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Starbound 12

Throughout the three hours that Sylvia Volkov and Richard Silver spent in the studio creating Sylvia’s dance music, there was no sign of communication between Richard and his wife and kids in the house. It was just twenty meters away from the studio in the barn.

They took the edited and organized music discs and left the studio. Richard followed Sylvia’s directions and dropped her at the unlikely address over a car wash in the garment district. He accompanied Sylvia to the door and she kissed him thank you for his good work.

“Can I see you again?” Richard said.

“Sure,” Sylvia said. “What about your wife?”

“That’s just about all over,” he said.

“I noticed you made no connection with the house,” she said, “even though there was an intercom right there.”

“Like I said, it’s all over.”

Sylvia went up to the loft and stepped inside. Rachel looked up from her sewing machine when she heard the door close.

“Well look who found her way home,” Rachel said. “Where the hell have you been? I’ve been worried sick.

“I met a guy with a sound studio, and look what he made me,” Sylvia held up the CDs.

“What’s that?”

“Custom mixed and edited music tracks for my act,” Sylvia said. “Listen to this.” She put the disc on and the full, clear sound filled the place. The songs melded into each other for a seamless flow ideally suited to Sylvia’s dance style as Sylvie the stripper.

Sylvia began to move around the loft, stimulated by the music in much the same way as she was moved by it in the studio. Just as Richard had been mesmerized by Sylvia’s beauty and performance, so was Rachel. Before the dance was through Rachel went to Sylvia, held her close and kissed her passionately.

They made love, showered together and went to work.

Their work week went well, the theatre was busy for every shift, and the customers were a bit better class, it seemed. One of the other girls in the dressing room – she called herself Precious – had a theory. She thought the reason for a more white collar less blue collar audience was because it was mid-summer.

Precious was a major audience favourite because she had the most waifish, flower child look. Tiny, slender, with long straight hair, a splendid oval face and seemed totally vulnerable.

“Wives and kids are away at cottages,” Precious said. “Husbands are alone in the city except for their two or three week vacation time. They’re home alone, nothing to do; they feel like cutting loose and getting laid but are afraid to, so they compromise. Go to a strip joint, see some lovely young naked ladies, have a few drinks in the bars. Some don’t like the bar atmosphere so they come to the theatre where it’s just naked women. No drink or food but soda and snack junk in vending machines to sustain them while they watch the naked girls dance.”

Early on Saturday morning, Sylvia walked three blocks to the Kensington Market with her bundle buggy. The ancient, narrow streets were in transition from Portuguese to Arabian. It is the market where each new wave of immigrants starts their lives in the new nation. Around nineteen hundred it was Eastern European Jews fleeing the pogroms. Jews fleeing the Nazis in the nineteen forties moved in next. As they moved out again, to the suburbs, the Portuguese moved in and now the Portuguese are moving to the suburbs so the Asians, Muslims and so on are taking their turn at taking root.

Returning home to Rachel’s loft with her bundle buggy bulging with cans, bottles, boxes and bags, she saw Richard’s car parked at the curb in front of the loft. She climbed the stairs and entered to find Rachel and Richard cheerfully sharing coffee and laughs. Sylvia didn’t know what to make of it so she rolled her groceries into the kitchen and began to unpack the bundle buggy. Sylvia wanted to show that she didn’t care.

“I didn’t know you guys knew each other,” Sylvia said, pretending to focus on groceries.

“Richard has come here to ask if you’re interested in an opportunity,” Rachel said.

“Uh-huh,” Sylvia said.

“I’m going to be engineer at a very important audition for a very big group,” Richard said.

“If Rachel’s going, then I’ll go,” Sylvia said. “Tell me about it.”

“If Silvia will go, then I will go,” Rachel said. “Tell her who the audition is for.”

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