APPETITE FOR POISON / Andrew Hudgins Baltimore, 1871 We men in lodgings, after supper, rush out to walk the darkening streets. They're jammed with other restless men, all seeking privacy in mass. I know it doesn't make much sense. And many find their way to brothels where for a couple of dollars, they shed their loneliness awhile in a way that makes them lonelier. I saved up for a month and went to a brothel so exorbitant the whores were likely to be clean, less jarring to the sensibilities. There's nothing like the tug of lust to make you confront your problems with appearance and reality. Consider the woman I chose: she had the looks a man like me gets moony over--and intellectual eyes. She said she was Marie-Louise, but when she talked she sounded worse than any hayseed I've ever heard. The girls there all have fake French names. My God, she was a handsome child! But when she had to say something even her astounding beauty didn't help. At work I asked the second flute what his wife would do if she found out that he'd been seeing other women. He grinned and slashed his index
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1983
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