Every Saturday Ida listened to Charley Dixon play the blues. Ida was up front at the Lone Star juke joint drinking three fingers of bourbon in one hand with a dollar in the other. Charley was a female guitarist disguised as a man with a male alias. She was a traveling musician whose purpose was to seduce women.
As her bony fingers plucked the strings, men and women danced. Guests sitting down tapped their feet and bobbed their heads. Charley crooned her song “Goin' Down” in a raspy melodic voice. "She's a bottle of bourbon, tall and sweet. I'm goin' down to the river, where her thighs meet." Her fingers slid down the guitar's neck and strummed the strings, which bounced off the walls and arrested the souls in Lone Star.
"I'm goin' down to the river," she said, looking at Ida. Charley wrote her songs based on the women she was with or desired. “Goin' Down” was for Ida. She kicked her hat to the edge of the stage where coins hit the floor and bills floated on the brim. "But I ain't washin' no sheets!"
Ida smirked and crossed her legs. Charley had given her a look--heavy and inviting. She gave most attractive women - single or married, that look before sleeping with them.
When Charley sent the last chord into the air, the crowd rippled with claps and shouts.
"That man can play!" shouted a drunk. "That's real Delta blues!"
Charley looked into the hazy atmosphere and inhaled smoke and alcohol. She motioned for Ida to meet her at the bar.
"What's a pretty lady like you doin' here all 'lone?" said Charley flashing a half smile. Her elbows rested on the counter and slid two bills to cover their drinks. Ida studied the features of Charley's handsome face--her high nostrils, smooth jaws, and round lips. "What they call you?"
"To see you," said Ida. She led Charley's hand to her leg. "I'm Ida and my old man don't sing the blues."
"I'll make you sing it too, Ida," said Charley. Two glasses clanked before them. Charley gave it a brief rub and downed the glass. She liked sleeping with married women, because they were into new things. Even when they found out Charley's sex, they enjoyed it more because she shed one persona and introduced another.
They left the empty glasses and walked around the bar to the tenets hall. Charley's room was the third door down. She cut on the light overhead where a table, bed, and trunk appeared.
Charley rested her guitar on the trunk and hat on the table. The sounds of a banjo and harmonica faded from earshot. "Where were we?"
Ida was the color of cinnamon and her dress was tight fitting. Charley dropped her trousers and Ida tossed her dress. They sank into Charley's bed and kissed.
"Hhmmm...," she purred. Charley ran her fingers along split between her legs as if she were playing the guitar. The humming from Ida was identical her instrument.
"Yes, girl, yes," said Charley. She locked eyes with Ida and lifted her bra. She swallowed one breast, then the other. When Charley nibbled on her raisin shaped nipples she gasped and arched her back.
"Go to the river," she stammered. "Go to the r-r-river!"
Charley dragged her lips over Ida's stomach and licked her navel. Her toes curled and body shivered. Charley wanted to drink from Ida's river too, and every response she gave made her want Ida more. She peeled off her girdle and kissed each knee. Her moans grew stronger as Charley's breath crawled up her legs and savored each layer and tongue grazed the underside of her clit. A trickle of nectar dribbled and Charley lapped it up like a woman possessed before the flood gushed.
"You shole taste as good as you look," said Charley. Her mouth and face glistened with Ida's sweetness. She wiped some off with her hands and licked it like it was the last of bourbon from a bottle.
"I'm glad my flavor is to your pleasin'," said Ida with a girlish laugh. She caressed Charley's body and noticed that her shirt and underwear kept them from getting skin tight. Ida turned Charley over and rolled down her underwear. Upon seeing her cleft she said," You ain't a man?"
"I know," Charley snickered. She planted kisses around Ida's neck and shoulders.
For a moment Ida was paralyzed with shock. All this time when masturbated and fantasized about Charley, she'd wanted a woman dressed as a man. But Charley knew what she was doing. No one knew who she was, but she knew who they were.
"I like women and look like a man. And they think I am one until the sheets are wet. But I've had some of the finest women in Clarksdale in here." Charley ripped off her shirt and unwound the wrap over her chest.
"So you do all this to bed women?"
"All my songs are about women," said Charley. "Tonight's was for you."
Ida was flattered and couldn't deny the greatness she felt. What difference did it make with the clothes off? Charley was a woman, but took her on a new journey. She was attentive and kept Ida on edge. She hadn't been with a woman before, but now she wondered what made Charley squirm, moan, and curve her back.
"What do I call you?"
Charley relaxed and pressed their bodies close. She held Ida's face and said, "Mr. Bluesman.”