I continued on the tourist trail, headed north and landed in Hue, location of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War, the Siege of Hue.
There I was, jettisoned into an old imperial city and former political capital, a city now famous for its citadel (definition: a fortress, typically located on high ground above a city).
In a battle of my own, fighting off the motorbike taxi drivers offering to take me to distant tourist attractions during the day and offering to take me to conveniently located whores during the night.
Safer to baton down, retreat and focus on my writing.
Slowly she walked, her short steps making me desperate for the feel of her touch. Close to the side of the bed she then turned, changed tack and strode to the set of drawers diagonally across the room. Reaching down to the bottom drawer, she bent her back, keeping her legs firm and taunt. Rummaging around, subtly taunting, no words mere actions, she finally made sure she found whatever it was she wanted, paused, then stood tall and turned.
Her eyes, dead and emotionless, surveyed my forlorn frame.
“You will be the last” she whispered, the sound from her throat deadpan, devoid of meaning. “After you there will be no more. You will look only at my face, my features, make sure you concentrate and remember everything.”
Striding towards me, every step equal distance, upon reaching the bottom of the bed she crouched and then pounced, sliding over the sheets and latching her mouth around my member; straining.
Deep rhythmical throbbing, her arms outstretched towards my upper torso, her eyes sharp, focusing upwards towards mine.
A hint of beady sweat, signs of steady aging, skin of alabaster gold, I wanted to reach out and caress her head and ease the burden.
But instead she instinctively tightened her grip, squeezing my left nipple, held between her tight and taunt fingers, inducing a cry of pain.
Somehow I still focused.
Into her eyes, looking ever deeper, seeking and searching any emotion, forever concentrating as the sweat fell from her forehead in droplets, I found myself desperate for meaning.
Standing at the well of discovery with all its resources depleted.
Emotionally begging for mercy, when she finished with her task I was empty.
And when she was had departed, I was alone.