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abnormally attracted to the choir girl hotel

I don’t know what on earth possessed me to come back here. So much has taken place, been taken from me, and taken me far from the person I was when I stayed here what seems like a lifetime ago. I suppose, like all guests of the Choir Girl Hotel, I was called, woven back in this direction by those red threads.

I recognise the woman behind the concierge counter. She was a guest back then, had come here looking for the man she’d met in a hotel, though I knew even then it couldn’t have been this one. She’d told me he was a spy, though now she thinks he might have been lying, that he may have just been a stealing Starling all along, but thoughts of him have confined her to that desk, ever jealous, ever hoping it’ll be him coming through the door, wondering “where are you now?”…

I hear bashing piano coming from the lounge, and it’s the same singer from all those years ago, though her deep water song about surrender, secrets and diamonds feels shallower somehow as she muses on about whether she left a man who was right for her, or was it if she made the right choice leaving the man she did. I guess that need to be fulfilled still haunts her, either way. Still, she plays one hell of a coda for the audience casually smoking and chatting…

I take a seat at the bar, figuring I’ll have a drink while I learn the new tune. “You’re back”, croaks a woman a little further down the bar. She’s not wearing the platforms anymore, and she has aged a great deal, but it’s her – the woman who grieved herself into a drunk, drugged oblivion. “What do you need?” she asks. I don’t know how to reply. “Love? Blood?” she offers, though she doesn’t look as though she has much supply of either. I say I don’t need anything, but she retorts “Í must” so I say “love” and she tells me to visit the basement girl who used to frequent the restrooms when I was last here...

I’m confronted with a loud, rolling orgy of bodies, moans and growls as I descend. Vulvas, tongues, cum and skin clashes like a Pollock painting while the girl who used to teach guests of all ages, genders and ages how to eat pussy stands over the ruckus shouting “CONCENTRATE!”, educating with ferocity, grinding her way around the room like a pornographic she-Jesus. The power of the feminine in here is intoxicating and berry-scented, I notice femmes in control over their own pleasure. It’s good to know that girl has done so well for herself. I shed my dress and wander into the fray…

The first touch that sends a shiver across my bared flesh comes from a woman I both desired and feared many years ago. Of course she is still here, chewing up men for breakfast, robbing them over lunch to by coke and ripping out their very souls while they try to zip up their pants at the end of the night. I begin to meet her urging, responding mournfully to her advance, and the passion of loathing overtakes our bodies as we hate-fuck each other’s cruelty and optimism. We don’t know who is policing who, but perhaps the answer to the question lies in the question. I stop thrusting and withdraw. I do us both a hard slap in the face and leave the writhing Hades behind…

I need a quick dip in the pool and there’s a luscious woman in broad hat and a dress in a cosmic design lounging, looking over the tropical setting. She was the first woman I met here when I came, it makes sense that she’d make this aquatic setting her home. I dive in to wash off the oils and juices, and open my eyes underwater to see shells and pearls littered across the bottom of the pool. I surface to see her standing over me. I ask if she’s coming in and she says she had found what she was seeking after surviving sickness, death, famine, plague, poverty, heartbreak. She said she had saved Hope for the Earth, and hoped one day to visit the stars. She sat down to write in her notebook, offering me a page to dry myself with as I returned inside smiling…

Taking the elevator to the roof, I wondered what happened to the lost bride, hoping she’d found her fairytale love after all. As the doors opened, I thought I may have gone back in time. There she was, in her wedding dress and veil, stood by the edge. She had married, she said, and borne children, and in so doing lost a great deal of herself in service to her family. Without pride or success or joy, she had wanted to remember the day she didn’t make the chapel, and end her life. Another woman I didn’t notice at first told me to step away and carry on, as two mothers were talking and I am not one. As the doors closed, my tears welled and fell, but I heard the other mother say “you can find that same strength again”…

I get off on the next floor down and wander down the corridors. I stop by an open door to see a woman waking from what seemed at first to be a nightmare, but sounded equally like an orgasm. Right there she began to masturbate and cry into a blue dress. I cannot help but ask her what she’s still doing here, fretting in and out of sleep. “I’ve already lived” she gasps, and indeed she seems dead to me. I kneel down beside her quivering body and begin to pray, though I don;t know who to or what for. All I know is that I hope for more peace than what she has found in pleasure. She takes my clasped hands in hers as she climaxes and promptly returns to sleep. I cover her in the soft black blankets and close the door gently behind me…

When I leave the room, there she is waiting for me. The other mother. I inquire about the bride, and I’m told she’ll be alright, maybe. I thank her for letting me know. “You don’t remember me do you?” she says, and I look closer. When I realise she’s the woman everyone called crisis teams for almost nightly, the woman covered in nicotine patches, the woman rambling about ballerinas and bombs I gasp. “That’s right, we’ve all come a long way. I too had a child like her, but it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, all the things you think you want. Beautiful babies become drug-addled teenagers and attentive husbands become that guy you used to love, and who you continue to let back into your heart and bed, and your desires become small cuts on your legs where no-one can see, so make sure you know where your spark is – where it really is” and abruptly she turns and opens a door to a room and shuts it firmly behind her. She leaves me with a great deal to think about, and I sense some things to atone for in my life…

I turn toward the fire stair for some air. As I leave the four walls I hear an earthy soundscape coming from the parking lot. A woman sings to a group of enraptured young girls some tale about clearing land, and the power of indigenous women, encouraging them that they are bold enough. Although her tone has mellowed, her message is still as potent as the experimental drumming and noise-making she used to jam out all those years ago. A little boy sits by her side, talking solemnly in hushed tones with the parents of the young people. I wished I could make out what he was saying, but I know that by the time I get down, he’ll have gone, off on some crusade. Resigning myself to the mystery, I walk down and enter the floor beneath…

My old room. I knock. The woman I most feared running into opens it. The cruel woman. But something has changed in her. Years and years of carrying others’ grievances and traumas and snide remarks, I can see defeat in her. Madness even. She rambles, she ushers me in, she tells me she feels me. She mutters to herself about remembering, and I’m overwhelmed buy the tragedy of seeing a woman who once was in a great deal of command, though she could be sharp without knowing why, reduced to a heavy-hearted decrepit mind trying to break the chains. While she is distracted by musings on different Americas, I slip out and hide in the room across the hall which is mercifully unlocked.

A voice calls out my dead name in a question. I turn to face her, the heartbreak girl with the funny accent and she cries out “my god what an incredible woman you’ve become!”. I finally feel joy, I feel the reason for my return. To heal the akin heartbreaks that her and I share, as do the person I am today as the person I was when I first visited this place. She is as jovial as I remembered, and wise. She asks me if I’m getting any, and I tell her I am but she can see right through me. She reminds me not to want what I haven’t got, to be grateful for what experiences life has bestowed me. She reminds me that a simple life is a generational demonstration of success, knowing all she knows about me, or what she can intimate with her empathy. I thank her. She tells me lastly that I am enough, and I need no lover to prove that. She recommends I visit some of the new stays downstairs. “They’re not as burdened as we are, though I fear they’ll become as terminal as I”. As I get up to leave she softly calls, Don’t come back too soon, darlin”…

As I reach the restaurant I see three women at a table with a candle-covered cake, singing to an older fourth woman. I can’t tell what they’re singing, I don’t know them that well but they seem cheery and optimistic and saccharine-sweet. I think I’ll go say hello…

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