Ernestine & Hazel’s

by Janet Dale

They say this place used to be a whorehouse, not sure if that’s true — but there are an awful lot of small rooms tucked away upstairs. As sweat from my beer glass glides down my arm, I imagine bodies twisted on a twin mattress in the corner. So many people have crowded into this space; I’m inches from that corner now—pressed against the wall. Noticing the peeling paper, I reach up and start tearing off multi-colored strips. There’s an old upright and somebody starts playing and all of a sudden everyone is singing... every little thing she does is magic, every little thing just turns me on. It’s like a serenade from the future to the ladies of the past, I realize the irony and laugh ‘til my stomach hurts before turning my attention back to the peeling wall.


Janet Dale, who blogs here, now holds a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Memphis.