Friday, April 07, 2017

The Reader - Week 14

Another Saturday Night

The week passed slowly for Andy. Not that it wasn’t productive. His queue of technical manuals had been cut down to the point of being at its lowest level in years, and he had finished all the outstanding sections of the ”memoir” that had been plaguing him all summer. His non-hook-up with Jennifer still weighed heavily on his mind. He took a nap Saturday afternoon, with the intent of meeting up with Jennifer again at the bar. They hadn’t exchanged phone numbers, he sensed that she wasn’t ready for that step yet, especially after the fiasco of her visit to his house.  He wasn’t ready to give up on her just yet. He didn’t know her at all, really, he would take it cool, let the relationship  develop of its own accord. He woke up at seven and spent an hour in the bathroom, primping, something he never did. When Andy came to the point of applying deodorant, he paused, wondering if it was worse to smell like a chemical plant or, rather, like an animal. The deodorant soap he used was pleasant enough in his mind. He’d take that chance, rather than come off as a nervous salesman.  

He wasn’t going to blow it tonight! He’d have one drink—not five (no ‘Whiskey Dick’ tonight)—he’d be charming, he’d ask Jennifer about herself, and he’d definitely not talk about his boring job; you’ll see a brand new Andy, yes you will!

He set out for the pub. The night air was warm, but there was a definite hint of the changing seasons—in a few weeks it would be downright nippy. He strolled into the pub–not too eager—and, after scanning the room for Jennifer (not there), he settled into a two-fer booth near the front door, by the bouncer’s stool, where he could see the people who were coming in. The place was filled, as it usually was on Saturday, although there was an open space in the back where there were still a few guys shooting pool. When the server came, Andy ordered a stout and an order of chips. There was a different band tonight, the R&R Cadets, from Milwaukee. They played with a pseudo-creole vibe, as funky a group as you’d find on the shores of Lake Michigan, vis-a-vis Lake Pontchartrain.

Is she coming? No use in getting my hopes up too high. And I could meet someone else!
Anything can happen—well not anything—but there’s no call for me to become a Debbie Downer.  My Cinderella? Princess Charming? Princess Leia? Layla?

The band began to play an old Lee Dorsey tune:

20 long miles from town, my old car broke down
The clutch is shot and the sun is so hot
Oh what I’d give to be home

19 miles from town, my old car broke down
The battery’s dead, man like I said
Oh what I’d give to be home

18 miles from town, my old car broke down
The fan belt’s slippin’ and the engine's missin’
Oh what I’d give to be home restin’ my bones

17 miles from town, my old car broke down
Just my luck, I’ve got the fuel pump’s stuck
Oh what I’d give to be home

(When the sun’s so high up in the sky)
And I’m tryin’ to get home to my baby
(When I get that far, I’m gonna get rid of this car)
It’s got to go, it’s got to and I don’t mean maybe

16 miles from town, my old shark broke down
My tire’s down, no spare around
Oh what I’d give to be home!

“Hi!” It was Jennifer, “Car trouble, or else I would have been here earlier. Been here long?”

“Have you ever loved a woman until milk leaked from her as though she had just given birth to love itself, and now must feed it or burst? Have you ever tasted a woman until she believed that she could be satisfied only by consuming the tongue that had devoured her? Have you ever loved a woman so completely that the sound of your voice in her ear could cause her body to shudder and explode with such intense pleasure that only weeping could bring her full release?”

A section of Don Juan DeMarco played in Andy’s mind.

“Hi. I was hoping you’d be here tonight.“

“Have you ordered? Are you hungry?”

Andy thought he’d say something clever: “I could eat a peach.”

“AH-HA-HA-HA-HAH!” Jennifer laughed like a donkey, “That’s the attitude! Let’s give it another try, what do you say?”

“I’d like that!” said Andy, “Please—sit down.”

“My pleasure. The object of tonight’s experiment—my pleasure,” said Jennifer, smiling, “You are invited to come… along for the… ride.”

“Erp,” said Andy.

“Erp yourself,” said Jennifer,  “and who do I have to fuck here to get a drink? Waitress!”

A commotion had erupted in the back of the pub, by the pool table.

Andy couldn’t see it, and Jennifer, who could, didn’t pay it any attention.

The band played on.

The Reader is serial fiction, published every Friday.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...

Hopefully, it will go better this time.

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