DETOUR (1945) II
I was a fool to have given him a ride—but I’d done it. Done, done, done, done, done…
I was trying to coax myself to calm down a little bit—telling myself I’d never let it happen again. But it didn’t calm me down—and I couldn’t forget it.
I kept driving thru the night—feeling more and more miserable. I was a sucker for guys—at least certain guys like this one. I didn’t even know his name—we were both on the run.
I didn’t know what he was running away from—and I didn’t care. All I know is that he was like me—on the run from somewhere or somebody.
Does anybody know what they’re running away from? Does anybody know they’re actually running away from something in the first place? What was it we were running away from—ourselves?
“Pu-lease” he said to me. “Get real. You and I both know you’re not running away from anything. You’re running toward something—somebody who left you.”
“I’m not that kind of girl,” I said to him. But I knew I was—I’d been ditched by my boyfriend back in New York. Playing the piano just to be around him. But he ditched me for a nightclub break in LA.
In the end I didn’t exactly give up on him—like he gave up on me. He was the lead singer in our nightclub band—every night draining me dry with his crummy Marlene Dietrich drag act.
His cabaret swan song routine—I was a sucker for it every time. He wasn’t very convincing to anybody else—except sucker me. His crummy weltschmerz was right up my alley—he had me wrapped around his little pinkie.
In the end, I didn’t exactly give up on him—he took me for everything I had. And now here I was—broke, down & out, driving a hot car, speeding my way to LA, just to be back around him. And get some more.
Don’t ask me why or how or when. I gave up the guilt game a long time ago. I didn’t love him—I knew that for sure. I didn’t even like him anymore—I knew that too. He was awfully handsome though—a good actor like most goodlooking hustlers.
Yeah, he was also vain—the vainest, most self-centered guy I ever knew. No wonder he was vain—with a snaky tool like he had. I was addicted to it—I needed it bad. But I didn’t hate him—even after it was all over with. I hated myself instead—I was ashamed of myself being on the road going after him again..
I wasn’t very surprised to discover the truth—the build-up to it had taken a long time. There was plenty of hints—all of them hardly the size of postage stamps. More like sledge-hammers—him sneering at me. Knowing I needed it really bad.
How could I have been so foolish—realizing how little he thought of me. He treated me like a tramp—he said he was after bigger fish. Some Hollywood Sugar Daddy pushover. That’s when he left me.
I was ashamed I’d been in love with him—what a waste of time. But I couldn’t help myself—here I was following him to LA. He had a plane ticket—and I only had this dumpy Cadillac convertible.
I kept telling myself—how could I fall for such a conceited guy over & over again. I sat driving in the car—angry with myself and him.
I glanced over at the kid—he smirked at me. He knew what my story was—he knew I was a sucker. Well, never again I said to myself—but I felt it happening again. What a loser I was—and this hitchhiker hustler was going to take me for everything I had.
I needed some sleep. I pulled into the next crummy motel. A cheap joint off the highway—but it had a bed and a shower. I got the kid in the room—he looked around.
“You could’ve picked a better motel,” he wise-cracked.
He turned to look at me blankly, every inch the fake hoity-toity one.
“What’s the matter with this joint? It’s got a bed. And a shower. At any rate, there aren’t many places along the highway at this time of night, you know.”
He took out a cigarette and lit it. He shrugged.
I didn’t even know his name—later I found out it was Raoul. He didn’t tell me his last name.
“And take a shower too—you stink.”
Raoul had nothing more to say to me. When he finished his shower he crawled between the sheets. He laid there looking at the ceiling—smoking and running his fingers through his silky, black hair.
He was only too aware of the fact that he was handsome—acting like he didn’t care about his appearance. I noticed he was always careful though—not to ruin how pretty he was posing for me.
He had his arms behind his head—letting his goodlooks ooze and spill outta him like he was a Greek god instead of a two-bit highway hustler.
I couldn’t help it. I turned out the lights—and crawled into bed with him.