1. The person with the sweet tooth is not always the one who has the sugar.
2. A pimp will take you to a nice restaurant.
A pimp will take you to an empty Thai restaurant in the suburbs of Atlanta with fleshy coconut jumbo prawns served on white-plated lettuce… Cloth napkins. Dim lighting at noon.
The waitstaff is silent, never speaks, takes our order and is gone with a cautious vanishing.
A motion of his hand.
His companion— a dark-haired woman— is impossibly stoned. Her irises glow like tea lights behind her pupils. She sits beside him in a ruched plum dress that hugs her ass like midnight. She dances the side-to-side waver: the dance of slow languidity, sex, jazz, saxophones, and decadent poppies. She is “a model” and babbles about “their agency” and “getting signed” while I drink fresh, grassy wine.
Cold in my mouth.
His thin, rectangular wire tinted glasses block out any possibility of confirmation or scandal. His face shows no remorse or pleasure in the consequence of his actions.
He does not meet my gaze. He is bald and wet and shiny in the afternoon.
I act dumb, pretending to believe them. Bored and awake. My hair’s still teased from the night before and a soft graze on my pillow.
My soup arrives. The lemongrass-heat fills me. The basil leaves are fresh and purple-tipped. I am careful when I bite into them. I want to taste everything— it’s amazing.
A waitress appears, and I order more salad rolls. Yes, thank you.
The pimp removes his glasses and smiles at me with cold eyes. He laughs; laughs at nothing. Nothing in dead air. His head rolls back, and I can see all his teeth and all his fillings. The stains are silver and grey, a motley of gold, like a pack of wolves in the cavern of his mouth.
He laughs and laughs at nothingness. The Pad Thai arrives. “I am going to make you a star!”
My mouth is still full of the flesh of fried crustaceans. Rice-wrapped salad rolls. Coconut in my throat. Peanut. Spice.
I nod, hungry. And, last night’s crusted gold glitter glints on my cheekbones.