The Cleaning Lady


I woke up late. I woke up a few times during the night, once to shit, another time to drink. I woke up early with Carmen. She had to go to work. I didn’t. When she left she kissed me once and closed the door behind her. I slept some more. I woke. I looked at the clock. Carmen came back in. We kissed some more. She was wearing different clothes. Day clothes. Clothes to take to work. She always dresses in black. When she left (this time for good) I said, “Good-bye dark lady.”

I barely know where I am. Last night we kissed and kissed and I rubbed my cock against the softness of her belly. She wouldn’t touch it. We kissed some more.

Sleeping with a hard-on gives me crazy dreams. I hate dreaming because I wake so often through the night. And every time I wake the new surroundings close in on me like some rushing black dots. Then I squeeze my eyes shut and hope to come back to the dream, just as it was. My dreams were erotic. Sexy and vivid beyond belief. Once, in the early morning with the birds singing outside Carmen’s window, I woke up licking the air. She was looking at me like I was crazy, or suddenly dangerous. I asked her, “Have I been speaking in my sleep? I do that sometimes. I’m sorry.” She answered me, “No.” She rolled over. I rubbed my eyes and put my left arm under my head, under the softness of the white pillows without covers, and moved myself against her back, spooning her.

The eyes squeezed shut again. I didn’t want to be licking the air. I wanted to be licking the soles of the woman in my dream. I knew her really, but such things are only possibly in dreams. I pressed the eye-lids together like a vice, forcing the deep darkness to come behind them. I didn’t dream again. Not about licking her soles anyways.

Then Carmen was up, like I said, kissing me and leaving and shutting the door and coming back and leaving me again. I looked at the clock. It was late morning. I remembered that the cleaning lady was coming in today. I smiled. I liked being a stranger. Strangers can say and do anything they want.

I’m lazy in the morning. My head is thick. I had a hangover. There were books strewn like mouse-traps on top of a long row of records piled sideways and leaning against a bookshelf. The records stood tall like a three rifle balance in the Russian army. Take one away and they all might fall. The room is clean except for my pile of clothes in one corner. Clothes growing like weeds from an open travel bag. Shirts on top of pants on top of sweaters with underwear and dirty socks freckled over it all like some ruddy complexion. I leaned over and put my chin in one hand. I looked at the clock. It was early afternoon.

I’ve been reading a lot since I got here. Carmen has a great bookshelf, a wonderful library. It’s intoxicating. A day ago she began pulling books from her shelves and stacking them on the floor, looking at me and at the shelves and then back at me and then again at the spines standing like soldiers pressed shoulder to shoulder. She looked fine like that, her bare feet curled under her plump bottom. I wanted to fuck her. I stood up from bed, naked, and stepped over the wall of vinyl to grab her shoulders and pull her mouth to mine, pressing my cock against her back. She swatted me away, pointing at the books. “This is Bukowski, this is Fante… they’re both nasty like you. Here’s Salinger, and here’s Neruda, and Beckett… oh and this one is Roald Dahl.”

“Doesn’t he do all those children’s books?”

“Yes but his writing for adults is ugly… fascinating… you’ll like him” I thanked her. She’s a literary princess my Carmen, despite the fact that she puts me to bed with a sawed off rocket between my legs.

I’ve never read who I should. I read trash and garbage and sentimental nonsense and occasionally I have the urge to go to the library and find some classics, some poetry. It’s sludge this stuff. It’s like a dream where you try to run and you piston your legs like an Olympic sprinter and nothing happens, it’s all slow motion and heavy burdens and fear. I hate them, those old men with type-writers and pens who speak to us over the chasms of god knows how many years, centuries even. They’re fucking dead those marble mouthed bastards. They’re dead and there’s nothing left of their bodies but dust and maggots and stench.

And don’t get me started on poetry. It’s bullshit this poetry. I’ve never read a poem I liked. It’s all dandelions and doves descending through white skies as if through the beaming light of heaven. Where are these dandelions and these doves in my world? Where is that beaming light of heaven? My world is filled with garbage and sex and the stink of fresh shit. I hate them preaching to me and I hate never understanding. I stopped reading poetry some time ago. Poetry is dead until some man of our age revives it without screwing too much with form and punctuation. Oh, isn’t he clever taking out all the commas and semi-colons, isn’t he fresh, isn’t he some youthful genius of our generation. Fuck him with his bag of tricks and his useless tinkering. Give me a page full of dried blood and fresh shit and press it to my nose and I’ll be happy, and I’ll call you a poet.

So it’s early afternoon and I looked over at this mine-field of suggested texts. Last night I read three books. Carmen said, “You read too quickly, are you sure you understand it all?” I told her I did. Not only do I understand but these guys give me a hard-on. I wanted to fuck.

I got out of bed and walked to the book shelf, eschewing for now her choices for me. I wanted more Bukowski. He made me feel good. Like a man. Like a fighter. Everything is simple with Bukowski. Straight forward. I love him. Maybe I would even love his poetry, he was so much without ornamentation. I found one, a companion to the work I had read last night. It was good. I read for a while, maybe one hour, maybe two, it’s hard to tell sometimes. I heard the door opening. I was confused. Then I remembered, the cleaner was coming by today. Carmen had told me about the cleaner, Dolores, and how she was a writer like me (at this I grimaced, I’m no writer, not yet) and how she was a borderline psychopath with a stable of stories she was all to happy to share, provided you asked the right questions and didn’t piss her off.

I was still horny, more so now after reading for a while (books always turn me on), and I decided I’d give her a bit of a show and walk out of Carmen’s room in my undies, give Ol’ Dolly a peak at the youth in me. The swinging dick and the tight frame and the broad shoulders. I liked my body. I liked to show it off while I still could. I walked into the kitchen to grab a beer and I saw Dolores out there in the hallway polishing the banisters on her knees. She had a plump ass and grey hair cut over her eyes. Her hands were wrapped around the wood of the stair frame and she was twisting and jerking a cloth with some wax up and down, up and down. I swigged my beer, my usual breakfast these days and came back to watch her some more. Her sagging tits jumped beneath her shirt like grasshopper pancakes. I could feel the familiar stirring beneath my shorts, and I smiled, proud of the hardness in me.

She looked up at me suddenly. I smiled. “Hi, I’m Jake. I’m staying here for a few weeks with Carmen. I’m a writer.” It’s so easy to lie to strangers. What kind of writer would I ever be but for some shit reviews and some shittier articles. Suspiciously she looked me up and down, weighing me with her filmy eyes, then, “Where are you from?” I told her, she warmed immediately, “Oh… it’s beautiful there isn’t it, I’d love to go sometime.”

Just like Carmen had promised, this old bitch was full of stories. In her fifty plus years, she’d been a thief, a prostitute, homeless, a liar without morals, an alcoholic, addicted to heroin, a dancer, a some time student, a reader and practitioner of psychology, a spiritualist, and now finally after all that, a writer and a cleaning lady for the rich. I liked her immensely. I downed my beer. “Let’s go for a cigarette.” “Sure I could use one, not getting much done here talking my face off with you.” I went to brush my teeth and put on some clothes, it was raining outside. By the time I got to the porch, she was already halfway done one semi-rolled gnarly looking thing that she held between her two longest fingers. I noticed that though she looked old, her hands looked young. I wondered what those hands could do.

I had a fresh beer and I pulled from it long and lit a smoke. She looked at me, “It doesn’t help you know.” “What?” “The booze, it doesn’t make you any better of a writer.” I finished my beer without a word, handed her my cigarette and went inside to get another beer. It was three o’clock. Three beers by three. A good number. I felt good. When I got back to the porch she had snuffed out my Marlboro and had rolled me a crooked one from her pouch, putting it in my mouth with quick fingers. It was harsh, filterless, but good with the beer.

Ol’ Dolly went on, talking to me about poetry, that old evil language of shit, and I listened. Dolores was fascinating in her descriptions and in her manner of speech. I sat there listening, and smoking, and wondering if she looked good naked. I didn’t much matter. My crotch was burning and needed to be doused in that warm, wet place all women carry.

She stood up and I pinched her ass. She turned quickly, her eyes warning, “What did you do that for?” “Let’s fuck.” “That’s stupid, I’m old enough to be your mother.” “Maybe that’s why I want to fuck.” She looked at me queerly then walked away.

I’m not very clever. What had I done that for. She’ll probably tell Carmen and then where will I be, stuck in this dumb countryside without a penny or a hope or a bed or any of those feverish late night kisses that rarely yielded anything. I was ashamed, and abashed. I finished my beer and grabbed another, the supply seemingly endless, and walked to Carmen’s room to disrobe and climb into bed with my Bukowski.

I could hear her scrubbing out there, in the wide house, maybe downstairs, maybe upstairs. I can never tell with noises and sounds. My senses seem so dull these days. I did a couple pages then grabbed another beer, drinking quickly now to force down that shame. In bed again my hand lingered at my crotch, teasing the softness of it with finger strokes until it was hard enough to squeeze in my palm. My hands were cold from the beer. I closed my eyes and masturbated.

I wasn’t finished when Dolores came charging into the room. “So you want to fuck?”, she asked standing over me, seeing my dick standing tall in my hand, the beer bottles lined up neatly beside the bed, “You’re some young writer and you want to fuck this old bitch do you?” “Yes… I think I do Dolly, yea, I want to fuck, waddaya say Dolly… fuckity fuck, we could do it now.”

She pulled her pants down to her ankles and stepped out of them with a dancers ease. “Keep talking like that, it makes me hot.” Her cunt was as gray as her head, but I didn’t mind. She pulled off her top and her bra and I hurled all manner of dirt at her, calling her an old dirty bitch and telling her that her ass sagged and stunk of tired grapes and rotting flowers. She climbed onto me. I lied back. “You’re sick!”, she yelled it at me, “Put it in me sick boy.”

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t find her pussy in all that mangled grayness. I kept rubbing it against her pubic hair, trying to find some softness in all that coarse sandpaper. “Help me.” She grabbed me with those strong, young fingers and stuffed me inside her. Delightful. Magnificent. She was a whore alright, with a whores cunt and whores looseness, but that didn’t bother me much. She rode me with her hands on my chest, tearing strips from me like streamers, leaving bloody welts that steamed up with blood. She put her lips to the gore then and sucked it all up, and lifted her head, her mouth red and grotesque, like some rabid animal.

I came fast. Too quickly really, but she didn’t stop grinding herself against my softness and then the bone of my pubis until she shuddered, yelped like a hyena and quickly shook herself off me. After that it was a blur. She loped off with her clothes in her hands and I could hear the crash of a door then a toilet flush. I lied there, satisfied. Feeling the acid burn of her nails and the pulsing scars she left on my chest. What a crazy old bitch, I thought. What an angel, my Ol’ Dolly.

I waited a while until the need for another drink, something stronger now, and the urge for a cigarette forced me into some clothes and out of Carmen’s room. I heard the suction humming of a vacuum cleaner and I poured myself a whiskey. I went outside and lit a cigarette, cradling the smoke and the whiskey like some kind of new religion. I had three cigarettes in a row and finished the whiskey. Then I went inside to pour myself another, feeling good, feeling tight and strong and unbeatable. She was there with her vacuum cleaner and she smiled at me as I walked out of the kitchen with a fresh glass. That was all, just a smile and back to work, as if nothing had happened. It was better that way, and I was glad of it. But what did I expect anyway, from an old pro like her.

I went back to Carmen’s room with the whiskey and fixed the sheets, looking for some tell-tale sign of the fuck. Carmen would be pissed if she found out, I think, but nothing could be done now but to straighten up and wait for her to come home and to kiss her and apologize that I was drunk again. Maybe I would write a bit. That always pacified her, knowing that the drinking hadn’t been entirely wasteful. I hoped she came home with some wine.

I laid back to think a bit, taking a deep swig of the whiskey.

Carmen woke me with her kisses. She was all in black just as she’d left. She tasted it on me and saw the half-full glass perched on the records, “You’ve been drinking haven’t you.” “Of course I have, what else is there for me to do but drink.” She kissed me again. “I met Dolores on the way in, she said you two had a fine little chat. I hope you didn’t distract her from her work, she’s a bit lopsided already, given her history.” “Yea, she’s alright that broad, quite the character” Carmen smiled warmly, like the morning sun, “I knew you two would get along.”

We lied in bed for a while together. And I fell asleep again.


5 Responses to The Cleaning Lady

  1. Sydney says:

    Ohhhhhhh my god, I read this in lecture and I was blushing and giggling like crazy.

  2. are you kidding? says:

    Your writing would be better if you weren’t so obsessed with your goddamn cock. Sexist, entitled wish-fulfilling drivel, that’s all this is.

  3. gunslingrrr says:


    This is exactly the type of response I wanted..

    I love my cock, and I love women.. all types of women. Maybe it’s an obsession, but at least it’s the honest truth. The aim here wasn’t to describe the arc of a butterfly as it lopes in between spring-time flowers, rather I was trying organize my voluminous desires in some form of piquant expression.

    An adverse reaction serves me well.. in this case I’d rather see outrage than praise.

  4. Shoes Red says:

    Yur site is excvellent buddy..i like it..keep up the good work ?i recommend it to all

  5. God damn I want a cleaning lady.

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