Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Paper Hearts And A Red Haired Tart
Shortly after my depressing dinner at the Ground Round, Chuck took his run at Tallulah. He brought her to one of the local go-cart racing tracks. I'll give him credit that was a pretty original date idea, however in the end he blew it because his idea of small talk was telling her how hot she would be if she just worked out a little.
Wow huh? There was no goodnight handjob for Chuck that was for damn sure.
Actually there was soon no job at all for Chuck because a few days after that he quit rather than be forced to mop and wax the floors. Which is odd because I would figure an amateur bodybuilder like him would be all about buffing. Bud followed soon after- I'm still not sure exactly what he did to get fired but the cardboard bailer never worked right again and we never found that one break room chair.
It was while Tallulah was telling me about Chuck's unusual attempts at seduction that I suddenly asked her out. I don't know why I did it, we had nothing in common at all. I was easygoing and passive aggressive while she had a temper that was both terrifying and sexy in equal amounts.
I usually viewed girls like her the way a paraplegic might view Mount Everest- sure it was a lovely view but there was no chance to climb up on it.
Hey that was a good one, think I should make it into a t-shirt?
Sure Lilly and Athena had both been eight shades of gorgeous too but my obsession with one and my lust for the other made me brave to the point of being foolhardy.
This was different, this was a crazy impulse but she must have been just as crazy because she said yes.
We went to go see 'the Princess Bride' but there were two ground rules. The first rule was that this was not a date. Tallulah explained to me that she had a boyfriend already, his job as a roadie for Frehley's Comet kept him out of town most of the time but he was still her boyfriend. The second was that if I asked for a handjob I was going to lose an eye.
Fair enough. We headed out to the mall in my car. She noticed how clean the seats were and how strong the odor of air freshener was. I smiled and nodded and didn't offer a thing in the way of explanations.
We got to the mall, got to the cinema, bought our tickets, got some popcorn and found a relatively uncrowded section of the theater to sit in. “You working this weekend?” she asked as we waited for the previews to start.
“As always,” the thought of working a job where I had a nine to five, Monday to Friday schedule was so remote it seemed exotic.
She downed a mouthful of popcorn “I need to get back to college.”
“You were in college? Why did you leave?”
“I had... I had some health problems,” she said.
“Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Are you doing better?”
“I think so.”
The house lights dimmed, the movie began. I made a few choice sarcastic comments to her during the previews, she laughed at each of them. When our feature presentation began I shut up.
“Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...”
It was nice to be sitting next to her. I made sure she sat on my left so I could steal glances at her with my good eye, the one I wanted to keep. The light from the projector gave her an ethereal quality; I loved the way the images on the screen danced across her eyes, flickering like teardrops.
“As you wish.”
She smelled of moderately priced perfume and cheap hairspray, I liked it. What I didn't like was the idea that those two knuckleheads had thought it would take so little to get her on her back. I barely knew who this girl was but I knew she deserved better than that.
Whenever there was a particularly witty punchline or funny moment I tried to catch her reaction, there was something so devilish about that smile of hers. It was more interesting to me than anything the film had to offer.
“Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it. I'm swamped.”
I was well aware we were just here as friends but as I said before I was smitten. The last time I had felt this way I had spent years afraid to act, afraid of hearing the word “No.”
The second time I had felt this way I had mistaken being crass for being macho and assertive. What was I going to do this time? What should I do this time?
“Have fun stormin' da castle.”
The soft curve of her chin fit perfectly into my hand as I turned her in her seat to face me. Her eyes were wide and bright, her lips were warm against mine. I was about to hold her close when she said in a quiet voice, “What in the Hell do you think you're doing?”
“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Right about then I was ready to die myself.