"Night Again"

by Grant Carrington

    "Night Again" was published in a short-lived men's magazine, Regency (August 1973), edited by Herman Petras

    "Night Again" was my first fiction published in a men's magazine. It was submitted to the Tulane SF&F Workshop, where, to my surprise, Jim Sallis was the only one to understand it. It was an attempt to portray the emptiness of a sex-filled life. I don't think the editors of Regency understood that.

A grunting, groaning women-filled eight hours of lips and legs, sighs and thighs-- and a yearning to move on, get away--now!

    It's night again.
    Across the street, the rock band's practicing. Their raucous music crowds out into the street, drums, electric organ, and electric guitars drowning out the lead singer as he screeches into the microphone. There is a continual cacaphony of auto horns, sometimes distant, sometimes closer, sometimes directly under my window.
    I'm lying on the bed, fully dressed, trying to remember what city I'm in. It doesn't really matter. Here on my bed, in the darkness, it could be anywhere: New York, San Francisco, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Saint Louis, Los Angeles. Maybe not Burlington, Vermont, or Santa fe, but nearly every other city I've ever lived in.
    And that's saying a lot.
    I've lived in this city for several months now but still it keeps merging into the others. I turn a corner and reminds me of some other city, but often I can't be sure which one, whether it's Seattle or Denver or merely some dark corner in a nameless city I just spent a night in.
    Lynn will be coming in soon so I get up and pad over to the sink in my room. It's really a fairly decent little dump, better than most of the one-room walk-ups in Greenwich Village, for example. I have to share the bathroom with the other tenants on the floor, which can be a drag, but that's how I met Lynn in the first place. There's no lock on the john. Not that anybody gives a damn, anyway.
    But at least there's a sink in the room, which means you don't have to go to the head every time you have to shave, brush your teeth, or wash a pair of socks.
    I get out my old Gillette razor, lather up my face, and start shaving. I like to be halfway decent with my chicks. When I lived with Sharon, I used to shave in the evening, before we went to bed, so I wouldn't scratch her face with my whiskers.