DR. TREVOR BRAEBURN WANDERS the East Village aimlessly, taking in the sights. Mesmerized, he watches young men and women with bright green and dark purple Mohawks, lit joints, glowing ominously, dangling from their lips lurking on street corners. Cheap gold nose rings dangle from their noses, like errant bulls. Three thick, gold loops hang from each ear, weighing them down. Trevor catches a glimpse of a silver, two-gauge piercing; a miniature barbell piercing a tongue when one of the punks opens his mouth wide to yawn. His girlfriend’s spiky, magenta hair makes her look like a deranged porcupine hell-bent on destruction. Another guy has an intricate fire tattoo encircling his thick neck – flames grow angry red, ablaze with passion. Deep orange, pale yellow, finally fading at the tip to a faint, cool blue. When he speaks, the flames near his Adam’s apple flicker wildly in time with his heated words.
Sulfur streetlight ricochets off a mishmash of gold piercings and silver studs, casting the clan in an uncanny, metallic glow. Black leather collars with pointed, silver spikes fortify their necks, emphasizing their irrepressible tendencies.
Dressed in a dark blue suit, crisp white shirt, and a bright red tie, the doctor is defiantly outside his element, but the punks pay him no mind, lost in a mellow haze, tripping balls. Trevor inhales deeply, coaxing some of the pale, green smoke, for a much needed secondhand buzz. A whiff of instant relaxation eases his unbearable stress. His hands throb – a piercing pain – after another grueling day at the hospital. Bulging veins snake their way around his bony knuckles, forming a battered lifeline.
Feeling mellow, Trevor moves on, inexplicably drawn to Anatomy Bar on East 6th Street, tucked between Avenues A and B, easily overlooked due to its obscure location. The name gives him pause – it seems like the perfect place for the doctor to enjoy a Martini. His heart quickens; he takes a deep breath, struggling to contain his excitement.
The dark, warm, interior beckons; precisely what he craves after a disparaging day in the O.R. The Cure chants in the background, evoking a somber scene. He remembers listening to that band but being unable to recall lyrics at various bars near Columbia University. Despite their intelligence, Ivy League girls had simple taste in music; that got him laid practically every night. Tolerance had its privileges.
Unusual purple and red candles flickering hypnotically on cozy tables scattered around the narrow space, and across the length of the bar catch his eye. The curious combination conjures up a host of intense emotions: desire, passion and pain.
Strategically placed, so that no two tables or sections of the bar display the same color; each candle is encased in round glass containers, purple with green and a smattering of white around the rim; they remind him of deformed grapes. The red ones resemble bright, candy apples with whipped cream melting down the sides, a twisted take on Cherries Jubilee. Pale purple and furious red flames—draw him in – sparking his curiosity. He edges closer to the bar, drinking in his surreal surroundings.
Across the Technicolor din, the doctor locks eyes with a sweet, young thing ripe for the picking; a voluptuous vixen with straight, platinum blonde hair nursing a bright blue drink. Her intense stare dares him to look away. Caught in the crossfire, his eyes lock on hers. The girl’s slender fingers envelop the delicate Martini Glass, moving hypnotically up and down the thick stem. Her luminous, locks graze pale shoulders. Steel-tipped, platform shoes demand a closer look; black patent leather so shiny the doctor can see she’d not wearing any panties; he even catches a brief glimpse of her bare twat when she uncrosses her legs for a moment … The girl wears black fishnet stockings, with a small hole just below her left knee. A sleeveless, black dress exposes a hint of her sumptuous breasts and ends right below her thighs.
“I couldn’t help noticing your drink – it looks intoxicating.” Trevor slides silently onto the empty barstool next to her without being invited. Even slouching, he casts a shadow over the girl, an imposing figure that demands closer inspection.
She cranes her swanlike neck, tilting her head coyly for a good look at her curious, new visitor, tall and slim, a welcome intrusion in a room of delusion.
Their palpable attraction hangs heavy in the air, overpowering, like a humid August night.
“It packs quite a punch and it matches my eyes, but that’s not why I ordered it …” The girl dips a finger into the Martini Glass and runs it along the rim, creating a haunting melody.
Some patrons stop chatting for a moment, trying to pinpoint the spontaneous serenade; drawing a blank, they quickly return to their conversations.
He slicks back black hair quickly, covering a bald spot. “Are you feeling blue?”
“Not really – I just like to shake things up to make sure I’m seen. You know, break the monotony in favor of some excitement.” She smiles, turns towards the tall, handsome stranger; her pale, blue eyes focus on his soft, brown ones. “I like your red tie. It really pops against that dark blue suit and really makes your presence known.”
“I wanted to be noticed for a change. Glad it worked. Sometimes it’s hard to stand out in a big, bad city like New York. Most of the time I feel invisible. Know what I mean?” The doctor rubs sweaty hands along his thighs.
“Definitely.” The girl nods slowly. “I know what you’re thinking: Who would name their daughter Ruby if she doesn’t have red hair? I get that question all the time … I used to have strawberry blonde locks, but I got tried of that color and the cliché that went with it, so I decided to go bold and shake things up.”
“I’m glad you did. I noticed you right away – you’re a beacon of hope on a dreary night. You really brighten up the room.” The doctor rests his large hands in his lap and tries to settle down. “What are you drinking?”
The girl giggles. “It’s called Blue Balls. Ever had it?”
Blushing, he crosses his legs and shifts slowly in his seat. “Once in college after not having sex for a month. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It hurt like Hell … Once was enough, believe me – I couldn’t walk straight for days.”
She rolls her eyes and points to her half-empty Martini Glass. “TMI. I meant the drink, silly!”