Black Sun - White Sand
Black Sun - White Sand
Betty looked up at the clock. She had been waiting for over two hours and it was nearly four in the morning. She had left work just after the last show and though she had stopped long enough to put on a simple pull-over dress and flat shoes, she hadn't taken the time to change anything else and still wore the black net stockings that Alberto demanded all of his cocktail waitresses wear. Her dress was of an unadorned ivory color and with its bare shoulders and low back hugging tightly against her dark skin it tended to accent her nicely rounded hips and slim waist line.
Shifting her weight from foot to foot she rested her hand on her hip for a brief moment and in the process remembered that she also hadn't changed out of the tiny "G" string that she used in her dancing act. She felt the ridge of the tight elastic band around her waist and noticed that it and the garter belt that held the stockings in place were beginning to become uncomfortable in the sticky heat. Again she looked at the clock, noted the wasted hours and silently wished she had taken the time to change into her regular underwear.
She gazed down at her shoes and smiled, thankful that she had, had the good sense to put on a pair of flats rather than continue to wear the stiletto high heels that were also part of the compelled wardrobe for the girls that worked at the Club Techatl. "Techatl," the thought drifted through her mind, "it was supposed to be some sort of Aztec god that Alberto had named the club after."
Finally her turn at the receptionist desk came and as she heard her number called and stood to walk over she noticed that the medical center smelled strongly of disinfectant. She also noticed that even at four in the morning the place seemed to be a chaos of human bodies rushing here and there but going nowhere. Somewhere someone was screaming. "Friday night at the zoo," she mumbled as she heard the blaring siren of an arriving ambulance and leaned forward on the small white counter with her numbered ticket in her hand. Waiting for the receptionist to acknowledge her presence and wanting to make sure she could hear what she said when she did Betty turned her head in an attempt to minimize the distress placed on her ears by the mixed clamor of human and mechanical noises that seemed to continually reverberate through the hallway. But it was a futile effort for she quickly found that simply changing cranial position did little to provide relief from the pandemonium of tones that seemed to be crying out in anguish to a neglecting world.
Waiting for the sound of the siren to die down a little and in an absent minded moment she looked up and noticed that the overhead lights were encased in wire baskets and seemed extremely bright. She shaded her eyes and as she did so she heard a voice from behind the glassed enclosed reception area say, "They're bright for a reason sugar. Stabbings, gunshots, drugs--we get them all. It's not unusual for the doctors to have to operate right here in the hallway."
Betty looked down, saw an elderly lady with thick glasses smiling up at her from behind a desk and mumbled, "Yeah, tough neighborhood."
"What can I do for you?" the receptionist asked.
"I'm looking for someone. I think he may have checked in here earlier tonight."
"I'll take a look. What's his name?"
Betty paused for a moment then said, "Silverstein, Ruben Silverstein." Sitting directly behind the receptionist one of the night nurses, a large black lady sitting at a white desk, looked up and nodded her head saying, "I think I've got those files back here Clara." Then she turned slightly in her swivel chair and started looking through a drawer in a tall, dark green file cabinet. It took a moment for her to find the files and when she did, she pulled out a yellow manila folder and began shuffling through the large stack of papers it held.
What air movement there had been in that section of th