Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wait and Rest Room

Plush maroon carpeting spreads over the floors like the spilled and drying blood of some regal jungle animal. Neither too red nor to brown, its shade is deep and warm, and creates the illusion that one might be standing within the soft heart of an enormous elephant. The walls are paneled with sheesham veneer, a rich chocolate brown wood swirled with even darker lines. They disappear into anonymity behind the array of fine art hung over their deep complexion like multicolored veils over the faces of exotic but somber women. Many of the frames are gilded with 24 karat gold.
The art itself is so exquisite in detail as to appear more vivid than life. Creamy skinned women stand with blue skinned lovers at the mouth of roaring seas or lay in the arms of furry white beasts playing wind instruments upon stony cliffs or dance in groups upon mossy embankments overlooking misty water falls. They seem as if they might step out of the frames at any moment, or as if perhaps theirs is the real world and the room with maroon carpet is only a crude painting. Antique lamps of fine polished brass, some adorned with tiffany lampshades and dripping with glittering lead crystals emit a warm glow. Scattered throughout the room, they stand upon sleek end tables fashioned of polished dark cherry. These rest near couches, divans, and love seats like faithful dogs at the feet of their masters.
The couches themselves are upholstered in darkest brown suede and some in pomegranate hued velvet adorned with gold embellishments in the baroque style. Many of these are planted so that their occupants might face each other and engage in intimate conversations. All are equipped to function as toilets as well as seats. The soft sued or velvet cushions need only be lifted to reveal the gleaming white porcelain of a toilet seat and bowl. Dainty little handles for flushing rest nestled among the at the back. Some have been neatly worked into the baroque embellishments. The din of idle chat fills the room like the bubbling of hot soup in a black kettle. The mob of individuals crowd together on the love seats, women sitting in men's laps and youths with tousled hair perched upon the arms of the couches. The scent of perfume mingles with that of after shave and the baser smell of hot human breath and urine. The laughter of the women rings out shriller than the baritone he-haws of the men. The smoke of a cigarette drifts along the ceiling, among the crystals of a chandelier and on past the mist seas of a painting. Coughing and nose blowing accent the general hum of unending conversation.
The men wear tuxedos, many have taken off the jackets and have loosen the bow ties and dab at their perspiring brows with embroidered handkerchiefs. The women don tight fitting evening gowns to reveal their bosoms and wear glistening earrings, and pearl necklaces. They grip satin and bejeweled clutches in their delicate and neatly manicured hands. A few fan themselves, the spaghetti straps of their skimpy gowns hanging off of their freckled shoulders. One woman in a clinging blue dress is using one of the toilets while the others around her continue to talk. Perched as she is, she endeavors to keep herself covered with the skirt of the gown, but it is too form fitting to accommodate her much, and her pale thighs and dark curly pubic hairs are apparent to all, while she wriggles like pate trying to go back into its shorn wrapper.

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