"You went the whole way? You let this guy feel you up for two hundred dollars. There's a name for that, Carla, and laws, too..."
the deal, and what it amounted to
fiction by larry kimmel
"How was it?"
"Strange," Carla said, shaking her hair loose after taking off her rain protector.
"So what was the deal?"
"The deal was, I modeled for this blind gentleman."
"Dark glasses and everything, and you modeled for him?"
"That's right, and here's the two hundred to prove it."
"You got two hundred dollars? You weren't gone an hour. What did you have to do for two hundred dollars?"
"Stand stock still."
Carla laughed. "It was weird, all right. But okay."
"His wife interviewed me...and, well, I thought what the heck."
"Just like that?"
"Just like that."
"What was the deal, Carla?"
"The deal, dear Steve, was that her husband, who had recently lost his sight, missed seeing women on the street, and in restaurants, and so on, and so she had agreed to hire him models that he could see with his fingers."
"What did this guy have, an eye on the end of his finger? Convenient for viewing parades from the back of the crowd, no doubt, not to mention the gynecological possibilities, why I'll bet--"
"Stee-eve. You know the way blind people touch someone's face to see their features."
"Only he'd be seeing you all over?"
"Something like that."
"Without your clothes?"
"Well, either way."
"Don't tell me. There was more money in it if you were nude?"
"And you did it?"
"How much again?"
"Two hundred dollars."
"Two hundred dollars just to touch you!"
"With your clothes on, or..."
"Well, at first."
"You went the whole way? You let this guy feel you up for two hundred dollars. There's a name for that, Carla, and laws, too."
"It wasn't like that."
"What was it like, then?"
"It was strange. But once it got started it wasn't so bad."
"So you went the whole way?"
"Steve, really. I am a model, you know. I just took my clothes off."
"I'll bet. I'll bet the deal was that he did the undressing so he'd get the feel of things, so to speak."
"And so he undressed you and felt you up?"
"Just down to my panties."
"He didn't feel you down there, then?"
"Well, only lightly. His wife was there the whole time. It was, well, so clinical."
"Like a doctor's examination?"
"Sort of. Sort of."
"Some disclaimer. And his wife was there. Didn't you get the feeling it was just a wee bit kinky, and that maybe you were being a little naive, or being just a teeny bit used?"
"I am a model these days. If we weren't so short on money, I wouldn't have to sit through two hours of ogling by guys pretending they're going to be the next Gauguin."
"You never minded before."
"And neither have you, Mr. Prim."
She's right, Steve thought, after I got used to the fact that I had a wife who didn't mind undressing in public, I got excited thinking about it, and having her tell me about it afterwards in the sack. Why am I upset? What do I care? Two hundred bucks is two hundred bucks.
"So you let this guy, how shall I say, pet you for two hundred dollars?"
"I'm worth it."
Steve relented. "You're right. And if I could get this damn novel finished, I could go back to work at something, and you wouldn't have to--"
"Two hundred dollars isn't bad, honey. It will buy us a good night out. We could use a good night out."
Then Steve thought I could fake it and do the same. I could wear dark glasses and do the same. Have girls over and feel them up. When he told Carla, she laughed.
"You'd give yourself away by reaching for what you wanted without fumbling."
"No. I'd use mirror glasses, and I could keep my eyes shut to make my moves authentic and just open my eyes when I'd got ahold of something."
All of a sudden, Carla seemed flustered and blushed beet red, which was not at all like her.
"What is it?"
"Well, he was wearing mirror glasses." She laughed a little uneasily.
"And you said that his wife was there. What did she do? I mean--"
"They went into another room...when he was done...feeling me...up...."
"Ah so it was kinky. What did you do? -- have to do?"
"All I did was stand there--"
"And let him feel you up, naked to your panties, and then what else?"
"That's it Steve. I modeled--"
"Back to that, huh?"
"I modeled, and when they left the room, I dressed, picked up my two hundred dollars--that's two hundred dollars for fifteen minutes work--and let myself out as arranged."
"Why did you blush, a moment ago, when I mentioned wearing mirror glasses?"
"I just thought...what you thought, and... Damnit Steve, lets get under the covers. I'm understandably in need of your attentions."
"It'll cost you two hundred dollars. I'm not some cheap stud you can pick up in a bar, you know...and don't laugh Carla, I mean it."
"Come off it Steve, it's our money. Besides,"--she touched him on the nose--"there's no profit it doing it that way, silly boy."
"Right. I am silly, silly enough to think that your other assents were mine too, not to be auctioned off to the highest bidder."
"Steve! Will you cut it out? Why does it bother you so much? You haven't minded my modeling for those art classes with all those eyes on me, and you know they weren't all artists. What's the difference if the client sees with his eyes or his hands?"
"I'm sorry, honey. I don't mean to be jealous, but I keep seeing this old geezer pawing you and--"
"Oh no, it wasn't like that at all. He was our age."