meet layla

Layla has legs that stop traffic, like the ordinary stride of Lester’s steps that usually know nothing about yellows and reds. She whisks him with a linen swish on the corner of eighth that evokes the question, ‘Why don’t you let me buy you lunch?’

Layla drinks dirty grey goose martinis with her left hand and a temporary expectation of Lester saying something other than, ‘That’s a lovely watch, are you concerned about the time?’ Lester’s lack of consideration toward the set of accessories reflecting rays of light through Layla’s third empty martini glass means that she’s not thinking about watching any clock.

Lester is wearing an unfamiliar scent. Layla remembers the last time she turned her head toward a department store boy with sapphire eyes and said, ‘Please tell me what you’re wearing, and where I can find an anti-venom… otherwise we’re both in serious trouble.’

Lester thinks the way Layla leans is body language, her unspoken way of saying, ‘Oh please, do continue.’ That’s not what she’s saying. The length of her lean is whispering something closer to, ‘Please don’t make me wait much longer.’ And it’s definitely not in English, French perhaps… maybe Dutch.

Layla is bored with small talk by the time Lester reaches, ‘So how long have you lived in the city?’ and replies ‘Who gives a fuck?’

Outside she struts down Second Avenue like the entire purpose of the pavement is to lift her up, because something about her is very much above the usual rush of on your way to works and let’s get wasteds. The city holds her in a different light; she’s offering to show Lester in every way she knows how. She scares him, so he tries to impress her with something plastic.

‘Why don’t we take a cab to the west side? There’s a champagne and caviar bar near tenth, it’s the best in the city.’

Bored of utensils and other practical put forwards like glasses and plates, Layla dips her finger in a small pot of salty indigo. Lester’s trying to avoid mentioning the way that he’s sweating and opens his mouth to say something he hasn’t quite thought through yet. Probably something about the weather. His quarter parted lips welcome the abrupt intrusion of Layla’s tart tasting finger. Any other day he would think twice about eating caviar that costs $125 an ounce from someone else’s pinkie. Right now he’s wondering about the type of vanilla wafting faintly from the accompanying wrist attached to the hand he’s licking – Madagascar? Possibly Tahitian…

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