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Spanish Chic & Faux Leather

Spanish Chic & Faux Leather  

     “What would you like today, Mr. John?”  
     “What I want isn’t on the menu.”  
     “You mean me?”  
     “Give me a shot of mezcal with the worm, dead or alive.”  
     She hovers. “For your information, there are no live worms in our mezcal. Don’t believe what you see in the movies. And we haven’t gotten our liquor license yet. Mr. John, what do you do for fun other than impersonating a bad hombre?”  
     “I write.”  
     My unexpected answer is translated upon traveling from her ear to her brain as “I read.”  
     “We all read,” she replies laconically.    
     She crosses toward the kitchen but stops in mid-walk upon my words, “I write. I studied creative writing in college.”  
     Her boomerang maneuver takes her back to my table. She asks, “Did you graduate from college?”  
     I reply, “Three times.”  
     She asks, “What were your majors?”  
     I say, “My masters was in library science.”  
     “What system did you study, the Dewey Decimal or the dewy damsel?”  
     “My best line is ‘Hey you look as lonely as I feel. Can I buy you a coca-cola on the rocks?’”  
      “So you are a near-beer kind of guy.”  
     “As near as I can get without child support.”  
     “Your celibacy is safe with me, John.”  
     “Chastity lives on a pinnacle of rock where no birds sing.”  
     She says, “Not too fond of chastity. But pinnacles of rock are pleasing to me. Oh Mr. John you are always surprising us. I hope it doesn’t disappoint you that I read romance novels.”  
     “That is what I write, romance. I’ve self-published. Would you like to read my stories?”  
     “Oh, I would love to! But alas I don’t have the money to buy your books.”  
     “I could give you complimentary copies. It is the least I could do for all the kindness you’ve bestowed on me.”  
     “Thank you so much!”  
     She limbers up like a Degas Ballerina. Each flex is a gymnopedie played on the Steinway of her body on her closer walk up to me where she faces me with her music. I loosen my silk tie to breathe. She wipes the tableaux of the remains from her day until the persistence of my vision is met in a Satie moment with her epicurean smile.  
     She says, “36-29-38.”    
     “What are you talking about?”    
     She says, “What you are ogling at, my figure.”  
     One day she exclaims, “I believe you are a secretly married runner of Ponzi schemes with a love child whose mother you pay hush money. Tell me are you a grandfather?”  
     My reply, “I never had children” prompts her to ask, “Were you ever married?”  
     I reply, “For twelve years.”  
     When Christmas approaches her inquisitiveness grows focused and more intense. She stands behind the counter and jabs her finger at me like a police interrogator. “You were married for twelve years. What happened?!”  
     “She was much older than me. We were going in different directions.” On that note, I make an about-face and sail out the door.    
     The next day she is all sunshine smiles and her lilt returns like a lost kitten. She says, “Oh divorce happens all the time. I told everyone about you. Please forgive my curiosity but let me see your hand.” This is our first touch and the contact of her skin on mine is like the first time I held my high school sweetheart’s hand at the skating rink. Her softness envelopes me. The female touch never loses its mystery or newness. The feel is as fresh as when I was a teenager spiced by hormones.    
     She says, “Your lifeline is unto longevity what the path of lunar light upon the sea is at moonrise.”  
     Alas, it is closing day for the restaurant due to the coronavirus. But my book arrives just in time to present it to her before the lonely weeks ahead. She can’t wait and reads. Her tears come like orphans seeking a home. She says, “We may never meet on this earthly plane again. But here is how I want you to remember me.” She takes the barrettes out of her beehive hairdo. Her hair falls down like a magnificent hoop skirt. She hands her hairpins to me. “To remember me by,” she says.  
     She says, “We’ve been talking about you.”  
     With her downward cast eyes what begins as a casual encounter becomes intimate with my, “I miss you.”  
     She turns ecstatic with her rainbow smile. “Oh, I miss you too. I can’t wait until all this is over with so we can talk more again.” She sings some lines from, “Don’t cry for me Argentina.”  
     “Who are you singing that to?”  
     “You, it seemed to fit the moment.”  
     “Do I seem like a foreign country to you?”  
     “I meant it affectionately. What is wrong with being a foreigner anyhow? I am one and one of my favorite rock bands is called ‘Foreigner.’”  
     “That group started before you were born.”  
     “You were in college before I was born. But in my book, antiques are more valuable.”  
     “Wouldn’t you rather have a fresh out of the factory corvette than a 1960s mustang however well maintained?”  
     “They don’t make them like they used to.”  
     She thrusts her immigrant hands into the Hobbit holes in the middle earth of my jeans. “Your pockets are warm and cozy. I’d like to take my siesta in one with your jelly roll for my pillow.”    
     She stuffs my pants pockets with Mexican soft drinks from an ice chest of carbonated refreshments meant for the waitresses to cool off from the heat. She puts two drinks in my shirt pockets for good measure. But the root beer, lemon/lime, strawberry, cream, and cherry colas will be the sugar from the kisses she never peppered me with. “With all that habanero spiced food you need soda to quench your thirst.”    
     “The cherry cream of your smile and voice is the only drink soft enough to refresh me.”  
     “Do you have a video chat on your computer?”  
     “Sure do. Let’s meet in cyberspace for tea.”  
     She says, “If I was a British Lass then teatime would be great. A stout of root beer is the choicest brew to make my smile shine like a well-polished shoe. But this will be our after workout cool off. Staying on an exercise routine works better with a partner. But there is only one stumbling block. I like to work out in the buff. I know I’m asking too much of you to put up with my indecency. If you turned me down I wouldn’t blame you.”  
     “My salads are tossed with me in my naked chef role. I only wear an apron as protective gear when stir-frying tofu in a wok in case of spatters.”  
     “Oh, then we’ll toss salads together too! And one day we’ll throw physical proximity into the mix.”  
     “Your naturism may result in certain changes to the geometry of my physique.”    
     “Your zucchini isn’t growing to compete in the county fair.”  
     “I have some grey hairs down there.”  
     “Every single one is earned. Indeed your very hairs, even down there, are all numbered. So don’t be afraid of growing old. You are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”  

One Month Later  

       “John, the email you gave me sent back a reply saying, ‘Custom eulogies for your dearly departed to dress up those closet skeletons as endearing peccadillos for a person of otherwise sterling character to bring comic relief to the bereaved.’ Can you imagine how that shook me up?”      
     “My handwriting is atrocious. Next time I won’t write in cursive.”      
     “My first question upon showing up for work this past month was, ‘have you seen Mr. John?’ They answered, ‘not a sign of him.’”    
     “Oh, darling, I was worried about you too. Truthfully I was quarantining. I should have attempted to get the word to you. I didn’t know if you wanted me to bring our closeness to the attention of the other waitresses.”  
     “Are you kidding me? They are laying odds on when you’ll ask me out. Fifty dollars is riding on the outcome. We are already an item in the kitchen. Inquiring minds, among whom I am one, want to know.”  
     “Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!”    
     “I had a dream that the morgue called me to identify your body because I was the only close relation you had locally. So I went there. They pulled open the drawer and there before me was your sweet face ashen in its pallor. They asked me if I wanted any of your belongings so I took your glasses with me as a last keepsake to remember you by. Don’t ever frighten me like that again.”      
     “Nothing short of an apocalypse will keep me away from you again.”      
     She takes my order to the kitchen saying, “Mr. John is back. He is well, thank God.”
goldenmyst
Written by goldenmyst
Published | Edited Today
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