Halloween night. This bar wasn't where Wanda wanted to be. It was just someplace warm until the taxi showed up. Alberni only had two.
The party'd gone south fast. Typical. She never went anywhere; should've known better than to go to Gabriel and Elsie's the way they got(more) while drinking. Almost right away they were at it, their made-up faces distorted as they screamed, further violence on a leash only temporarily. Not even 10 pm before guests were fleeing the apartment, neighbors up and down the hall peeking from behind chained doors.
The few drinkers in the bar looked at them lingeringly, with curiosity and, to Wanda's eye, impatience. They were too fucking old to be princesses but that's what they were: "Jasmine" and "Cinderella." Meant to be ironic - the inoffensive girlishness of Disney characters laid atop a hard-edged adulthood.
"I'll have a double Glenfiddich, or whatever you have that's similar," she told the bartender.
"Ho-de-ho," he said.
"And I'll have a Smirnoff Ice," Julia said, smiling. Unlike Wanda, Julia liked being looked at, didn't take it personally. Dive bar or no.
He raised his eyebrow before setting down the drinks. "Those outfits on, I should ask for ID, but little girls don't drink that." He nodded at the scotch. Wanda didn't bother to smile and help soften the blow of sitting in this dump until the taxi showed.
Besides a few dollar store pumpkin cut-outs on the wall there was no concession to the holiday. The cobwebs in the corners were real.
Julia went to find the restroom.
"So. What are you supposed to be?" the bartender asked. "Princesses?"
Wanda detected a sneer. Her mouth was dry.
He laid the bill down on the bar. "I know exactly what you are just by looking at you," he said.(less)
I'm trying to figure out what you are. It's been the defining question of my life, actually. I definitely know who you are... I mean, I certainly recognize you. But what are you?
You've changed so much. You went through all of the usual dramatic changes of youth an(more)d young adulthood, but you didn't stop. You used to be fat and round. Your eyes were always squinted into your face, and they were unsure eyes. Your hair was combed straight back.
And then you weren't as fat, and you're eyes showed more, a bit wider. I remember a stern face sometimes. I watched it become leaner, and the eyes more confident.
And then it kept going, and you had a jawline and everything. You didn't comb your hair straight back anymor- or at all. It grew bushy and wild, and your eyes were wild too. They were the widest and the greenest they'd every been.
And now what are you? A face a bit pudgier than the last, though not fat and round as before. Your hair is short and you sport a thick beard. And now more than ever those eyes probe back at me. What are they looking for? The faces that have gone, never to return? The faces to come?
It is not a satisfied look in your eyes. But I always notice them. I catch them stealing glances- in the morning routine of the bathroom, in the black sheen of my coffee, in the rearview mirror as I adjust it.
I don't know what you are. This face can't tell you. But maybe another face will, a different face, a face I've never seen before.(less)
the hours the minutes the weeks and days and maybe years spent juggling these questions filling out the formulas, stressful thinking pitchblack room scrunching noises of the pillow and my hair along the top of it, the(more) cold underneath will sometimes bring comfort but who knows, really. substitute x for her and her and her, not to many unfortunately. but its always so confusing and fascinating and difficult to deal with.
the capacity to love and like and be infatuated with or interested and invested in, dedicating time and energy and the emotions of a teenaged girl i cannot deal. theres a hard ceiling to it, and a very visible one, at that. muted grey with an inlaid darker grey grid, almost charcoal. each square its own little thing, a diorama depicting possibility a through zzz. that way when your head hits the icy cold surface, so adamant about staying still, you look up and are lost, immediately, in a vortex thought trap, lost in the idea of these little boxes of potential, each a better future or past or present. its tough. but a thrill. which side of the scale is more worthwhile, who knows. probably everyone but me.
the chariot tarot was always so threatening. force of nature paired with force of man; together most likely force of habit. powered by a thickly muscled beast, driven by a seasoned ruler, a madman, a brute. the road is dusty and in its wake, the chariot leaves clouds of venom.
somewhere in the desert, a girl wanders in search of the lost city of her childhood. the sages spoke of it and now she seeks. the sun is hot and no one told her it was all made up.(less)
A particular university within this patch of city used to have a penchant for painting things over and passing them off as related objects.
For a Wonderland-themed campus festival one year, students reproduced the whole painting-the-roses-red routine. For the days leading up to winter break, peppermint chews and(more) cinnamon drops morphed into chocolate marbles. For an art exhibit, museum halls ended up dotted in almost exact Mona Lisa replicas--almost exact because of the added top hats and Pinocchio noses.
The university's last and greatest prank saw the local grocer supply nothing but lemon-flavored "limes" for a month. Lime shakes and lime tarts were treated like the plague for week after, but the lime square quickly became the university's signature dessert, and the university itself is now jokingly called the Lime Campus.(less)
Slicing limes has more of a process than you know. Snag one off of McCall's basket, place it on a wood slab and proceed to roll away to get some of the juices to bleed from the flesh - makes reaping it later easier on the fingers, and there's more(more) bang for your buck, too.
Roll away. 10 seconds is good. I add another 2.
Part one half from the other with a santoku. Squeeze in a twisting motion with my fingers.
I had never had a gin and tonic before. As I stood in the hotel suite I could hear the tinkle of ice in a glass from the kitchenette adjacent to the sitting room.
"Do you want lime with it?", he asked.
Lime? I had never had a lime before either. This(more) was turning out to be an evening of firsts.
"Yeah, you know, like a lemon but just...er...greener"
At that he stuck his head around the corner and waved a green lemon-shaped fruit at me.
"Sure", I said with a smile, hoping that he hadn't noticed my ignorance.
I had been exuding confidence by the pool. The pool was my territory having worked as a lifeguard there the whole Summer long. My limbs had firmed up to their pre-college year tautness and they were tanned golden brown. Yes, by the pool I could snare any man but here it was his domain. He had been at the hotel for nearly a week now and every day had brought me cold drinks from the kiosk in the pool area. Yesterday he had invited me for a drink. Why not? He looked rich. He seemed to be on his own and he had a great body. I had seen him swimming in the early morning. He was like a creature of the waves the way he moved, slicing the water bearly creating a ripple as he went. He was now wearing khakis and a light blue short sleeved shirt. I had worn my one good dress, a little white number that accentuated my tan and was perhaps a little on the short side. Too late to worry about that now. He re-entered the room carrying two tall glasses clinking with ice-cubes, clear liquid and a lime wedge in each.(less)
There were people pointing guns at the entry hatch. Soldiers, obviously - Gotou didn't recognize their uniforms. Those that were WEARING a uniform, that is - there were a lot of people dressed in just partial uniforms and a few old military uniforms that he did recognize. This was(more) a motley group - if they had just gotten yanked into a mercenary ship then they were dead meat. "What do you think?" Masayoshi asked him.
"I think that unless you're able to start this thing back up and fly us out of here, we need to go out there and greet the locals." There were a lot of guns. Several of the armed crew members had started yelling - but they couldn't hear a thing locked in the relative safety of the cockpit. "Doesn't this thing have an external microphone system?" he asked.
Masayoshi sighed deeply. "I don't know, let me just consult the owner's manual. Oh, WAIT."
"You know, I like you better when you're not so sarcastic," Gotou said, and Masayoshi elbowed him. He was unable to deflect in the cramped cockpit so Masayoshi got him good. Aggravated, Gotou dug his fingers into Masayoshi's hips and proceeded to locate his most ticklish spots.
They struggled for a few moments, until someone's flailing arm hit something and the entire machine shifted. They froze - Gotou with one hand in Masayoshi's hair, Masayoshi ready to hit him back - and the mecha took a step forward, and dropped heavily to its knees.
Gotou braced himself at the sudden gravity shift, and realized that Masayoshi was about to go right off his lap and grabbed him too. "Great!" he yelled. "Just great, NOW what?"
Masayoshi slammed a button, and the door hissed open. "Guess we go out and greet the locals."(less)
Alone in the pub, again, I'm prodding at the floating lime, watching the bits separate from the main husk, and regretting that I will soon have to drink them.
Its not what I really wanted. It's usually a lemon, isn't it? But actually the lime is better. It(more)s flavour is less evocative of sterile cleaning products. It punches through the bland cola and announces "I'm here and I know what you want."
I suppose she's sort of like the lime. Except the lime is here already.
I wonder if I'll ask for lime next time, or whether I will soon become nostalgic for lemon?(less)
If there's one thing I appreciated about living in South Asia, it's that the women don't cover up what's on their faces to feign that perfection is normal. The heat, the poverty, the crises -- they're out there persistently and belligerently, everyday. The fact that you spent the night(more) awake because you had to finish up a report, because your baby needed nursing, because you were so engrossed in a book or a movie or otherwise living out your life... you shouldn't need to apologise for that. So why pretend? No, all make-up is at least a little bit of a lie.(less)
"All things will change. Today will be long forgotten in the todays of the future."
This is all I could come up with. Weak and somewhat confusing! Also not exactly a comforting thought in a lot of ways. But my brain seemed unable to manage even the most basic of t(more)asks this morning. My head felt as if it was too heavy for the rest of my body and I longed to just lie down. They might think it a bit strange in the office if I just lay down. The floor was pretty uninspirational. The carpet tiles looked a bit sticky and hard but at least I could be horizontal.
The annoying thing was that this is the job I had been persuing with such vigour, an undergrads wet dream. Okay, perhaps that was a bit of an exaggeration. It was a small publishing house and as a side in order to keep in the black it did messages for greeting cards and calendars. I had been given the task of February. A difficult month by it's very placing in the year. Cold, short days, poor cash flow. I had been aiming to do a sort of "this too will pass" type affair but wanted to put my own stamp on it. I sighed heavily. I was still only on February seventh. At least it was a short month, or wait, was it a leap year next year? I don't know why exactly I felt the way I did but lately everything just seemed harder. My classmates and I would have laughed at such a task just last year and cliches would have spilled from our mouths like an ironic waterfall. Why was it now that my pay cheque was on the line had it become so difficult?(less)
"Hey Mel, think you can hop out from behind the counter for a few hours?"
Mellissa turned from her position restocking the popcorn kernels to find Todd and Gaston leaning expectantly over into her workplace. "I can't tell you how much I'd like to, but I'm the only(more) one on the graveyard shift. Can't have moviegoers run out of sour straws at 1 in the morning and not have someone there to take their money, right?"
"But Mel..." Gaston visibly deflated, slumping against the glass covering rows of candy.
"What are you guys doing here, anyway? The only thing showing right now is that premier, and that's totally booked."
"Precisely." Todd smirked, holding up two tickets.
"Hey! You actually called ahead! But what are you bothering me for? The previews are already starting!" She shooed them off, but they wouldn't budge.
"Well, we WE'RE waiting for our third party member, but she's being SUPER stubborn..." Gaston raised up a third ticket in what he thought to be a shy manner, before breaking into a grin. "Come with us?"
Mellissa stared at their over-the-top pleading faces a moment before a small smile slid across her face. "Well... I suppose if everyone's already in the theater, it wouldn't hurt if I popped in for a while..." She shed her employees vest, accompanied by the triumphant cheers of her friends.
They got into the theater right before the movie started. Mellissa slumped in her seat, happy that her friends had thought to include her, happy that she could actually catch the film, but most of all happy to finally sit down; she'd been standing behind that dumb counter for hours.(less)
The noise that escaped Masayoshi was so high-pitched Gotou assumed that only dogs would be able to hear it. He shoved his hand over Masayoshi's mouth just in case, slipping two fingers inside which Masayoshi's tongue wrapped around greedily.
(more) "What have I told you," Gotou growled into Masayoshi's ear. "About being noisy, here?"
Masayoshi's moan was strangled, stifled by Gotou's hand and fingers - his own hands were curled into fists against the wall, his forehead tilted forward and almost brushing up against the tile.
Maybe it had been a stupid idea to follow Gotou into the bathroom after all - they both needed to rinse off, but ... this wasn't exactly what he had planned on. Gotou's hand over his mouth, his other hand wrapped around his cock, squeezing just enough that Masayoshi knew he wouldn't let him come for a while yet. Gotou's teeth nipped at his shoulder, pressure enough for Masayoshi to feel it, but not enough to leave a mark.
He shifted his stance and lowered his hips - that changed the angle of Gotou's movement significantly, and Masayoshi cried out, still mostly stifled. Gotou's hand tightened across his mouth; the bathroom echoed, and if he thought the walls were thin in the main room, that was without the amplification of the tile.
"C'mon," Gotou encouraged into his ear, fingers sliding across the skin of his cock. "Come for me, 'yoshi." He squeezed Masayoshi's cock. "Quietly."
Masayoshi gasped; Gotou released his mouth so that he could grip Masayoshi's hips with both hands. Masayoshi folded his arm in front of his face and bit the soft skin of his inner arm, trying to hold in the sobs as he squeezed his cock.
He wasn't going to forgive Gotou for teasing him like this for a long time.(less)