© copyright 1996-2009 by Michael G. Breece

Expressions tossed about the vending. Accomplished, she bends at the knees. An interview was aired earlier, the only detail revealed was that the weather would change on the hour every hour for the next week. When, in fact, it would behave in this fashion for nearly a month. With the greater majority holed up, she knew the time had finally arrived.

Standing on the corner, four-way light, she waits for the cars to pass. 10:27pm on a Thursday, the final vehicle approaches slowly before stopping in perfect view. She quickly lifts her top, revealing her sagging breasts, the driver notices nothing, transfixed on the bumper of the car ahead of him. Her nipples become erect.

In a third floor apartment, a young man has just gotten out of the shower. With a towel around his waste, through the window his gaze happens upon the sight of a middle-aged woman flashing a car. Emotionless, he stands still until she walk on out of view.

Perplexed, his head gently tilts as his eyes squint, he closes the blinds and turns on the television. Talking heads dispense hollowed propaganda. The state of the union yet to be addressed. Upon a clothes hamper he hovers, naked with towel in hand, wipes his ass before placing the wet white cotton into the hamper. At the end of the hallway, briefly he loses himself in the shadowed path of carpet.

As he decides what façade to portray for the next day, the woman from the corner continues to walk along the street until an alley present itself on the other side. Barron, she surveys before entering. She stops just before the dead-end of a dirty brick wall, pulls down her trousers below her knees and slides down the side to the right.

Surrounded by shards of glass, loose soiled paper and tin, her fatty pale flesh rests. With knees bended and pants now around her ankles, again she her top exposing her hardened nipples. She remains motionless in this position with her head down and her shoulder length hair a manageable mess. Ravaged. Awaiting a judgment. For a pair of eye to bear witness to her guilt.

Five, ten, fifteen minutes pass when finally she is found. A fifty-eight year old drunk business man pauses at the alley entrance. He stands there peering at the exposed woman. First concerned, wondering if she was even alive, before turning to pity when it becomes clear that this bare breasted woman is shivering. He leaves her there to wallow in her shame, after one last look at her tits. The way the moon framed them, as the wind licked. She heard the soles of his shoes shuffle as clip-clop away like a horse.

The bar was loud, packed like sardines. Quiet desperation filled the air as suits with loosened ties bounced off one another spilling their drinks. Five dollar drinks, five to ten percent lost each trip, money to burn. Bobby originally had planned to retire at fifty-five. While in college, it was wishful thinking by fifty. Now sixty isn’t an even an option. Instead of closer, the thought of retirement drifts further and further away.

At the opposite corner of the parking lot where Bobby’s car resides, a fleet of school buses await another Friday morning. The way they sit there in the dark, devoid of life, on odd sight. A reminder of a childhood wasted. Unattainable expectations or misleading early over-achievement? Upon reaching his car, Bobby notices a man in his early 30’s with a beard and glasses wearing a dark jacket surfing the driver’s side window a couple of cars away from his with a long thin strip of metal.

As the lock pops, the bearded man raises his head to acknowledge Bobby before sliding into the driver’s seat. ‘You should really get with the times. Nobody listens to cassettes anymore,” the thief thinks to himself as he fumbles around adjusting the seat.

Hunkering in, flipping through cd’s left on the passenger seat, “Shit, shit shit,” nothing but rap with the occasional suburban hallmark included for the less taboo chaser. The bearded thief pops a cdr from inside his jacket pocket. Karlheinz Stockhausen “Hellicoptor String Quartet” blasts from the speaker as the cars kicks up and drives out of the parking lot.

The glasses and beard peel away after he drivers a few blocks. They are placed in the large side pocket of his jacket. He reaches a small garage behind an old white house. The brights are flashed three times consecutively in pattern prompting the door to be raised by someone inside. A short fat man who’s shirt clings tightly to his belly stands in the garage as the car enters.

“The hell ya listen’ to, damn!” the cdr is popped out and the connection is cut. A car rolls into the driveway, “Next time.” After entering the passenger side, the car reverses out into the street and slowly drives off. “Let’s grab a bite before home, man, I’m starved,” the two stop at a burger joint drive-thru. After placing the last order of the nigh and receiving a free soda because of it, before the car exits, the restaurant lights are shut off./

“What’s on the agenda tonight?” says a co-worker. “Shower then bed.” Samantha tidies up around the register as the males sweep and mop. “See ya…whenever I see ya again!” is head as she shambles to her old rusted Honda with one hubcap missing. The key is forced into the side door hole, corrosion, the key barely fits anymore. The feeling of striking gold just as doubt had begun to set in. “There it is…we have entry,” she thinks.

The tv’s still on in the living room with Samantha’s dad asleep in the lazy boy still clutching the remote. Fried food permeates every pore of her body, the stench exists like a cloud, as if being followed by ghosts of burger joint’s past.

Light brown shirt, dark brown pants, white socks, pink bra revealing small breasts and dark blue panties. As the shower begins to steam up the bathroom, she sits nude on the toilet and relieves small very compact spheres of fecal matter.
The first rush of cold air after exiting the long hot shower is like a new born from the womb. Sitting on the bed in a flowered cotton night gown, hair still damp, the glow of a television flickers. The Midnight Matinee is interrupted by a live public commercial.

“We’re here all night folks! It’s a 24 hour! Clearance! Sale! Everything! Must! Goooooo! We have 2, 3, 4 cushion loooooove seats! We’ve got recliners too! We even have kitchen and dining room sets! We got it all! So, don’t be shy! Come on down! Be the 10th customer and ask for John Boy, you get 10% off your purchase! Hurry on down now, ya here!”

A methodically crazed middle-aged man in a polo shirt raves. The red light at the top of the camera fades, though he remains nervously still in front of it with an odd smile plastered across his face for another five seconds until it becomes abundantly clear that it’s a wrap.

“God…DAMN! It’s hot as a witches fuckin’ TITTY in here! Is it hot or WHAT!” Speaking to no one in particular, John rattles off to the bathroom in the office between the showroom and warehouse in the back.

Sitting upon the lid of the toilet, he uses the paper found rolled up on the side of the stall to wipe the sweat from his brow. His heart skips once before rapidly firing off five beats, only to return to it’s normal rhythm. The pager clipped to his belt vibrates against his side.

“We’re already at 8 with a 9th primed. Figure you might as well be around, Johnny.”
“Damn…thing really works, huh.”

A deaf couple in their thirties enter the store. Slowly shuffling their feet, they quietly take in each others subtle head movement and expressions before moving onward. Eventually they find themselves hovering over a dark muted mauve couch with jagged lines embedded into the fabric. It was awe inspiring. The woman didn’t deliberate, she moved deftly toward the nearest salesman to lay the details down. Before she could make an attempt, she was interrupted by the red-faced perspiring methodically crazed bowling ball bellied owner with a camera light blinding her.

“Congratulations! You’re our 10th customer! And as the 10th, all purchases tonight will be 10% off! Right here! Right now! At John Boy’s Living Room and Kitchen. Located just across the street from Glendale Mall, next to Rally’s!”

After the initial shock, the couple were pleased. John Boy, on the other hand, was not as he had forgotten an important line in his announcement.

As the female restrained the male with under-the-table sign language wrap-arounds and nudges, two ex-juvenile delinquents loaded the couch onto their truck. A cherry red sports car nearly runs one of the movers down, the mover turns to stiffen his middle finger only to retract it after catching a glimpse of the drivers powder caked face.

From a distance, the woman looked at least ten years younger than she was. She exists from her car, she’s older and older with each step she takes. By the time she’s standing before the pudgy mover, she’s materialized as a thirty-four year old with two divorces and three kids under her belt.

The deaf couple enters their truck after the couch had been tired down. The mover slams the truck door in back as the heavily treated woman begins to assault the ears of the other one with a rapid fire collage of Spanish and broken English. Small bones arms flailing about can be seen in the rear view mirror of the couples truck. Who said there were no perks to being deaf, they think to themselves.