tagMaturePlaid Ties and Neon Lace

Plaid Ties and Neon Lace

byMSTarot©

Monday had been a normal enough day. Tuesday was boringly the same. So, why the hell did Wednesday have to be such a trip to the Twilight Zone? No, alright it wasn't the whole day that was weird, just from about that moment that I went to the copier to run off about thirty pages from the Giger file ... hum, maybe that should have been the clue for me.

Giger, weird shit.

Yeah, I should have seen it as an omen of things to come.

Okay, well what happened is when I opened the copier I happened to find there was already a piece of paper in the top. Someone had left their master copy behind when they were done using the copier. I've done that myself a few times. I've just never left a multi-colored, erotically-graphic flier for, and I'll quote...

~ Saturday Night at the Palace Rave~

~Half price drinks all night~

~Amateur strip review~

~Live BDSM show~

* * * * *

NEON LIFE

*

Born Eternal

*

Fractured Groin

*

And a half dozen other bands

Must be over 21 to enter


~"The hottest Rave/Orgy there has ever been."~

With pictures that were more than lurid enough to back up that claim. Now holding this flier, I couldn't help myself; I had to look around at the totally prudish people I work with. Who in this place would go to something like this? Straight-laced, a bunch of suit and tie office workers, who would be the type to go do something like this? Glancing around me, I folded the bright colored piece of paper and stuffed it into my pocket.

Who?

There are only a few young people that I work with it might could be, but I for the life of me couldn't begin to imagine any of the other "Fuddy Duddies" my own age or older, going to even a regular bar. Let alone going to something like what this flyer was advertising.

Returning to my desk, I wiggled the mouse and brought back up my screen, but suddenly the normal intricate rhythms of data and code were nothing I wanted to ponder. My head was filled with trying to put a face to the flyer. Could it be Regina in reception? She's young, or maybe Timothy in I.T support? He's a bit too much of a momma's boy, but who knows? Maybe that is all an act? Maybe he spends his weekends at some club...

Na ... he's a World of Warcraft geek. If he had that much of a life it would surprise me greatly. Or maybe ...?

"Hey, Jimbo!"

Looking up from the screen I was not really looking at, I felt that instant of guilt when my eyes met with my boss, Mike Brandon's steely gaze. He surely didn't know I was daydreaming? He...

"Jim, I need you to also do a review of the Pittman account. See if you can find us a loop-hole in their Maretty cases files. There something there ... I can... almost see it every time I look through it. You found us one, find another."

"I'll give it a look," I promise with a hidden sigh. Four more hours of work, and that's if I find what he thinks he's seeing. I have to give Mr. Brandon credit, though. He does find more ways of not paying people the money they are owed than anyone I have ever known. "Let me finish this last page on the Giger account and I'll get right on it."

"Good work with that by the way. Try to have your report about it on my desk in the morning... sorry Monday morning. The days are running together." He flashed that ten thousand dollar smile that wins him new accounts. "Have you a good weekend, Jimbo. "

"I'm going to give it a good try," I said nodding, wishing my smile was ten thousand dollars. "You too."

He hadn't walked ten feet away when he called back to me with the line I was expecting.

"Pittman, Monday Morning," he called. "Right?"

"I've got it. See you then." I half waved and turned to my screen. Why can't he ever just leave without the last word?

"Good job, Jimbo."

With a hidden sigh, I went back to my screen of endless numbers and account data. I hate the name, Jimbo.

I was about to pull the flier back out when hearing someone else coming down the hall, I quickly folded the paper and stuffed it back into my pocket. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw my other boss-our company vice president, Mark Casin. When our eyes met he came to a sudden stop and stuck his head in the door.

"About ready for the Giger presentation?" he asked.

"Printing out the copies right now, be ready in about ... twenty minutes" I promised knowing I really only needed about ten to get everything together.

"Good man. I'll go round up the troops." Mr. Casin gave me that approval smile he gave out so rarely. But how often does a guy as junior in the main corporate office as me catch a mistake and save the owner over fifty thousand dollars a month for the next two years? Given the odds, I had probably made his "Atta-boy" list for the next few months no matter how badly I screwed up on anything else.

As I sorted my amended file copies into neat piles, I looked around me at the faces. These plain, hardworking, church on Sunday, call their mother's on Mother's Day, walking talking high dollar suits, with their silk five hundred dollar ties, and a new Beemer in their private parking spots. Who the hell among them would go to a Rave/Orgy? It would be like Marilyn Manson with a drag queen on his arm, at a Republican convention. Not what you would expect to see.

"Humph. I wonder." I mutter as I gather up my files. I shook It off and with a noticeable bit of pride went to go make my boss a million dollars plus.

** ** ** ** ** ** **

"Joanne? ... No."

"Albert? ... No."

"William? ... No."

Sitting at my home desk, I ticked off another name on the list and sat back tapping my bottom lip with my pen.

"Jeff, no. David, no. Wallace ... oh hell no! Emily ... not a chance in living hell. She's a poster child for right-wing conservative weekly."

Taking a sip of my coffee, I looked back at the flyer, now creased and slightly crumpled. Who? And why in the hell was this buggin' the shit out of me so? I knew that answer just as soon as I asked it. My job. That terrier with a rat mentality, that makes me great at what I do, just doesn't want to be turned off. The idea that someone I work with keeps this kind of secret hidden from me ... it's like a mosquito by my ear.

Picking up my cup, I drain the dregs and ponder a second pot. Maybe if I ...

"Enough! Enough Jim, just let it go already."

Shutting down my laptop, I left my cup to sit forgotten and went to the closet to get my running shoes. Maybe burning off some of this mental funk with a little late-night PT. I smiled as I slipped the well-worn shoes on. My high school R.O.T.C. Instructor would be laughing his head off to see me wanting to go for a run. He swore once that he could herd chickens easier than get me to run.

Out the door-spare keys under the fake rock by the half dead rosebush-I headed down Allen Street towards the park. I stopped at my normal stretching points. That high metal rail right before the Texaco that can just make the backs of my thighs burn. The concrete incline that I always use to get to just that one impossible to get to muscle that I will pull if I don't stretch it first.

Through the wrought iron gates and into the park I picked up the pace. The first lap around the lake gets a good muscle burn going. Then I veered off the running track and started across the grass. A few sleeping pigeons take wing as I run.

Who? I thought as I ran. I mean I thought I was the only one at the office with a bit of freak in his background. And, even with me, you have to go back more than a decade ... okay, a decade and a half.

Who?

This was going to bug me till I found out. It was taking the pleasure out of my run; it was going to keep me awake tonight.

Suddenly, I decided that what I needed was a trip down memory lane. That might inspire me to figure out who was enough like I had once been to go to a rave. Call a few old friends; see if they were still alive. Not in jail. Not in a rehab. Nah, I shrugged off that thought almost as quickly as it came, we had nothing in common anymore. I learned that the last time I did that round of calls.

Maybe I needed to make a quick stop for a few promotion celebrating beers.

The Question, constantly invading my thoughts, had stopped any gloating I might feel over my promotion completely by the time I got home from my run. I had a shower and gave myself over to wasted time looking at the damn flier again. It was a dozen colors of neon ink that I'm sure used up half the ink supply on our office printer. Sitting there in my recliner sipping on beer number five, head buzzed nicely, I felt a wave a nostalgic longing sweep over me looking at this flier. I'd seen so many like it before. Getting to up, I went to the hall closet and moving my puffy winter coats to the side and slid the big, old, black footlocker out into the hall.

The top was still covered with layers of old stickers, a collage of glued down band fliers. Of course, all of them far cheaper looking that the one I had found at work. I let my hand linger over the faded pictures of people that had once been so important to me, so much a part of my life.

The smell of leather assaulted me when I opened the lid. That and a cedar reek from the chest itself. I shook my head at the disordered junk the big chest contained. Disordered junk, yeah that would have been a good description of myself to the last time I opened this thing. Other old photos brought smiles, even as old clothes brought sighs of lost youth. A chuckle came when I saw my bracelets. At one time I had collected bangle bracelets from the women I slept with. I had worn them like badges of male stud pride.

Now it seemed almost silly.

Sitting on the floor of the hallway, looking at old photos and sipping my way through more beer, was how I passed the night on what had to be one of the strangest days in years.

** ** ** ** ** ** **

How could Thursday and Friday have been such normal days? How? Someone in this office was getting ready to go to an orgy! I found myself looking at every face, trying to judge who. Okay, admittedly there were a few that even the idea of that happening was revolting. Mrs. Carmichael? Oh, hell no way. If it was her I would need gallons of eye-bleach.

The thing is it just didn't fit. Oh, I know you don't really know the people around you, but this was too much of a leap into the wild side for any of these people.

As Friday afternoon crawled to an end, I began to watch for signs of excitement in my fellow coworkers. How the originator of that flier could not be getting hyped up I couldn't guess.

Nope.

Faces calm as an oil painting of cows.

In fact, I was the only one agitated. I had to know. I had gone too far down a road to quiet madness to not know which of these people hid that kind of life. By the end of the day, I knew I was going to a rave.

Time to get my old trunk back out.

** ** ** ** ** ** **

I had the music cranked.

Standing naked in my bedroom I let my eyes roam over my body for a minute. Well ... at least body wise I'm better than I was last time I wore the clothes on the bed. Dedication and peer pressure driven endless mornings in a gym had at least given me the body I always wanted. Now if I could just turn back the clock a decade. I eyed the few white hairs trying to come in above my ears.

Picking up the worn, black leather jeans I considered underwear only to reject that as sacrilegious, given that I had never worn these pants anyway but commando. As I slid them up my legs I felt memory chills. How many times, how many years had these things been like a second skin to me?

The tight fitting black pirate shirt had been a gag gift from my aunt, little had she known it would quickly become my favorite piece of clothing. Insanely comfortable, never seemed to get dirty, and looked incredible on me no matter how I wore it. Tucking the shirt in, I pulled the leather jeans up over my hip bones and buttoned the fly.

Looking at the bed, I debated the red brocade vest. Too Goth to be steampunk, too steampunk to be Goth had been a friend of mine's observation one night a decade plus ago. Just how out of place at the Rave would I be?

Did I care?

No. I don't give a shit. As thought that I felt again the old me. The me that had once known more how to strut than how to walk. Why had I packed that part of me away? Just because I had gotten older? Because I had to cut my hair to work the jobs I was after?

Looking at the mirror that hair was so out of place now. I imagined those long black locks, with the blasé indifference to any style, where they should have been. That red widow's mark-I had religiously worn dyed into my hair for a decade-was now a home for a few stray gray hairs. Well, necessity mother of invention and all that shit.

Going to the bathroom, I took the temporary red hair dye I had bought earlier today and applied some of it to my comb. The old red dye I had once used was no longer made and it was far from temporary anyway. I combed the color in liking the look after a moment. Not as old me as I would like but it would do.

Nodding my head to the beat of a song by Bauhaus, that I had once worn out CD players by having it on continuous play for days, I stared at myself. Why had I left this? Looking in the mirror, I saw again the older me. Maybe the hidden tattoos on my back, arms and shoulders had faded a bit, maybe there were a few crow's feet wrinkles starting to form at my eyes, but he was still in there. A little shadowing with kohl eyeliner and those lines vanished. I wished I had taken the time to go find a new pair of my contacts. The white on white eyes in a circle of black had always been stunning, but my normal blue now gave me an icy look that was okay.

Picking up my vest, I shrugged into it, buttoned the gold buttons into place and moved my arms to settle the sleeves better. The deep crimson red against the black awoke every memory that I had been sober enough to keep. I breathed deep feeling the slight constricting feeling of the vest; I didn't have this muscular of a chest back in the day.

Getting out my boots, I debated my collection of sex-gathered bracelets, as I buckled the boots on tight to my calves. Truth be told, dressed like this, I almost felt naked without the weight of those dozens of metal rings on my arms. But naked can be fun too.

With the folded Rave flier in my inner front vest pocket, I knelt down to rub my cat's ears. She brushed my black boots scratching herself against the brushed-nickel buckles.

"Be back late, my little huntress."

I swear she purred louder hearing her old nickname.

** ** ** ** ** ** **

I could have found the Rave just by sound from a block away. How it was not being raided by the cops is a miracle probably involving cash payoffs. Stepping out my cab, I handed the man a twenty and left him with the change for a tip. I might have short changed him a bit but those endless miles with Nicki Minaj blaring had to be paid for.

Line at the door? Doorman a slab of meat?

Nope.

Just a punk ass kid in purple vinyl M.C.Hammer wannabe pants collecting cover charges. He could have been walked past; I had to all but wake him up to give him the ten.

LIGHTS!

My god in heaven at the fucking neon-colored laser display! As my eyes began to adjust to the strobes the heavy dance bass began to become more noticeable. A deep chest-thumping, breath-stealing industrial mixture of a dozen synthetic sounds. They came in waves like the lights, almost painfully loud then silence, then loud, ear splitting loud. Then silence.

It was in one of those quiet moments that I heard a snide comment.

"Who invited grandpa, and what the fuck is he supposed to be?"

Grandpa? Now I might be about ten years older than the next oldest person here, but grandpa? I looked over at him, took two steps closer and leaned in.

"I'm the guy that used to ass fuck your mother," I said to him nearly whispering. Of course, the music had come up to a thunderous level as I spoke.

"WHAT?" he asked confused.

Looking up, I saw that his girlfriend had read my lips. Her eyes, already Anime outlined, were the size of dinner plates. I gave her a smile as the music went lower. "I said nice..." Music up. "...haircut you little Emo bitch. Do they do men's hair where you got it done?"

"I CAN"T UNDERSTAND YOU!" He yelled over the music as his girlfriend bust out laughing. I gave her a wink.

"I know," I said, as the music came back down. "Loud in here isn't it?" Music up "Nice night to let your girlfriend there fuck you with a strap-on, right?"

"YES, IT IS!" he yelled.

Leaving his girlfriend about to pee herself and him completely confused, I wandered towards the bar. Looking over the crowd I saw I wasn't as alone in the dark Goth look as I had thought I would be. I saw a few cyber type goths and a couple of Marilyn Manson posers. I did seem to be the only old school type, but what the hell.

"WHAT...Can I get you?" asked the bartender as the music rose and fell.

Old demons awoke at so simple a question. The desire for what I know he didn't have. Absinthe or Sambuca would have been my first choice but the chance of find that that here would be nil. Equally, my other liquid desires would be hard to come by. But maybe...

"Bacardi 151? Unless you have Jager or Goldschlager?"

He gave me a grin, waited for the music to lull, and nodded. "I have all three."

"Let's start with the Jager then!" I had to lean forwards to by his ear for him to hear me.

"GOOD CHOICE!" he yelled, nodding. He went to fix my drink. Oh, and I saw he kept it in the freezer! Oh my god a bartender after my black little heart.

My black little heart?

How long had it been since I thought of myself that way? Sipping highly alcoholic liquid black licorice, I pondered that as I moved about the crowd doing what I came here for.

Looking for a familiar face.

The first problem had to be the age factor. Like the kid had hinted at when he called me grandpa, there was a non-spoken age cap of about twenty-seven here. Oh, there were a couple of thirty-year-old Geritol cases, still years younger than myself, but that was it and most of the people from the corporate office are in their mid-forties, if not older.

I was just on the edge of giving it up, figuring it had been some sort of prank when I saw her.

I smiled.

"Who would have fucking thought," I muttered as I made my way towards my boss's daughter. The young Miss Abigail Casin, junior secretary in training, not going to be given a leg up in the company unless she earned it, princess of the Secretary Pool. Dainty to look at, in her normally ultra-conservative office wear I had to smile to see her now.

Her hair was blue. A blue so neon it was eye-blindingly bright. And she had the same shade eyeliner and lipstick. Then there were the glowing extensions, like white ribbons spinning as she danced. A loose blouse, with a very visible blue bra, and a frilly skirt. Her normally short looking legs were encased in glowing fishnets, and blue garters showed just above her knees.

I moved to stand right in front of her.

Dancing she turned and saw me, frowned, then shrugged and began to dance with me. Not that I was dancing. After a moment she noticed this. Blinking she made a "what?" gesture.

I unfolded the original copy of her flier and held it in front of her face. Then I leaned into right beside her ear.

"You left it in the copier at the office. You should be more careful, Abigail," I said softly.

Her mouth dropped open into a perfect "O" as her eyes began to frantically look at my face. I saw when the moment of recognition set in and smiling, I nodded.

Abigail caught my arm and began to violently drag me across the room, past the DJ's set up and into a long hallway. As I was pulled past rooms with the doors covered in gauzy curtains I got to see the orgy part of the party the flier told about. She pulled me past these into an empty room at the end of the hall.

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