Girl Chapter VI
by Dixon Carter Lee ©
A gaggle of white swans honked noisily in the makeshift pond, created by sinking a plastic children's pool into a freshly dug pit, ringed by an assortment of foliage and boulders for an "authentic" look. Homely girls in horrid orange and white taffeta gowns that threatened to eat them were escorted around by pimply faced ushers in powder blue tuxedos. Brazen squirrels repeatedly leaped onto the cafe tables, snatching bread and nuts, spilling martinis and white whine spritzers. The bride and groom, both blanched and panicked looking, were arguing with the caterer about the aesthetic difference between chocolate covered cherries and white chocolate covered cherries, and how he was ruining their special day, just ruining it!
I hate weddings.
The New Blue News was booked, last minute, to work this reception at an outdoor wedding in Jersey. The bride's parents had turned their backyard into a kitschy wedding theme park with biting swans, wilting floral arches, moldy red carpeting and white doves that escaped and flew away an hour before the ceremony.
We were stuck on a couple of shaky risers next to the tool shed, under a maple tree which dropped heavy, golden leaves on us all afternoon. We played lots o' Sinatra, Big Band, and great but overdone stuff like "As Time Goes By".
There were three young girls in particular who kept bugging me to do some rap numbers, and giggling and making faces every time I said, "Sorry we don't that." Actually, it got to be a fun, flirty kind of thing after a while. I've been onstage enough to know when young girls find me attractive, and these kids were definitely interested. But at their tender age you don't hand the singer your phone number, you bug him about dumb requests and make faces. So I started making faces back, and even promised them one rap number later if they got me a beer. Off they went to the bar and, with much furious pointing towards the stage, convinced the bartender that the drink was, indeed, for an adult. They returned with their prize like Dorothy and friends with the witches broom, demanding their reward. "Later." I said, grabbing the beer and launching into "Summer Wind".
"Awwwww." they groaned, making more faces.
One of the girls was the Bride's sister, a flower girl, who was allowed to wear a very pretty little shift, instead of the horrible taffeta, which was a good thing because she was a cute teeny thing, freshly scrubbed, with white teeth and shiny skin with braided hair surrounded with a laurel of flowers, and was very pleasant to look at. And I needed some sort of diversion because the rest of the day pretty much sucked.
See, Julie and I were fighting.
It had been a week since making love at her place. She and Christie had talked things out (though I don't think she ever told Christie about hiding in the closet and watching her blow me to heaven), and I decided to pretty much avoid the flat altogether. So I gave Julie a key to my place and we spent the next several days there, eating meals together, doing crossword puzzles, and trying hard to have normal, private sex. She was good about making sure I "had my fun", but no way was I able to get her, in any way, "off". Her frigidity didn't bother me, I was patient with her, but she wasn't as patient with herself, and cursed and screamed at her "Goddamn stupid body!" every day. I was beginning to think that she didn't see much of a future in our relationship.
And that was sad, because I was falling in love with her. Her music was complicated, marvelously mathematical and precise, but edgy and unpredictable at the same time, much like she was. I wrote lyrics to many of her old pieces, and it was the best stuff I'd ever done. I was in awe of her talent as a composer, and as a performer. Her voice and stage persona were electrifying. And beyond all that, she was a smart conversationalist, and could give an opinion on any subject. She was brash and shy, smart about the world and dumb about herself; she was a concert of contradictions. Pure jazz. My Jazzy Girl. And for four vibrant (though passionless) days we were inseparable.
Then Bonnie called.
She wanted to meet me, Sunday night, on top the Empire State Building, at night. She wouldn't say what is was about, only that she wanted to see me. I remembered our conversation just a few weeks earlier when I told her I'd never been to the top and would love to see the view, late at night.
Julie became unreasonable, and left the apartment, chucking my key at me. I hadn't told her everything about my relationship with Bonnie, but I knew she could tell that it was pretty hot and heavy going, and she was obviously jealous. I thought about exploring the exhibitionist side of Julie, like I had with Bonnie, but I still didn't understand the whole fetish, and hoped that she and I could work things out behind closed doors.
We didn't see each other again until jumping on the bus together to get to this gig. We sat in separate seats and didn't say a word to each other.
After a flaccid first set we took a break, and I tried to talk to her. She wouldn't listen, and walked over to the bar with the rest of the band.
Pissed now I walked the other way, across the yard, and disappeared into the garage which the family has converted into a playroom for their kids. It had a large Sesame Street rug and hundreds of toys, board games, hula hoops, bicycles, etc. It set away from the house, in the back, and had an entry door and windows which looked out over the yard. I sat in a big bean bag chair which crushed and sank as I sat, and sulked.
Out the tiny window I could see Julie across the yard downing a glass of wine and throwing bread for the miserable, caged swans. She looked pretty miserable herself.
After about ten minutes I heard someone say, "Oooo! Sitting on duty! I'm telling!"
I turned around to see that my teenie groupies had followed me into the garage.
"I'm on break." I said, "And yes, I'll a sing rap song for God's sake!"
"Ask him!" one giggled. They all shoved each other around, whispering, and sneaking little smiles at me. Finally the cutie, the flower girl with the floral laurel, stepped forward and said, "You know that girl in your band with the big boobs?"
The other girls all giggled at the word "Boobs." "Mindy!" they chided.
"Yeah. What about her?" I asked.
"Okay," said Mindy, rolling her eyes, and chewing some gum, "Is she, like, your girlfriend?"
"Why?" I asked.
"Because," said one of the other girls laughing, "Mindy wants to go out with you!"
"Shut-up!" squealed Mindy, smacking her friends on the shoulder. "I'm serious!"
I looked out the window again. Julie was talking to one of the ushers, a tall, goofy-looking kid who'd had his eye on her all day.
"We're kind of broken up." I said. "So I'm free."
"Oooooo Mindy!" the girls teased.
"I am so going to kick your butts!" said Mindy, turning a bright red.
I stood up and walked over to them. They all retreated a bit. I was a good foot taller than they were. "Don't you think I'm too old for you all?" I said in my best adult voice.
"My mom is ten years younger than my Dad." said one, hiccuping.
"Lisa's drunk!" squealed one girl.
"Oh screw you, Terry, I am not!" said Lisa, hiccuping again. The girls burst out laughing.
"You been sneaking some of the champagne?" I asked.
"My brother got us a bottle." said Mindy. "He's one of the ushers. That's him."
I looked out the window at the tall kid who was talking to Julie.
"Don't those tuxedos suck?" said Mindy.
"I like your belt." said Lisa, reaching and fondling my buckle.
"Lisa!" said Mindy, giggling.
"What?" said Lisa, really having no idea what the problem was.
"Don't grab his belt. God!" said Terry.
Lisa dropped her hand, suddenly aware of what she was doing. "Oh God!" she said, laughing. "I'm sorry."
"It's alright, you can look at it." I said.
"I like it, too." said Mindy, quickly, hoping for a turn.
"Go ahead." I said.
Mindy reached out and rubbed the buckle, which was designed to look like a musical note. Her fingers were tiny, with short, painted nails. "Ooo, nice." she said. "Are these leather pants?"
"Yes." I said. "But I think they're too tight on me."
Mindy shook her head. "Nu-uh. They look great."
"So." said Terry. "You guys going out?
Mindy dropped her hand away from my buckle and said, "I swear I am just kidding you guys! God!"
"Oh she so loves you!" laughed Lisa.
"That's it!" said Mindy, snorting, "You guys are so lame! I am moving back to Chicago! I hate you!"
Out the window I could see the band taking to the stage, ready for the second set. "Okay." I said, "I'll try to do your rap song now. But don't expect much!"
"Yea!" they shouted, following me back to the stage, hooting and shooting like my own private cheer-leading squad.
"I have a request." I said to Tyler, as I hopped up onto the stage. "Can you give me some kind of a rap beat?"
"Sure." said Tyler, knocking out an easy rhythm on the drums, and I improvised a silly rap song.
"Her name is Mindy, From the Windy city, She sure looks pretty, And for her I sing this stupid rap ditty, Uh-huh!"
The girls screeched with joy, pushing and shoving Mindy around and teasing her until she turned a beet red.
"Her friends are lame, 'Cause they're all the same, I forget their names, But they drink too much Champagne, U-huh!"
I did a couple of more verses and finished to good-natured applause from the crowd, squeals from the girls, and some very strange looks from the band.
"Okay," I said, feeling no pain really no longer caring about the Bride's request list, "Let's have some fun." I launched into "Hoop Girl", and the band gleefully followed. We finished to great applause, and several corny loud "Bravos!" from Mindy who sat on her Daddy's lap. He, and all the other adults, seemed to enjoy the second set, as we went from one original tune to the next. All our new stuff. Julie's music and my lyrics. We finished with a kick-ass version of "Jazzy Girl" which Julie really tore into, sending an electric thrill through all the powder-blue tuxedo boys.
Julie and I clicked on stage, like we always did, but as soon as the set was over it was brick wall city, dude.
Most of the guests went inside the house to get their dinner, some thin roast beef and hard potatoes, and, of course, the horrific white chocolate strawberries.
I wasn't hungry. I was in a weird mood, thrilled at the set, but still pissed at Julie for not trusting me, pissed at Bonnie for calling and starting this whole issue, and, I think pissed again at Julie about her frigidity. I hated to admit it, but I was taking it personally that she and I couldn't have sex alone. I just didn't get this whole exhibitionist thing.
So I grabbed a beer and went back the garage to hide and sulk. I stared out the window and saw Mindy, alone, searching for me. She saw my face in the window, and came inside.
"You were so great." she said, stepping into the dusty garage. She nonchalantly picked up a jump rope, and attempted a few jumps. "Everyone is talking about it. It was so funny, though our moms are yelling at us because of the champagne."
"She's right." I said. "You should stick to beer."
"Can I have a sip?" she said, and I handed her my bottle, which seemed to big for her little fist. She took out her bubble-gum, and took a sip. It must have been too bitter for her because a bit dribbled out of her mouth as she pulled it away in distaste. I pulled out my shirt and dabbed her mouth with the end. "Thanks. Yuk." she said. "You actually like that stuff?"
"Yep." I said, leaving my shirt untucked, and taking a big swig. It was my fifth beer that day, and I was getting a little buzzed.
Mindy seemed nervous, and kept playing with the toys, kicking over some blocks, riffling some cards, chewing and popping her gum mindlessly. She was desperately searching for something to say or do. Without her friends egging her on she felt adrift. I thought again how pretty she was. A child face, a lovely, lithe body just filling out, and her charmingly arranged hair, braided on top her head, and crowned with wildflowers. Her eyes were moist with infatuation.
Eager to keep to the conversation going, she came up with "Um, can I see your belt buckle again?"
I knew she wasn't that interested in my buckle, but this was her way of reinitiating a physical contact that we'd had earlier. In her mind this was a safe, familiar way to be intimate.
"Sure." I said.
She reached out and fondled the buckle. "It's so cool" she said, not really having anything else to say. "You should tuck your shirt in."
"I'm too tired," I said casually, looking out the window. I saw Mindy's brother trying to wrangle another drink from the bartender. Somehow, knowing that her brother was right there, right outside the window, gave me a thrill. "You do it." I said, not really thinking.
Mindy hesitated, then pushed my shirt back into my pants, first just tucking it under the waistband, then pulling my belt away from my stomach and making room to push it in further. I kept looking out the window, pretending not to feel anything, when secretly I was thrilled. Mindy's brother only had to look up, and he might see his sister standing very close to me. My heart started pounding, and I knew I didn't want this feeling to stop. Mindy got the last of the shirt in. Her whole hand was inside my pants. She was about to pull it out, when I grabbed her hand and held it there.
"What are you doing?" she asked, knowing what I was doing.
"Isn't that your brother?" I asked, ignoring her question.
Mindy started to pull her hand away, but was distracted by my question. She looked out the window. Her brother was outside walking around, munching on a chicken leg, sipping his booty of beer, checking out the band instruments.
"Yeah. Barry." she said. "He older than you?" I asked.
"A year." she said.
"He tease you a lot?" I asked.
"Yeah. He can be a doofus." she answered.
stood there, looking at doofus Barry, pretending not to be in any kind
of actual contact, I pushed Mindy's hand down into my pants.
|Another top quality story by Dixon Carter Lee.|
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