Pretty Girls

Post image for Pretty Girls

by Ian on October 3, 2010

by Mathias Nelson.

Mathias Nelson’s first poetry chapbook, They May Try To Kill Me For This, is available. Information here.

***

On a college night, Stacy sat at a small café counter in little white shorts, her legs long and fresh. She licked around an ice cream twirl, just taking away its edges, her tongue dappled creamy white. Her friend Nancy was more modest. She wore jeans and ate a banana split with a spoon, slowly cutting into it like a soft phallus, her breasts large and seeping out of her tank-top. They sat on the stools together, swiveling like schoolgirls, bobbing their legs and laughing oh.

“But Mark has such a big cock!” Stacy whispered to Nancy.

They covered their mouths to keep from spitting. Nancy swallowed, then whispered to Stacy, “Johnny has rhythm, but he always wants to titty fuck. God I can’t stand it much longer! My heart’s gonna bruise!” she put a hand over her heart-breast and the ice cream dribbled down their chins.

The cook, also known as the café owner, and the night’s waiter, stood only ten feet away in his hole in the wall. He stopped quarreling with dishes now and then to turn an ear their way, not alone an eye.

“Well,” Stacy said, “you think that’s bad, once Mark was giving it to me doggystyle and told me to turn my head and look, and when I did he slapped me! Called it a donkey-punch!” They keeled. Then Stacy paused for a moment, cone in hand, and looked over at the café tables lining the long windows where a lean, middle-aged man sat in a loose, dirty green coat. The bright lights reflected in his sunglasses, and long strands of greasy brown hair hung around his ears. The only other customer in the late night café, he stared steadily at Stacy, slowly bringing a cigarette to his thin lips with perfect, unwavering accuracy, though his gaze never seemed to leave her long, fresh legs.

Stacy quickly swiveled in her stool so her legs were beneath the counter, away from the man.

Nancy studied her disgusted expression and asked, “What is it? What’s the matter?”

“That guy,” Stacy said, trying hard not to move her mouth. “That guy sitting at the table by the window, wearing sunglasses. He’s been watching me for the past ten minutes. Every time I turn around I see him staring, and it looks like he’s glaring behind those sunglasses. Sunglasses . . . at ten at night. He’s starting to freak me out.”

Nancy pretended to brush a loose hair from her shoulder and coyly glanced over. The man took another drag off his cigarette, its tip flaring like a smoldering eye, and blew smoke her way. She flinched and focused her attention out the window at passing traffic. And under the table, had she seen it, really? the man’s hand rubbing his crotch?

“Creepy,” she cringed, and they both sat with their backs to him.

All the while the cook, who’d watched the whole thing, ambled out to wipe the counters. He leaned over and whispered to the young ladies, “Be careful with that one there. He’s a real kook.”

They felt like screaming. Nancy pushed her banana phallus away with disgust. Stacy’s ice cream had begun to melt; it wove around her fingers.

“What’re we gonna do?” Nancy asked vehemently. “I’m sick of old sick fucks. Remember what happened to Clara, in that alley. How’re we gonna to get home?”

“Uh, I know,” Stacy rubbed her brow. “The dorms are seven blocks away, but I don’t think he’ll be able to catch us if we run . . .”

The cook walked around the café now, cleaning off tables. When he past the man, the man said, “Get me uh beer for the wait, would yuh?”

“Sure thing, mister,” the cook said. “What yuh waitin’ on?”

“Heaven,” the man said, steadily facing the two college girls.

With dishes lining his arms, the cook cast an uncertain look at the girls.

“What the fuck was that all about?” Stacy asked Nancy.

The cook came back around, gave a beer to the man, and the man grabbed it off the table without looking down. He gulped it, licked the foam from his upper lip, then placed the beer delicately back on the table and took another drag off his cigarette, inhaling deeply and sighing with a whistle.

“What’re we going to do then? Just leave?” Nancy asked, pulling at the back of her tank-top to make sure her purple thong wasn’t showing.

Stacy looked over her other shoulder, the one the man wasn’t behind, and peered out the large window. “There’s a gas station across the street,” she said. “We can run over there and watch to make sure no one follows us. If someone does we’ll call the cops.”

They heard a tapping coming from the cook’s opening in the wall. He stood grinning to himself, slicing something out of sight.

The girls slowly rose, then struggled to reach into their tight pant pockets.

“We’ll just leave the money on the counter, keep the change,” Nancy said to the cook, and they each placed a ten dollar bill down, then turned and walked briskly to the door, holding onto each other.

“Hey, wait a minute!” the cook called. “You can’t go before I count it!”

But they dashed out the dinging door.

The girls held hands and jay-walked between headlights, glowing in the damp night. They made it across the street and past the pumps, through the parking lot, and into the gas station. They went to the first aisle and pretended to be looking for something on the snack shelves, all the while glancing through the windows at the brightly lit café where the man sat, unmoving. Through the passing traffic they could faintly see the curl of his cigarette smoke, the languid raising of his beer glass, and the cook in his cubby hole, waiting for the man to leave.

“The man’s not getting up,” Nancy said.

“Let’s stick around a little longer to make sure,” Stacy said.

And they did, until they saw the man slide over in the booth and slowly rise up, holding something long and brown at his crotch.

“Is that his penis?” Stacy said, and the owner of the gas station scoffed from behind the register, bewildered and intrigued.

“No . . . it’s a cane,” Nancy laughed. “He’s blind! The man’s blind!”

They watched the blind man struggle to find the café door. He tapped with his cane from side to side, combing the tiles for obstacles. The cook came around the counter and grabbed the man by the arm, lead him to the door. Outside, the man waited until a car pulled up and took him away.

The girls giggled and slapped at one another’s shoulders. Forgetting about it, they went and browsed the magazine racks.

In the cafe, the cook hung the closed sign, then turned off the outside lights and all the inside lights but for the kitchen’s. He checked out the window to make sure no one was in the lot. He was alone. There would be no more customers, so he untied his apron, removed his cap, and went back to check the kitchen.

The girls bought a music magazine. On the front cover stood a singer with his shirt off. They strolled out of the gas station, smiling. Traffic had slowed down. It was getting late. They began to walk faster, all the while glancing at the café, thinking about the night’s event. Then Stacy’s long fresh legs stopped, and she grabbed Nancy’s arm.

“Look,” Stacy pointed. Inside the dark café, in shadows barely lit with just the kitchen’s lucid light, they saw the cook crouching in his white uniform, and it seemed, though they couldn’t be sure, that he was sniffing their stools.

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