04 September 2009

Mister Man (an exquisite corpse by Bruce Burrows & Robert Masterson)

She was hanging over the coffee cup so wiped of sleep,

wiped in that way that gives her the eyes like the

eyes on a dollar bill pyramid. She sucked the steam

through her nose. No way that was going in

her stomach.

I was hovering behind the counter, holding that

pot in my good hand for no real reason, her cup

was getting empty and I just starting to let my

stare go when she said,

"Mister Man, you are my dream boat,

you are my dream,

you are putting quarters in my jukebox

and making the sounds you make."

I was stunned. I listened.

"You, sir, I said sir, are the one with

the one that I want."

I looked at my toast and wondered about

marmalade. My two hour snack into the

shift and not really ready for this. You do

the job and just want to get through another

end and some peroxide dream starts this?

Sitting right there, right in front of it,

impossible to miss that shriveled thing

at the end of your right wrist, something

that looks like it belongs in between

Sunday morning legs instead of where

God put it?

"Sure honey. Sure I am."

I am thinking about taking a big break

in the bathroom in the back of the room,

thinking about this place and that place

and the place between my legs

(it's getting semi-, if you know what I mean).

I am thinking about leaving her a big tip.

"Do you come here often," I said just

like that.

She said, "Cream? Sugar? Taxi?" Just

like that.

I looked at the menu and I did not see

her on it and that was disappointing.

But not surprised.

"Yeah, taxi," I said. "I can get you that."

She pushed the coffee away.

"You goddamned son of a bitch,

you'd fuck a snake if someone would

hold its head for you."

"You need the fare?"

She put a ten on the counter, stood up.

"No, honey. I got all I need."

I put the pot down. "Yeah, I figured.

Must be nice, that."

She laughed, turned towards the door.

"Never count on that, Mister. Man."

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