He was the fifty years old, with the haunted handsomeness of Steve McQueen. He wasn’t interested in starlets and gorgeous lady chemists. He went after waifs. He would seduce them with lines from Emily Dickinson about a wounded deer and voyages into eternity. And then he would pounce. There was nothing flamboyant about his moves: a single flower, dinner at a quiet bistro, and then a slight flutter in one eye as Dr. Jekyll turned into Mr. Hyde. It would have been comical, the tryst in the hotel room, the flower dug into the waif’s hair, until he started slapping her around. But Marla’s Indians had always been there for damage control. Hector and Paul would wash the girl’s face, give her ten thousand in cash, send her home in a cab, wake Marcellus out of his torpor, and drive the billionaire to his Westchester estate.
Marla from Jerome Charyn’sBitter Bronx — Thirteen Stories
Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.