Chapter 15: Ezekiel 16:15
But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his.
When John and Andy had finished the dismantling and lugged everything back to 619B, it was 2:30, and the study room had begun to exit its patrons, young men holding plastic cups like pacifiers and walking to the elevator with the precariousness of toddlers.
“Hey, Y.A,” John suggested, “let’s get a quick nightcap before they shut down; I’m still wired.” He rifled through the bottom drawer of his desk and emerged with a palm-sized cassette recorder. “I never once used this for class, but I’ve got an idea.”
Andy’s slitted eyes were black marbles with the stubborn embers of desk lighting reflecting life in them. He inhaled deeply and provided a lifeless “wow”. But he rose laboriously, well aware of the alternative of not having a hair on his ass.
They traversed the smoke-fogged hallway in their socks on little cat feet, John’s size-16’s and Andy’s size-12 triple E’s, John’s recorder as inconspicuous as a wallet in the back pocket of his jeans.
Toots was picking up, a plastic garbage bag at the end of her arm, bending over with the grace of a curtsying ballerina. She looked curiously at them when they entered, vacating the stage persona momentarily before catching herself. “I guess there’s still time for one more,” she smiled. “Looking up at John, she laughed and said, “How ’bout I pour you a tall one?” Then, sizing up Andy, she added, “He looks like he could use a cup of coffee or a warm bed.”
“Yeah, Y.A. is pretty toasted, but I’ll have a rum and coke,” John said, and he motioned Andy into the bean bag while he perched himself atop the futon. When Toots turned her back to grab the Bacardi, John deftly reached into his back pocket, hit the red button, and placed the recorder underneath. As Andy snored in the beanbag, John got up from the futon and looked out the window. A fall mist had found life under the street lamps that framed Harmon and Wagner, silently swirling then disappearing in a sudden gust. A lone female emerged from his right vantage point, and even with the windows closed, the cap pistols of her heels could be heard ricocheting off the concrete.
“I’m expecting some late night visitors,” Toots revealed. “Otherwise, I’d be happy to chat with you.”
That wired feeling had followed John to bed, and as he lay with his arms crossed behind his head, he realized that he hadn’t thought through regarding getting his tape recorder back. He debated scenarios until they became vague and disjointed across the abyss of impending sleep, an enriching sleep until a 9:30 knock on the door.
With her freshly-washed face smiling up at him, Toots had a youthful, softened appearance. Through a partially-unbuttoned pajama top that went mid-thigh and suggested nothing underneath, he could see her cleavage and smell Right Guard working surprisingly well with her body’s chemistry. In her hand she held the tape recorder. “Some of the gentlemen got a little loud last night,” she offered, “but I made sure they got their money’s worth. Go ahead and listen for yourself. Looks like we both know which buttons to push.” She handed the recorder to John and watched his face turn red. Then seeing him looking at her chest, she independently flexed, making her breasts bob up and down.
John was speechless as she smiled up at him.
“Can you make your balls do that?” she asked, and after some silence she said, “I bet I could.” She laughed a little too loudly and headed back to 629.
“It picked up some interesting things,” John revealed during his segment on the Sunday show, “but we had to play it on the TEAC and turn up the volume to really hear what was being said.”
“Wait until you hear this,” Andy teased. “I’ll play parts and fast forward to other parts that I’ve cued, but you’ll get an idea.” He went to the tape deck and pressed play.
A muffled groan started out the tape and a distinctly, albeit faint, female voice said, “So you like what I’m doing?”
Another groan precipitated a male’s voice saying, “You’ve got some really nice tits.”
“Thank you,” the female voice said. “Your time is almost up, so I’m going to make you pop for me.” The slick sound of what had to be a lubricated hand became distinct and more rapid over the next minute of the recording, a sound that yielded completely to the animalistic renderings of a man being pleasured.
“You’re ready; aren’t you? Oh, my goodness; look at the mess you’re making!” the female laughed.
“Okay, okay, you can stop, aaah, shiit, please!” the male voice came back.
The sound slowed down in increments and eventually stopped. The female voice could be heard laughing softly. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”
Andy looked at his roommates’ wide eyes and said, “There’s more, and there’s more than just hand jobs going down in there. Listen to this one.”
Andy played two more cued recordings, both of which suggested intercourse as the futon springs could be heard keeping a background beat, and male voices could be heard making ecstatic groans and cursing under their breath.
Mike and Kurt sat with wide eyes and open mouths until Mike spoke. “So Toots clearly is a prostitute!”
“And a good one, too!” Kurt emphasized.
Somewhat subdued, John mechanically sprinkled some weed on a rolling paper, sealed it, and lit it, passing it to Andy. “What do we do with this knowledge?” His brow furled well into his hairline, and he exhaled forcefully as if he had been holding his breath.
“First of all, we recognize that Toots probably doesn’t do all her business out of 629. This is the first time that we know, pretty much for sure, that the room was used for that purpose,” Mike weighed in.
“I’m thinking that the only time it could be profitable for her is during floor parties and bigger campus events,” Kurt guessed.
“Throw in that Flynn dude showing up to the party, and maybe he’s running an escort service out of Sylvan,” Mike added.
“All that shit is way over Frankie’s and Water J’s head, not to mention Fred, wherever the fuck he was.”
“Yeah,” Andy said, “Frankie called guy code on this, but I don’t think even he thought it would get this out-of-hand.”
“Well, here’s another piece of information for you guys,” John said after the joint got back to him, and he passed it on. “I saw Carol arguing with this Flynn character while I was cleaning up, and I eavesdropped enough to hear her tell him that she was going to call campus police on Monday, so they can do an investigation. She saw the people traffic going in and out after hours.”
“Hey, Mike.” Carol caught him on his way back to the dorm after his Monday psychology class as he was stopped at his thinking spot on the bridge. He watched as she ran toward him like a little girl with her hair blowing in the wind and like a full-grown woman, her breasts bobbing with her gait. “I don’t know if you heard.”
“Heard what, Carol?”
“I spoke to campus police about Little John and the study room and my suspicions about that girl that’s always in there.”
“What take did they have on it?”
“Well, they walked in the room, with Little John’s blessings, poked around and didn’t find anything. They’re allowed to have the liquor cabinet because they’re of age, and they told me that there was no evidence left of anything illegal going on. They did talk to Little John for quite a while, though.”
“So Toots wasn’t there?”
“The girl that’s always in that room.”
“No, she wasn’t. They said people have to be caught in the act for them to charge anyone with anything. They may send an undercover cop for a future floor party.”
I’m going to try to help her here. Carol needs to know about her boyfriend. “Hey, Carol, who’s this guy I see you with on occasions?”
“You mean Flynn? He’s just a friend. Why?” Mike watched her eyes dart to the side.
“Where did you meet?”
“We have an art class together, the same one that Mary also takes.”
“What do you know about him?”
“Hey, why the third degree, Mike?”
You know what; fuck her if she’s going to be that blind and cop an attitude, Mike thought. “I ask because he’s shown up out of nowhere and now he’s part of your life. How well do you know him?”
“If I didn’t know you have a girlfriend, I’d swear you were jealous, Mike. Really, why do you care?”
“Hey, never mind, Carol. I’m sorry I brought it up. Let me know if there is anything I can do.”
“I will, Mike. Thanks, I think.” She made her way toward Vanover as he watched the swaying of her butt and fired up another cigarette.
Donna’s right. She is a Barbie, and I still dream about her, Mike confessed to himself. Donna deserves way better than me. She’s also right that Carol needs to make better choices. These were his thoughts as he turned to key to enter his room.
“Hey, Mike,” Donna greeted him as he entered. “Kurt let me in before he left. Come sit next to me.” She patted the bed.
Something’s up with Donna. I don’t like her tone.
“I just had a conversation with Carol about 15 minutes ago. We caught each other in the elevator.”
“Well, she told me that you were questioning her about her boyfriend when all she was doing was trying to have a conversation with you regarding the study room. I thought you agreed with me that she needs to make better decisions, and as long as she’s not in any danger, you would leave this alone.”
“Donna, I can think for myself. I don’t need you or anyone telling me who I can talk to or not talk to.” Mike raised his voice in anger and noticed that she had tears in her eyes. Wow. I just don’t understand women. “Why are you crying, Donna?”
“It’s not that I’m telling you who you can talk to, Mike. Carol started a conversation with you just so she could tell me that she was talking with you. Don’t you see that’s how it is? In her subtle way she’s telling me that she doesn’t give a shit that you’re my boyfriend, and it makes me angry that you want to look out for her when she would like to see us apart.”
“Do you really believe that she’s that conniving?” Mike asked.
“That’s how a lot of girls are, Mike, and yes, I’m jealous when it comes to you but not to the point of losing my dignity. If you ever want to be with someone else, please allow me the courtesy of letting me know.” She thought of dignity and how easily it could be lost in moments of weakness. She thought of dropping to her knees and begging. She walked out of the room and softly closed the door.