Gert Steinberger once told me that she liked to pick up guys in bars and clubs. She would bat her baby blues across the room and make the noise of a snake-charmer’s pungi in her head. She believed that it called the sexually charged males to her side to dance for her affections.
They would buy her drinks and fawn upon her; grinding their silly pelvises against her. They might even lead her from the bar and buy her supper, in the shape of a kebab or burger. Then, just when it was time to be lead to their grotty beds for sweaty sex, she would stop blowing the flute in her mind. It amused her to see them stagger against the take away wall, confusion dancing in their eyes, as she hailed a taxi and waved goodbye.
She often told me that tale as I readied her for visiting time.
After the last bell, to signal the visitors home, as families kissed their loved ones goodbye, I would find her humming a strange tune: alone.