A sickly sweet aroma of a cheap perfume mixed with the stale ugly odor of a smoldering cigarette and the pungent smell of an old onion permeated the air of her office. When I opened the door the mixture of the odors hit me the face or better yet, they slapped me in the face.
She was leaning back in a seedy swivel chair with her feet on her desk. Her skirt was about a foot above her knees and I knew that if I walked to the left where she was pointing at a chair I would be able to see what most women, at least decent women, do everything thing they can to hide. I thought of the old grade school ditty..."I see London, I see France, I can see your underpants." If I were still in grade school I may have been interested...no excited...but I wasn't in grade school. I walked to the right and leaned against the wall. She watched me with an arched eye brow, shrugged her shoulders and removed her feet from the desk.
She said, "Mz. Johanson will be with you in a moment."
She swiveled her chair and her legs so that I could catch a glimpse of "France" before her wrinkled skirt could do the job it was designed to do. I saw the flash coming and was able to watch a bus through her grimy windows and avoid that which I did not want to see.
It's not that I'm gay, or a priest or a Casper milk toast when it comes to women and sex. I'm normally as horny as the next guy but I choose to separate my animal lust from my human behavior and I prefer to court a woman in the old fashioned way. I ask her out, we eat, we talk we have a couple of drinks and if the sparks fly, the clothes fly.
Women have never been able to light my pipe by flashing me with a cheap shot of "to much cleavage" or "to much leg". I put that in the same category as me standing on the corner with nothing on but an overcoat and then flashing women with my naked equipment. The unfair part about the whole flashing world...the men get arrested...but, eventually, the women get laid.
I leaned against the wall wondering what the hell I had got myself into. The female I was looking at certainly didn't represent the image I had been given of Andrea Johanson and there was no other door into or out of the office other that the one I came in. I had decided I had been given some kind of bull shit story or someone was really playing a bad joke on me. I turned to leave before the joke got any worse.
But, when I started for the door, the intercom on Mz Flasher's desk squawked and belched some static and a voice said something about sending someone somewhere.
Flash said, "Mz. Johanson will see you now. She's on the second floor, room 269."
"That's all you need," my mind said.
I left the office and turned for the door that would put me back out on the street. After a few steps, I changed my mind and decided I had come this far I might as well at least talk to her. I didn't have to stay if I didn't like what I saw.
I walked the flight of stairs to the second floor. I never take an elevator. I climb the stairs and if it's over twenty floors they can meet me in Starbucks on the first floor.
I located Mz. Johanson's office towards the back of the building and rapped softly on the glass pane with my knuckles. When I opened the door I expected to see a repeat of the mess I left below but I was very pleasantly surprised by an office that looked like it would fit right in with the snobby bastards on 52nd street.
I was surprised by the office, but Mz. Johanson took my breath away. She was the very essence of everything I thought classy and sophisticated. She wasn't what the idiots in New York or Hollywood portray as beautiful. Her face was oval but not plump and certainly not shaped in V, preparing her to look like a witch in her later years. When she rose to greet me she presented a figure that wasn't slim and bony but not plump either. She filled out her business attire in the right places but nothing hung out to divert attention from her striking blue eyes.
The aroma and the decor of her working atmosphere made me feel at home and at ease. I can only describe the entire aura of what I was looking at, feeling, sensing and tasting, (yes, tasting, because a bad scene or appearance can leave a very bad taste in one's mouth)...
...as a fragrance of presence, odors and dignity.
next week...where will the prompt take this story?
Who is Mz. Johanson...
Who is our hero (or villain) and what is he seeking from the lovely lady in the office of fragrance...
Why the difference between the two women...
Can I tie in part 1 with the next prompt from our gracious host Mrsupole...