Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Some years ago I spent a bittersweet night with a lactating Panamanian hooker in her tiny rented room. We had lustful, sweaty sex illuminated by the blinking neon sign hanging on the cantina across the street. Her newborn child lay swaddled in a banana crate, stirring occasionally to cough through a restricted wind pipe. Later we lay together, the linen sheets sticking to our tangled bodies, as the sound of street vendors and traffic drifted up from the sidewalk below. A warm bay breeze came through the open window and played gently with the thin curtains.
I woke at dawn, bloodshot eyes and dehydrated, and watched the ceiling fan rotate lazily above. Across the room my temporal lover suckled the child, her lilting Spanish soft and reassuring. I rose and dressed quickly then gave her a perfunctory nod good bye as I opened the door to leave. She looked at me with pleading eyes, the infant still fastened to her breast. I made my exit and caught the bus home.