Blackhumouristpress's Blog

March 19, 2013

My Dinner With Andrea

Filed under: Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 5:18 am
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Percy looked well rested and fat. He ordered a beer, a martini and then a bottle of red wine that he had read about in Wine Spectator Magazine while taking a shit.
“This bottle of Malbec comes from a region of Argentina that is very sandy. I do taste a very earthy quality in the wine. I think I will order the steak with this. I really believe it will taste even better with the steak. It was ranked 99 out of 100. You can’t get much better than 99.”
Percy worked as an assistant to a man who owned a pet shop. Andrea was purchasing pig ears for her three pugs one day and asked about the help wanted sign. When people are not buying neon fish or pig ears, Percy would be dusting crickets with protein for the Geckos or standing in the parking lot of the pet shop in a giant rat suit that was donated from the owner’s brother who had a job protesting work sites that hired non-union labor. The pet storeowner had Percy dance and wave to cars on slow days in the rat suit.
Percy earned $8.00 cash and it made Andrea happy to see Percy doing something besides strumming a guitar in his underwear in the living room while watching court disputes and smoking pot. Monday nights were the nights that Andrea would have Percy use his own money to treat her to dinner. Percy was a wiz at finding inexpensive places that were actually very nice.
“This is a great find here. You have this Ecuadorian couple cooking and serving in this tiny place. Their fat children are over there playing handheld games like any other American children. I love the pan flute music. I can imagine a Quechua Indian woman carrying a bundle of sticks on her head, wearing a bra and Fedora while her drunken husband staggers softly behind her on a dirt path leading to Quito… Two for one Ceviche and prix fixe on Mondays. Not a soul in this place.”
Andrea wanted to tell Percy how horrible her day was at work. She wanted to tell him how insecure she felt that the new blonde woman was getting a large chunk of her workload and that her boss seemed totally smitten with the young attractive woman. Andrea was a bit hippish with a large bust and was well into middle age. Andrea hung on to Percy because he was not going anywhere. He was predictable and opposed to change. Percy would be there forever and that was comfort in an ever-changing world.
Two gay men entered the restaurant. Percy made eye contact. The gay couple looked at Percy. Percy looked away and then looked back at the men. One man had on long dangling earrings and had frosted tips. The other man looked like a man. Andrea braced for Percy’s thoughts on the gay couple.
“My old man if he were here, would ask what this world is coming to. Our economy is ready to collapse, our GDP has flat lined and the big social quandary is worrying about gays getting married. I guarantee you that in my old man’s day, they weren’t worried about homosexuals while people stood in soup lines during the Depression. And the thing now is that they’re so fucking brazen. They come in and give me the stare down. One is dressed like Ziggy Stardust and the other just another gay truck driver and they look at me like I’m fucked up.”
“If gays want to be married, let them be married. Who really cares anymore?” Said Andrea.
“Sure… Next people will want to marry a canned ham or a Shetland pony and we’ll just have to look the other way. Where do things end?”
Andrea took a drink of her wine and firmly placed her glass down and looked squarely at Percy.
“Yes indeed. Where will things end? I work and look forward to eating out occasionally and then hear your theories and thoughts on everything. Why don’t we talk about taking a dream trip to New Zealand?”
“New Zealand? Why New Zealand?”
“Because there is nowhere you can go other than the moon that is as far away from this place as New Zealand. If all we ever do is run the same track over and over, is that living?”
Percy raised his glass and his eyebrows. He was impressed by that question. “So it so that we are bored. We’re all bored by the routine and the mundane. We run to sports and The Bachelor to escape the reality of our surroundings. The boredom that we see in our lives may very well be a created by us unconsciously in our quest to make money to do things and have things like a carrot at the end of a stick. Nietzsche said, nothing is so stifling as symmetry. Symmetry is boredom, the quintessence of mourning. Despair yawns. There is something more terrible than a hell of suffering — a hell of boredom.”
“Percy… Fuck Nietzsche. He wasn’t a god and didn’t even believe in god. I need to know where we are going.”
“Sweet potatoes… That is the thing about faith. People want to believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny and leprechauns and really we create things so that we don’t come to the conclusion that maybe this is all there is and we won’t come back as a better human or sit in a waiting room on the right side of the throne to get our moment with the maker and then fuck off for eternity. I can’t tell you where we are going.”
“I meant, where are we as a couple going. I didn’t mean where do we go after death.”
Percy was uncomfortable with the fact that the gay couple was looking in their direction. They had to turn themselves completely around to look at Percy and Andrea. Andrea didn’t care. She was sad and insecure. She wanted Percy just once to ask her what was wrong and what could he do to help her. Maybe just a hug and a kiss to the forehead. Instead Percy was oblivious.
“These two fucking queers think I’m game for some sort of a twisted threesome. This is what I’m talking about. We keep opening doors and now it is becoming commonplace for fags to make straights feel uncomfortable. Men are still men and when men look at men the way they would a woman if they were straight, it is because they have one thing in mind- fucking.”
“Percy, dear… Nobody in this place wants to fuck you right now. Trust me when I say this. Trust me when you hear this.”
The David Bowie looking man, who was dressed effeminately, got up and sat at the open chair next to Percy and Andrea. The straight looking man then took the other chair. Ziggy Stardust spoke excitedly.
“Today is our first wedding anniversary. We went to Argentina for our honeymoon to this very winery that makes the wine you’re drinking and we found this wine to be the very best. We would like nothing more than to order another bottle and share it with two people who understand a really good wine. It may be forward of us, but what the hell… Life is short and living is what you do right now.”
The startled Percy thought about the statement that was not written by Nietzsche or Freud or any other deep thinker who was possibly fucked in the head. It came from a friendly woman trapped in a man’s skin. The quartet finished two more bottles to the sound of pan flutes on a half priced Monday.

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