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Star Girl Withdrawal

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.

Paradise on a dirty boulevard

Paradise on a dirty boulevard

Leo felt a familiar ping of arousal when he saw the marquee along the dirty boulevard. The ping metastasized to be a reawakening beast that was pushing hard in his lower extremities. His heart palpitated as his hands became drenched in sweat. That beast was working him hard, and Leo knew what it wanted.

It had been a long time since he had this feeling. Something he remembered on lonely days before he met his wife. Before he quelled the beast so many years ago. And, before he turned his back on the place he once called paradise.

His hands began to shake as the Star Girl marquee and windowless building came into view. The utter joy he had there. That was what the beast wanted. But, this place was off limits, now. Despite how much his demanding and spendthrift wife made him long for those days.

“Should I or shouldn’t I?” he whispered out loud. His conscience screamed “No!” But that beast screamed louder....

Now, it was before him. And he was on fire. The temptation was still there. His panting increased as his other spirit, his conscience, began debating with the beast within.

“Should I or shouldn’t I?” he whispered out loud. His conscience screamed “No!” But that beast screamed louder until Leo felt compelled to pull into the strip mall across the street. The struggle within was so overpowering that he had to pull over to make up his mind (or to let these two sides within duke it out).

The amenities of the strip mall made things more stressful for Leo. In a corner was a credit union’s ATM kiosk.

The dirty boulevard

The dirty boulevard

“Come on, Leo,” that wicked voice within said. “ You know you want to. Go for it.”

As an added reminder, his memory began flooding back to those good old days when the likes of Honey, Star Fire, and Asia gave mileage a whole new meaning (of course it was YMMV -- your mileage may vary) when a few more dead presidents were added to the mix.

Just thinking of those girls was enough for him to open the door.

“Don’t do this,” his conscience piped in.

“Shut up! I’m getting some!” the beast within answered.

Powered by his memories and the temptations for more, Leo had his wallet and card out before he reached the machine. A sense of elation swarmed through him as he was tempted to take the next step.

“Think about it,” his conscience kept saying. But, Leo wasn’t listening. Instead, he thought of his wife, overspending, overindulging. Sometimes he thought she was after his money and making it difficult, even if he loved her. But she got the pleasure, and he got little in return.

Ice cold realization poured onto Leo. “What the…” was all he could muster to say.

I deserve this, he thought to himself. The beast within was elated.

The moment of truth: he placed the card in, hit the PIN and asked for a withdrawal of $300 from checking. The machine took its time. Leo placed an impatient hand near cash the withdrawal.

But the machine didn’t spit it out. Instead it beeped and went silent. He stared at the screen which read: “ We’re sorry, we cannot make the translation due to insufficient funds.”

Ice cold realization poured onto Leo. “What the…” was all he could muster to say.

He tried his savings. The same results; his accounts were drained. He stood there, dumbfounded for a moment. His card was spit back to him. He snatched it and stuffed it in his wallet. He didn’t want to bother with the statement that churned out a moment later.

The beast that aroused when it saw the Star Girl was withdrawn, as well. Leo felt nothing as he gazed across the street. He gripped his wallet hard, as he realized that his chance for sweet relief was all but gone, and possibly for good.

It was time to go home. His wife expected that. “It’s the right thing to do,” his conscience reminded him.

“Oh, shut up!” Leo muttered.

He came to realize something: once upon a time, the girls at Star Girl had him under their spell. Now only one woman had him under her control. Not even the beast can break this spell, and his conscience is too confused to rebel.

One person got him by the wallet. And with that, he took that now useless piece of leather and put it in his pocket.

She has control.

She has control.

© 2022 Dean Traylor