Kate Moss was naked. She had just stepped out of the white tiled shower that was part of the suite at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel in London, a four-story old wood building that had creaky floors and big puffy mattresses. The bathroom was small, and not the kind of place Kate Moss had grown accustomed. But it was suggested that the Sherlock Holmes was out of the path trodden by celebrities, and so it was unlikely anyone would find her or Pete Doherty. Pete was lying on the bed in his underwear. And Kate had decided to take a shower, the routine she had started to follow after she snorted heroin, a way to cleanse the outside while being savaged by chemicals on the inside. Pete had a Martin cutaway acoustic guitar in his lap, his skinny alabaster legs pocked with red lines and scabs were in the lotus position. Pete was plucking at the low E string in a slow beat, a droning sound that was hitting Pete’s ear as if it were music. Heroin does that. It makes everything seem like magic. Pete saw the back of Kate’s nude body as she stood on the scale while she held eyeglasses on her face so she could read the numbers.
“You’ve been looking a little porky lately,” said Pete.
Kate got off the scale with her tortoise-shell eyeglasses being the only thing hanging on her body if you didn’t include her breasts which, though small, had started to sag like small empty balloons.
“What?” asked Kate.
“I said you’ve been looking a little porky,” said Pete.
“Porky. You think?” said Kate.
Kate walked into the room. It was small, dressed with the same furniture that had been placed there over a hundred years ago. The drawers in all the cabinets were difficult to open. The floor boards must have been a foot wide with quarter inch seams between them. The mirror above one of the two cabinets was large and hanging with a wire cable that was suspended from a large brass hook an inch below where the wall met the ceiling. Indeed, the ceiling itself seemed like it was a mere seven feet from the floor.
Kate touched her naked belly which protruded without much fat.
“I am not porky,” said Kate.
“Your arms. Your legs. Your face. Your hair is starting to fall out,” said Pete.
“You get this way when you do junk. You get mean,” said Kate.
Pete thought about that. Kate had accused him of such before. But Pete was not feeling like he wanted to hurt Kate. He loved Kate skinny or fat. Well, maybe not fat, but a little fat here or there did not bother him. He was merely making an observation. Junk did that to him, he thought. You observe, you comment, you are honest. Pete believed that heroin made him a more honest chap. And one thing Pete had started to observe was that Kate Moss was getting old. The million cigarettes, the drugs, the late nights, the lack of exercise, the alcohol, the pills. The whole regimen had impacted on Kate’s face and body. Kate was in her early thirties but she appeared to be in her early forties. Not in the photographs, though. Pete was astounded at the wonders of photography and lighting and makeup and, he guessed, Photoshop. But Pete saw the Kate Moss that most people did not see. A woman aging fast from daily self-abuse. Pete was not stupid, of course. He was on a daily routine of self-abuse as well. But Pete felt he was not aging as fast as Kate. Maybe it was a guy thing.
“Sorry. You look great. Never better,” said Pete.
“You’re damn straight. I look fucking fantastic,” said Kate as she picked up a cigarette and lit it with a platinum lighter. Kate took a deep breath and smiled.
“Play me a song,” said Kate.
“How bout we fuck,” said Pete.
“You can never get it up on junk,” said Kate. Kate didn’t really want to have sex. She had not had an orgasm in over three years, though she faked it.
“Yeah. Why have sex when being on junk is better than sex,” said Pete as he looked down at the neck of his Martin guitar and plucked the A string.
Kate agreed. Pete’s half-erect penis, which is the only kind of erection Pete was ever able to muster, was nothing like the massively throbbing organ of Johnny Depp. Depp’s penis was a surprise given Depp’s slight frame. But after Johnny Depp dumped Kate, Kate started to lose interest in sex. Drugs were better. And the mess of a man that Pete Doherty had become gave Kate Moss something to do. Take care of a man. It was easier than to take care of herself.