Eyes as ebon as charred coal. She stared at me from across the room, soft bangs tumbling over her face, pale and transparent as silk. Her hair, mimicked her eyes in hue and texture. It was strange to see her staring at me like that. There was no shame in her eyes. When they met mine, she didn't turn away. Tendrils formed from the shadows. Hooking me. Praying on me. I was her feast. She was my predator. And yet, there was nothing sexual about the way her hungry eyes probed me. Hypnotic maybe.
Maybe something else entirely.
Soft blue gauzy fabric clung to her like a cloud. Of course, even without the gown the woman seemed to have an unearthly quality about her. The french had a saying for it, but I don't know what it is. Regardless, I found quickly I could not turn away. Music throbbed like a vein, giving life and oxygen to the masses starving for something. Alcohol, sex, love. Did it matter, really? The music fed them, nourished them. It protected them under its wing. It soothed their wounds, and it didn't care who you were. Lyrics didn't discriminate the way people did.
I could understand why people practically lived here.
There was something for everything after all. A beer to nurse your broken heart away, and if that didn't work, there was always a whore to be had, who was happy to listen as long as you kept her glass full. I wondered if the woman in blue was a whore. I doubted it though. She was an artist. I could see it in the way she looked at me. She was commiting every line of my flesh to memory. She would savour it later with a pencil in one hand, and a canvass in the other. I knew, I looked at people the same way.
If she was a whore, she would be an expensive one.
I tried to imagine what it would be like, to be her. She would have suitors, I imagine. Wealthy men, with wives at home. Would she care for them? Of course not. Women like her didn't love. They cared, perhaps, but not enough to tie them down. Women like that were strong. They were brave. They needed nothing more out of life then the company of a man, better left a stranger for all intents and purposes. They didn't need to marry, they needed only stability.
I wondered what would happen to her when her beauty faded.
A husk. A mere fragment of what she was. I could see her now, standing in front of the bar, twenty years hence. Her face, once smooth as porcelain was now wrinkled as yesterday's clothes. Eyes sunken in, accented with bags, dark crescent moons that could not have been darker had she painted them on herself. I imagine her in the same blue dress, hideous sagging breasts hanging low now, despite the wonder bra. She pretends to not notice how much she missed, how she passed her entire life away for mere cash. What had she now? A nice house? A nice car? Certainly no steady income now, unless she'd reduced herself to whoring, but she wouldn't have made enough money doing that anyway.
Would I be any better off?