Skolnik Page 10
women wouldn't go near him. Things just went from bad to worse. He felt like a giant beach ball rolling down a hill.
     If anyone wanted a whore at the hotel for one of the rooms it was usually Tom who took care of it. He just gave Flo a ring. She didn't necessarily come herself. If she was busy she gave the trick to one of her friends. Tom thought of himself as having a special relationship with Flo. She never took money from him up front and she'd let him kiss her on the mouth which made him come in two seconds flat, which may have been her intention though he liked to believe it wasn't. Tom was small in every respect. He'd always been self-conscious with women despite his bravado at the front desk. She called him her little boy and liked to ask him when she was in an especially playful mood if this was his first time and he had to swallow his pride and play along. Aside from Flo there was nobody, but otherwise he led a busy life. He'd been sleeping with whores since he was a kid and hadn't

been with a straight woman more than once or twice. Straight women wanted to get under your skin and run your life. He'd been crazy once about a pint-sized girl who drove him wild and she'd seemed just right for him, they would be two little people in their own little world, but she wanted things too, things he didn't have to give, and the thing had run its course. That had been his best shot. He knew there'd never be another unless a miracle occurred.
     Dick took good care of his wife when he was home. He pampered her and sat her outside with a blanket on her lap when the sun was out. Sometimes he fixed the meals. She was pretty much an invalid now and her hair was gray like his and they hadn't slept together for years though sometimes he could tell she wanted to. She'd been an active woman, running a little stationery shop. He was driving a van for one of her suppliers at the time and that was how they'd met. He'd moved into her neat little apartment and then they'd bought the home, figuring they