimberly, so we never officially date, but “hang out” after hours a couple of times. Once at the duplex he shares with a crooked cop named Owen, he plays Chicago’s Greatest Hits on the turntable and we slow-dance in his livingroom while he croons “Saturday in the Park” just for me. We are both drunk, and on this night, I am his biggest fan.
Sometimes on my night off I go out alone—dressing up in a tight black skirt just to sit at the bar and wait for some new experience to materialize. He often stops by the bar late in the evening wearing silky swim shorts with a shiny little colored fish pattern, flip flops and sleeveless undershirt. He orders takeout food then sits at the bar and has a drink while he waits. Sometimes he invites me over, when Kimberly is not around.
Keith is stylish, polished. Always kind, always polite. In bed, he likes to talk dirty and play roles which I think is a somewhat lofty a goal for a one-night stand. But I play along. I am what he wants me to be, for the moment, and I do as he asks me to do, even when he pulls out a big black toy and a jar of vaseline from his bureau drawer.
It is something different to do and I like him. I see him again a couple times after he moves into a luxury gated community condo. I am dazzled by the high ceilings, plush carpet and oversized lacquered furniture and mirrors on the living room walls.
The last time, he says he just wants to talk—and we talk for hours. Then we go to the bedroom. He tells me I have a great ass and that he loves my little white body.
“We’ve gotta get you a decent car,” he shakes his head sadly at my little red 1974 Mustang II as I pull out of his parking lot.
“Hey, it works!” My standard reply. I am hopeful just the same that he will do something to help me get me that decent car—even though I know he is out of my league. With my two kids at such a young age, I can’t help but feel the men who give me the time of night are just as lonely and bored as I am. Nothing more than that.
I see him once more, by coincidence. He stops in for lunch at the restaurant I manage. I am thirty-four. The moustache is gone, but he still looks tan, fit and clean. He tells me he is in recovery, looking forward to his future and moving out of state. He looks so different by the sober light of day.
And so do I.