Ah, the city of Baltimore; it’s beautiful when the city has its act together.
Me and a buddy of mine are going to run this town dry by the end of the night, unless their booze sucks.
A night to remember as you will, it will be fun to recount this in our later years.
Tom, my friend, was homegrown here and by his word, it can “weird” at times; not sure what he met by that.
I’m not even twenty minutes into town when a gal jaywalks in front of me.
”Hey lady!”I call,”I’m drivin’ here, you almost got yourself killed”
”Oh sorry”, she replies,”Hey, I’m running late, could I get a lift”
I didn’t know her, I owed her nothing; why did I say yes.
”Sure, get in the back”
Her mouth smiled,”Thank you, sir”
She hopped in my car, her coat was long and a scarf covered her head; secured under her chin.
Black sunglasses blocked my eyes from seeing her blue ones.
”Where you headed?” I asked
”Columbo Street”,she directed and we were off.
As I drove, she fiddled with her bag and pulled out a tube of lipstick, setting the mixture on her lips to redden them.
”You from here?”I queried.
”Yeah, my parents run a salon and barbershop on opposite ends of the city, I work at The Sixty Million Bar”
“Oh”, I recognized the name as the place me and Tom wanted to visit,”As a tender?”
”Yes”,she replied quickly,”And you?”
”I’m from out of state, up towards Canada”
We chatted as I drew closer to the bar.
”Well thanks”,she said as she exited my convertible,”You’re a life-saver”
”What’s your name?” I asked before I lost her,”I have to ask”
”Malerie”, she smiled,”I gotta go, see ya”
I waved her off and went to Tom’s, he was impressed a girl got into my car.
”I never took for a dawg”
”I just helped out a girl running late for work, nothing more”
“Whatever you say”
We caught up lost time before we went to the bar, apparently his brother got married and his sis had a child; quite a life this man lives.
”We better head out before it gets dark”,he suggested.
We parked and walked into the bar, a swing band played jazz on a stage but something surprised me.
Next to a black man in a white suit, playing the saxophone, was a bald lady in a shiny, silver dress with fur cuffs.
I was taken aback at this culture shock but Tom didn’t seem fazed by the chosen hairdo or lack their of.
”Don’t see ladies with no hair up in that northern state of yours”
”We do have them but their not common”
”Welcome to Baltimore, my friend”,proclaimed Tom.
We took seats at the front bar and drank martinis, we’re classy like that.
”You know”, I chimed,”That girl I serviced”
”She said she was a tender here”,I looked around,”But I don’t see here”
”Oh, man”,he teased me,”She probably one of the dancers”
”Their act is next”
The swing folks finished up their ballad, took a bow, and headed off stage as their applause died down.
”And now, ladies and gentlemen”,announced a voice,”Give it up, for the Baltimore beauties!”
A flurry of flowing dresses and smooth heads occupied the stage; and their she was.
Her red lipstick gave her away and she pretended not to notice me but her eyes still popped when she stood in position.
I raised my glass as music started and the troop danced, lip-syncing to the lyrics.
Her skills were amazing to witness as the song climaxed.
”That’s her in red”, I explained to Tom.
”You-“,he paused,”That’s Malerie, she’s like the best dancer here”
”You know the girls aren’t allowed to date”,he confessed.
”Yeah; it’s the policy”
I was a bit crestfallen that I could only look at her and nothing more; maybe I could speak with her, I guess.
The dresses they wore were removed, revealing paper-thin outfits; you could see their panties and bras and they flaunted that fact.
They flirted through the tables, getting the boys to fall out of their seats in lust.
Malerie came up to me and Tom and as she leaned in and kissed my cheek💋, leaving an imprint of her gloss on me, a little something from her to me.
The girls went back up on stage after their escapade and they said goodbye in their special way.
My heart was lit alight with a passion to be with her.
We continued our drinking fest til Tom was severely tipsy, I knew I had to drive us home.
I got him in the car when I heard,”Hey, wait”
I turned to see Malerie in her street clothes, except without sunglasses.
”I need a ride home”
”Hey, why didn’t you say you part of the Baltimore beauties”
”Oh, I… um…”,she stutter,”Ok, us girls aren’t allowed to-“
”To date, I know”
”Sorry”,I apologized,”It’s just… why’d you lie?”
”I don’t know”, she said,” I guess because I just met you”
We packed into the car and I dropped my boy off at home then took her home.
”How long are you gonna stay in Baltimore?”,she asked.
”I leave in the morning”, I replied.
”Could you stay?”
”I want you to meet my parents”, she smiled; my world crashed and burned and was reborn.
”It’s not what you think, I’m getting my hair done”,she mused at the irony,”It’s been so long since I had it professionally done”
I shrugged,”I guess”
I dropped her off at her place and headed to Tom’s.
He was passed out so I got some shut-eye.
I woke the next morning to Tom cooking breakfast, snacking on some toast as he did.
We ate and I told him I was heading out for some drinks, soft drinks and what not.
He weakly waved goodbye and I went to Malerie’s house.
She came out in Ugg’s, her coat from earlier, and a winter’s cap topped her hairless head.
”Why are you calling me that”, I recoiled.
”It’s like the southerners hun, it’s how we greet each other”,she taught me.
I gave her a thumbs-up and we were off.
She was my personal GPS as I never ventured past the bar.
A barbershop was our destination and she carried me in by the arm.
”Daddy”,she rang out.
Her father was a tall man in a white button-up shirt, grey pants, and short silver hair.
“Baby, who’s the guy?”,the father investigated,”Is he your boyfriend?”
”Actually-“I was interrupted by Malerie.
”Yes, he is”,she replied,”His name is Todd”
That wasn’t my name, what was going on?
The burly father shook my hand greatly and took his daughter back for her shave.
”Oh, he’s so great”,she told of me as I took a seat near the door, she removed her cap and sat in chair; giving her jacket to her pa and relaxing in the leathery, cushioned chair.
I kept my head down as hers was being painted white with the creamy.
”Hey, boy”,the father called me, I sprang up my head,”Yes, sir”
”Come”,he invited and I went to him, only for him to hand me the razor.
I looked at him and he waved towards his daughter; he wanted me to shave her.
I had a trembly hand while he watched but he helped me to calm my nerves for the passes.
Soon, I got the hang of it and cream was soon non-existence on her scalp.
”Very good”,he praised,”Have you ever thought becoming a barber”
He smiled and finished up; a hug later, we were back in the car.
”Why did you call me your boyfriend to your dad?”
”He doesn’t know I’m a dancer at the bar”,she confided in me,”He wants me to settle down and have a family”
”Ok”, I said and seeing her was uncomfortable, I changed the subject; rubbing her head,”I didn’t do that bad of a job”
She laughed, I laughed.