My Wild-on Waitressbymaxdname©
The beautiful young blonde woman with cobalt blue eyes bared her teeth briefly before she bit into the corner of the pillow where my head lay. A guy with a crew cut knelt behind her banging his loins into her upturned hips with a physical urgency, I suspect, would normally be seen in those individuals engaged in hand-to-hand (or hand-to-claw) mortal combat with some large carnivorous predator.
The girl's eyes focused on me momentarily before she whispered breathlessly, "Merry Christmas. You're next, grandpa, if you brought your nitro glycerine."
I smiled the vacant smile I cultivated especially for drug-addled burn-outs who recognized me on the street. I played bass guitar in a band that imploded 20 years ago when the lead guitarist overdosed on some drug that was extracted from the semen of enraged cape buffalo (the man now lives on a game preserve in Canada where I understand he is quite happy and considering a shot at the summer Olympics if he can figure out how to get around the urinalysis test) and I still, on occasion, meet some homeless ex-punk rocker who insists that "Lettuce Spray"--the one Top 40 hit from Corruptible Pagan, the band I played for--was the greatest song ever written for two guitars, a drum set, and garbage disposal.
Pulling my head away from the puddle of drool the girl left on my pillow I rose to greet the morning sun. Having traveled for two full years with a rock band I was not offended, nor surprised; I wasn't even fully awakened by the couple's intrusion onto my bed, but I was hurt by the "grandpa" comment (despite the fact that I am a grandfather due to some alcohol and paint thinner fueled indiscretion I had in Des Moines... or Duluth, the exact location was not made public by the US Attorney's Office). Then following some other musician's later slip up, during a nationwide tour by Korn, I became the parent of a parent.
The guy with the crew cut pulled his raging woody from the woman's sticky cavity only to narrow his eyes at me and ask why I "look familiar?"
I glanced down at his bobbing erection, which appeared to be the same size and shape as a pork roast and I deadpanned, "I'm her father. Fuck her in the ass." I crawled out of my hostel bunk bed when the girl's screams grew too loud to ignore any longer.
The first major storm of the season had left me 'snowed in' at an overbooked ski resort village frequented by the Northeastern college crowd "willing to do anything to avoid visiting their effete, Daughters' of the American Revolution families over the Christmas break." I was stuck sharing a dormitory style sleeping arrangement with a multitude of college age sexual deviates (as if their might be another kind).
I shuffled down the hallway to the shared bathroom only to find two women who appeared to be spanking one another with a hair brush, in turn, prior to shoving a 110 volt powered pineapple-looking-device into their friend's cooter while whining loudly about being "so naughty."
"Jesus." I sighed. No thrasher-punk rock tour was this bad, I thought. I pissed around the enmeshed girls who apologized to me before staring back into their partner's eyes.
One blurted out, "I just can't help it!"
I finished, shook twice, and wandered back into the hallway as one girl shoved the other's face to the floor screaming, "You slut, I'll beat your ass bloody." Glancing at my watch I noticed it was 6:30 AM. Either this was the last of the 'night crew' or it was the early morning Ritalin crowd.
I sighed and plodded to the stairway hoping to find the breakfast tables free of college kids in the throes of an effusive Ecstasy and Viagra marathon to rival the courts of Caligula. Barring that I could use a glass of OJ to set my blood sugar right. Over time I had acquired a minor problem with diabetes that could have been controlled if I had measured my drinking by individual bottles of 101 proof Wild Turkey rather than cases. The years gigging on the road had taken a toll on my body, not like Keith Richards' body but then more drugs had passed through his blood stream than had passed through the coast line of Florida.
I'm not knocking the man. He was always open with his stash--which looked like a DEA evidence locker--and the first to mumble an incoherent but encouraging word before nodding back into a stupor. We hung out during the summer that Corruptible Pagan was the 'opening act' for the 'opening act' for the Rolling Stones. The roadies would usually finish packing up our gear for the next night's venue about the same time the 'Stones were waking up.
I remember clearly Richards leaning against me, his cigarette long since burnt to the filter, and asking me if he looked as bad as he felt. I bit my lip rather than tell him "...no one could feel that bad." A roady shoved the lead guitarist against the wall that led onto the stage and Keith was able to keep his feet under him, just enough, to reel into the glaring lights and crowd's roar. The man played brilliantly that evening. At an intoxication level fatal to all but the most savage primates, Keith Richards flourished... "don't try this at home."
The dining room was empty except for one young man who lay unconscious on the floor with his erect penis poking out of his open zipper. I pretended not to notice the man and I stepped over him as I headed for a table by the window.
A harried looking waitress raced through the swinging kitchen doors, stopped, and snapped over her shoulder at someone out of sight, "I need a busboy to clean up table three, again."
The woman stormed straight to the prone man where she dropped a dishrag onto the man's protruding member before she pulled out her order pad and approached my table.
With pen poised she smiled and asked sweetly, "Do you want coffee this morning?
I shrugged. "Sure, and uh the 'Healthy Heart Breakfast," I finished. What had I become?
She spun on her heel and this time, when passing the prone figure, kicked him sharply in the side. After filling a cup with some 'jo' she stuck her head back inside the kitchen and sniped, "God damn it! Clean up on table three!"
My waitress was smiling again as she set my coffee cup into the saucer in front of me. "I'm Becka. If you need anything just ask."
"Um..." My voice caught the woman in mid-turn. "I may need less than he does..." She froze and a shade of crimson normally associated with Valentine's Day descended down her cheeks, to her neck, and disappearing beneath the collar of her brown uniform. She opened her mouth to say something, still partially facing the kitchen, but no words came out.
Then her entire body sagged as she let out her breath in a rush. "I'm so sorry." She turned to face me now. "This happens every year at Christmas Break. But this is the first time we couldn't... cater just to these kids..." Her voice trailed off.
I smiled at her. "It's okay." She cocked her head and smiled broadly. Full pouty lips outlined her straight white teeth. Becka was pretty woman, I decided.
"Nobody complains to the owners?"
Becka sighed heavily. "That's the owner's son under table three." She flicked her head towards the man as two busboys arrived to lug his limp body into the kitchen. The doors swung shut again before I piped up with another question.
"He's not... cooking my breakfast... is he?"
Becka laughed at that and slid into the booth across the table from me.
She sighed heavily again. Her index finger traced a pattern in the formica, her eyes measuring each turn, as she spoke. "If you live in this town, there aren't too many places to work. And this place isn't bad except for this one week every year. The kids call it 'the wild on,' or 'getting a wild on' or... or... they just laugh and try to rip my uniform off..."
"Boys will be boys," I snickered.
"That's the girls..." She looked up at me and smiled. "The boys are outta control."
Her gaze fell back to the tabletop just as her finger came to a stop . "So I either put up with this one crazy week, or learn to install snow chains at the gas station. What about you?" Her pretty oval face pointed at mine, once again. "You don't look like you belong with these educated chimps."
"I'm their chaperone..." Becka laughed at this and placed her hand on top of mine. It gave me queer feeling in my stomach when she did. "I might have let things go a little too far..." I smiled at her. "I'm Dave... and I'm stuck here until the roads are clear."
"Okay, 'stuck Dave.' You and I can be friends until you can get outta here, a'ight?"
I nodded once. "Deal." Glancing out the window I watched as the snow fell in chubby clumps onto the naked tree limbs, piling up in sticky pyramids that looked like soap bubbles from a 10 horsepower dishwasher 'gone amok.'
"Any idea when... uh... that might be?" I asked.
Becka frowned. "No later than springtime." Her expression changed to a smile and she dipped her face as she chuckled. When her face rose up once again I examined it closely.
She had a small nose, what some might call a 'button nose' with a dusting of freckles across the bridge that spilled onto her cheeks. Green eyes contrasted her brown hair which was pulled up into a severe looking bun on the back of her head. I glanced at her delicate hands and noticed she wore no wedding band.
"Married?" I asked trying to sound casual even though my heart was more enthusiastic.
She wrinkled up that button nose. "I had to put 'em down." She grinned again before she dropped her hand on top of mine, again. That strange feeling in my stomach returned. "Ohhh..." Her voice wavered as she continued. "I couldn't keep him home at night." A pained half smile betrayed her attempt at humor. "You?" She perked up.
"My mother didn't think any of them were... uh..." Her head dipped again when she chuckled and I felt something tugging at my chest when I made her laugh. I snapped my head to one side and whispered aloud. "What was that, mother?"
"Do you run a motel?" She asked still laughing.
"Hm, yeah. It's a... kind of out of the way." I finished with a sound effect like the one from the murder scene in "Psycho."
We stared into each other's eyes for a long moment. I could feel a heat rising in my chest as her face softened.
"I'll check on your order," she whispered rising up.
"Thanks," was all the lump in my throat would allow me to say.
She stood and when her warm palm slid off my hand I felt a pang of loneliness in my heart like something that breaks the skin but then pulls out as quickly leaving behind the sting of injury, but more, a desperate emptiness in its wake. It was like having a stubborn case of hiccups: when they finally stop, your body still readies for the next spasm, that never comes.
Becka sat across from me while I gorged on oatmeal, dry toast, melon, and two slices of crispy bacon I ordered as an afterthought so that my arteries might better appreciate the bland sludge I was forcing down my gullet to maintain some modicum of health.
In between bites I caught her story. A sick parent--that she had cared for--kept her living in this backwoods 'berg and when Becka's mother died the young woman found herself pregnant and married to a dallying partner. When her son was born the father vanished and Becka decided her son should grow up here, like she had, rather than be subject to an impersonal, and possibly dangerous, big city.
"So, I'm a single mom in the big woods." Her smile said more than words ever could. Raising her son here--rather than "down country" as she called it--was for the best, in her mind. She grew up here and she seemed to me, a well-centered intelligent woman.
"What about you, 'stuck Dave?'"
I rambled on about my glory days (or better: glory 'day') that had long since passed and explained that I now whiled away my hours gigging as a backup bassist on the County Fair/Reservation Gambling Casino/Retirement Homes' circuit with reunion bands that hadn't been inside a studio since Nixon was president.
"So, I quietly pluck away at my ax while the sole living band member belts out a 90 minute version of the band's only hit song. Usually it's some 'hit' that fell off the charts before man set foot on the moon." I felt sad inside and I shook my head before I realized it. Then I continued on with my well-rehearsed self-deprecating monologue.
"It's not a bad way to live. Normally the 'star' will mention my name and Corruptible Pagan... um to a polite but scattered applause and then... uh... the ensemble crashes through some 30 minute musical bridge... before 'the star,' sneaks a glance at the back of an amplifier--that's where we tape the name of the venue in glow-in-the-dark tape--and... Then he thanks the audience for remembering a song... um, a song that was a 'golden oldie' when most of the audience was still doing the 'Hokie Pokie.'" I stopped at that point.
Becka had narrowed her eyes at me some moments earlier and I felt naked in front of her. My glib, tongue-in-cheek, diatribe sounded hollow, even to my ears. Saying it so many times, to so many people, I had almost come to believe it myself until Becka's pretty face reflected the true depth of my deceit.
I found my eyes darting around the table, and the room, searching for some hiding place from this woman. I wanted to hole up in dark cave where I might examine my life: a search for some thread of purpose or reason. A lump pushed itself up inside my throat.
As if the gods heard my inner plea, a well-endowed beautiful woman, sporting a red and white Santa hat--only her waist covered by a shaving towel allowing her ample breasts to sway freely in the morning air--wandered into the restaurant in an obvious search. Her head turning from side to side she asked plainly, "Where's Bobby? I left him right here." She pointed to the table where the unconscious man lay earlier.
Becka bit her lip to stifle a laugh as she pointed towards the swinging doors. "The kitchen," she managed.
"Hm," the young woman hummed her thanks as she traipsed forward. Stopping briefly she asked one more question. "Do you guys have olive oil?"
Becka's eyes widened when she turned to look at me. Swallowing hard she blurted out, "Kitchen!" still trying to hold back her laughter.
The girl nodded and pushed through the doorway. Now Becka and I shared a laugh until a loud crash echoed from the kitchen.
"Be right back." Becka slid out of the booth quickly.
This was my moment. I could break for freedom: free to continue the life I chose to this point, or stay, trusting this woman to offer some new path. A path that would wend its way to some different life than my present course pointed. A pressure on my chest pushed my breath out in a rush. I took in a lung full of air, held it, and let it back out slowly.
I stood up, glanced around the dining room, made my decision, and then marched directly to the kitchen doors. Poking my head inside I asked, "Becka, can I help?" There I saw the cause of the disturbance.
The half-naked woman had one of the busboys locked in an arm bar while Becka and the rest of the kitchen staff stood by waiting for some opportune instant to jump the woman and release their fellow worker.
"Give it back, you bastard!" the woman screamed. The busboy dropped a wallet--he had clasped in his free hand--onto the floor and the woman shoved him hard against the metal cabinets as he did. She snapped up the wallet quickly and tugged on the arm of her man, "Bobby." Rising up from behind a cabinet, "Bobby" swayed momentarily on his feet before he leaned against the woman. She led the man out while still glaring at the busboy who stood rubbing the shoulder that had taken the full force of his fall.
When the woman brushed past me I realized my mouth was agape and I snapped it shut with a loud 'clack.'
Becka spun to face the busboy, her arms akimbo. "You! You're fired... Get out... Now!" she barked in a staccato rhythm. The busboy stared at her for a moment silently measuring the waitress.
"Get the fuck out!" she shrieked taking a menacing step towards him. The former busboy jumped backwards and dashed towards the back door, which he hit at a dead run. Everyone else in the room stood frozen in the moment. Becka's head swiveled between the remaining kitchen staff.
"Get back to work!" There was a flurry of activity amongst the crew, now. One busboy dropped to his knees scrubbing at a cabinet leg with only his thumbnail. I watched in silence as Becka glared at everybody one more time. Quietly, I pulled my head out of the doorway and I tiptoed away from the kitchen, careful not to make any noise.
"Hey, 'stuck Dave?'" A pleasant voice from behind me caused me to start.
"Hm?" I managed. Turning around I saw Becka smiling at me as though we were still in the midst of our previous conversation.
"It's the holidays. What are you doin' for dinner, tonight?" she asked sweetly. I shrugged, not able to form a cogent answer yet. "Okay, six o'clock. Be here. Aloha." Becka grinned broadly.
I laughed. "Okay." She was the 'delightful Becka' I had chatted with for almost an hour, no longer the 'Cosa Nostra button-waitress.'
As terrifying as the 'take charge Becka' was, I found the 'sweet Becka;' the single mom raising a son, the delightful woman who chose a more solitary life in "the big woods" over one "down country," the pretty, and funny girl who I found myself consumed with, outweighed the dangerous 'don't fuck with me Becka' I saw in the kitchen.
Seated in the main lobby I busied myself with a six-month-old NASCAR magazine thinking about my six o'clock tryst. An attractive young Chinese woman wearing red high heels and Christmas-ornament ear rings--and nothing more--meandered across the room to where I was sitting.
"Santa, can I sit in your lap? I don't think I had you..." Her tone was a 'breathless Marilyn Monroe on aphrodisiacs' sort of whisper growing louder with each step nearer. I held up my hand to interrupt her spiel.
"Sorry. Gay Klansman." I stated matter-of-factly.
"I bet I could change your mind..." she purred just as her middle finger disappeared between the folds of flesh below her neatly trimmed pubic hair.
I swallowed hard and heard an audible "gleep." A 'don't fuck with me Becka' image floated in my head. I shot the beautiful Asian vixen a quick smile. "Thanks, but no." I whispered while a part of me screamed, "Are you out of your fucking mind!?"
"Shit!" The woman snapped as she stood dispassionately before me where only seconds prior she had been on the doorsteps of some self-enhanced sexual Valhalla. She spun on her stiletto heel and stormed back into the hotel proper.
I breathed out, at last. Six o'clock seemed a lifetime away.
At six PM sharp I met up with Becka. She led me along a hip-deep path through the snow to a plain looking two-story apartment building across the street. Up the stairs we stopped at the door to her world.
"My son's name is Craig. He's um... I don't..." Becka shook her head gently and closed her eyes briefly. "...bring people home. Men." She added quickly.
Her soft smile revealed some heartfelt eager wish that her son and I might like each other. I fought the urge to toss some sophomoric comment between us and instead nodded once and smiled back at her.
"Craig... Okay." I added softly. She breathed a quiet sigh of relief.
The apartment was early-American... American and Becka called out to her son as we took off ours coats.
Craig stopped in the doorway of his room to look me up and down. His gaze traveled from
the top of my head to the soles of my shoes, and back up, in a slow measured pace. I felt like I was being frisked by a US Marshall.
"Hello, Craig." I tried to sound like an adult despite his intense examination.
With his head cocked to one side, he asked, "You're, 'stuck Dave?'"