“I’m an asshole.”
Her voice comes through the speaker as a soft feminine chuckle. “True. Wait, no… idiot fits you better.”
I laugh. “Thanks, Charlotte. I might have taken that personally.”
Charlotte sighs. “Jim, this is from the heart. I’m only telling you this because I love you. You are seeking a woman who will love you for who you are, the man you are. I do believe Miss Perfect exists, she will be the perfect woman for you.”
I start to respond Charlotte cuts me off. “Jim, you won’t find Miss Perfect if you keep going after the girls you have been dating. A bra size isn’t a defining characteristic. Look at my tits, do you think your best friend married me for them?”
That made me laugh. “No, he married you for your charming personality and tact.” Charlotte is stunning, very beautiful, and she has great tits. I once saw them in all their glory, didn’t mean to. She was getting dressed when Dante was walking out of their bedroom and I was coming out of mine at the same time.
Charlotte has to be smiling, I can hear it. “He married me because I give a mean blowjob and I swallow.” I had just taken a drink of water, it’s sprayed across my windshield. “Jim? Maybe you should swallow too.”
Once I stop choking, she continues. “Miss Perfect won’t care what you have, she’ll want you for who you are. She’ll inspire you to be a better person. You’ll crave her body, her heart, and her approval.”
It felt like hours, but the car ahead of me finally pulls away from the gas pump. I can’t remember the last time the line at this gas station was so long. “Sweetie, stop being desperate. You’ll find her. You just need to stop looking for her with your eyes and use your brain and your heart.”
“I don’t believe in love at first sight.”
“Neither do I, it only happens in bad movies and lame romance novels.”
Charlotte gives a soft sigh. “I had to stop looking before I found my Mr. Right. I had given up and there he was, covered in coffee. Okay, so the coffee was my fault, but I knew it was him.”
I sigh. “I’m tired of being alone.”
“I know. I know you see Dante and me, Andrew and Tammy, then Kelvin and Doug. You want a forever relationship, like your parents, but it can’t be forced. The more you try, the less likely it will happen.” Her voice turns sultry. “If you’re desperate for sex, I will sleep with you.”
“What? You and Dante have shared before, he tells me about the Stallman sisters all the time. I like him to describe it when we’re fucking.”
“Won’t that ever die?” I hang my head.
“That was a joke. Mostly.” I’m not sure it was. “My point is, fucking isn’t a relationship. A relationship is sharing yourself in ways beyond physical. I’m not saying to be chaste, just be more. Your parents love is far more than just having sex.”
No child likes to think about their parents having sex. I start to defend their honor, but surrender to the truth. Charlotte must be squirming and trying not to laugh.
“Jim, your parent’s relationship should be the model for all relationships. Hell, I want that level of a connection. You have to know, it didn’t just happen. It’s something that they worked on. You have to earn it, and part of earning it is learning to listen to your heart, not your penis.”
“I know, it is just so hard.” Fuck, did I just say that?
“I can take care of that for you.”
I don’t want to ever hear her say that again. “Ok, I will use my head and heart, like you said. I get it.”
“I know you do. Your dick can’t do all your thinking for you. Are you going to eat at the restaurant tonight?”
I’m surprised by the subject change, but the conversation has gone it’s course. “Uh, yeah. I’m going to see the movie first, then a late dinner. Will you be there?”
“Not tonight. Aren’t we seeing the movie tomorrow?”
“We are. I just felt like watching it alone.”
Charlotte’s voice softens. “I’m staying home, a little under the weather. I’ve come down with something, been puking my guts up the last few mornings. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment in the morning. Probably a virus or something. Have a good night and I love you.”
I bet it is the something, far more than a virus. “I love you too, and I’m really glad you’re my friend.”
I walk around the front of my Escalade to get gas. I’m a little taken by the sudden sound of a southern drawl. “Hello handsome. That sure is nice to look at.”
I turn to find the source of the voice. I’m instantly drawn to the logo of the station printed across her nipples, I mean shirt. I advert my eyes towards the other curves of her body. The skirt she is wearing is short enough to be worn for tennis, usually there is a pair of panties underneath. She probably didn’t get that memo. At least she is, uh well groomed. I turn my attention to the area above her shirt. Her blonde hair has large curls and hangs down past her, shirt. I quickly look back up, well not that quick. “Hello, I’m Jim and you are sexy.” Seriously, I just said that?
“Does that pick-up line work on all the hot ladies, or just me?”
“Did it work?” Something is wrong, I think I just heard someone slapping me upside the head.
Her skirt was short and revealing, but not as much as when she lifts her leg to rest her foot on the concrete divider. My capability of rational thought, just got shut down. “It might have. What time are you picking me up?”
I’m staring and not where I should be. “Uhm, Seven?” I get a sudden shiver, like Charlotte just jabbed me in the eyes.
She turns around putting away her pump. Two steps later she has opened the door of her 2002 Toyota Celica and bends over while reaching inside. Yup, still has her tonsils. I think my zipper just started clapping. “I know this date comes with breakfast in bed, but what are the plans before then?” Her ass wiggles as she backs out of her car.
Talking seems to be a little difficult since I’m currently standing on my tongue. “Uhm, movie, then dinner.” Why do I hear Charlotte screaming profanities?
“Sounds good.” She steps across the platform to stand right in front of me. I feel her hand brush across the crotch of my pants. My heart starts pounding, I have no idea what she is about to do. She moves her hand slightly, pushing it into my front pocket. When she pulls it out, it follows the same path. “That is my address and phone number.” Her hand lingers over my zipper a little longer than necessary, or maybe not. “I’m heading home, need to grab a shower and make sure everything is squeaky clean and properly shaved. I bet you can’t wait for desert.”
I stand there frozen, what did she say? “I won’t be late.”
I watch her climb back into her car, enjoying the show. She leans out the window. “Hey, stud, if you get there to early, you can help me get undressed.” She waves as she pulls away.
I stare at her as she drives away. I look down when I feel wetness on my leg. “FUCK!” I let go of the handle, turning off the flow of gas. I finish filling up my truck and head to the office to change out of my clothes. I should be able to get cleaned up and still pick up…. I know she told me her name. I pull out the paper and look, address and even phone number, no name. I’m sure she told me. I know she told me. Damnit, I was too busy looking at her, uhm, car.
“Admit it Jim, you were looking at her tits, and other assets.” I say to myself, only I hear it in Charlotte’s voice. “Damnit!” That was in my voice at least.
I rush back to the office and change my jeans and do my best to get rid of the smell of gasoline. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would. I jump in the truck and drive to my favorite shade. Grabbing my tablet, I start reading my newest book, 2018 An Uncivil War, by Phil Sanderson.
I get about a third of the way through the book, when my alarm goes off. I plug the address into the GPS and head off to my, uhm, date. After my conversation with Charlotte, I actually want to call the woman and cancel, but there is that part of me that just doesn’t want to be an asshole. I did invite her out, but that doesn’t mean I have to sleep with her. I know one thing about this girl, she will never be Miss Perfect.
Traffic is bad, this time of day, it is the only kind of traffic. Her address is actually outside the city limits. I’ve never had cause to go to the area where she lives, but her address does contain a lot number, so she probably lives in one of the manufactured home parks. I know that most movies depict trailer parks as trashy places, filled with rusting trailers, broke down cars, and tumbleweeds, but Jackson does have standards. The few manufactured parks that I have been to, look more like small structured homes with small plots of land. Most of the homes don’t even look like they were ever on wheels. I have to follow every turn of the GPS because I am unfamiliar with the area, I turn into a large park filled with nice manufactured homes. Each one really does look like a small house and the landscaping gives them all nice curb appeal. The directions take me deep into the park, it seems like I will be going to someplace in the back of the park. I start to get a mental picture of her place, a doublewide unit, with nice flowerbeds and a small deck.
I make my next turn and I slam on my brakes. I suddenly get a mental picture of my jaw hitting the pavement. Every street so far, was concrete and well maintained. The road ahead, isn’t that, at all. The concrete streets end at a blacktop road so filled with cracks and potholes, it might be confused for the Grand Canyon. Two towering columns mark the end of the manufactured home park and the start of a trailer park, complete with rusting trailers, cars on bricks, and dirt filled lots. The columns are still mostly white, but that color is only visible where the spots not covered in very graphic graffiti. A rusted metal arch is precariously perched between the columns. The sign must have once had the name of the park clearly displayed, most of the letters are gone with only an R with several spaces then a U, more space M, a lot of space AD. R U M A D. Probably.
I fight the urge to turn around and leave. Finally, sanity leaves me, and I drive into the park. I have to swerve to avoid pot holes, car tires, trash cans, stripped bicycles on bricks, burned cars, and a discarded toilet, which is currently being used. At least he flushed. The trailers are the old galvanized siding trailers and they are in worse shape than the road. Most of the trailers are on bricks with patchworked skirting. Their windows are broken or boarded. I also notice most of the electric meters are missing and some are patched to steal electricity. It is a miracle they haven’t burned to the ground. I make two more turns and end up on Elm Street. I’m getting a really bad feeling about this. I look at the GPS, it indicates her house is the last one on the left. Creepy.
The sun has set and so has my hopes. I pull up next to her Celica, I had started to hope she broke down somewhere, or found a better date. Her trailer is one of the oldest I have seen, I think it predates Rome. I’m sure the trailer had color once, but now it is just rust. The three-foot-high weeds growing around the trailer, gives it that ghosts are afraid to enter feeling. A large bay window, covered with graffitied plywood, just adds to the ambiance. I walk along the worn path of dirt and broken glass to the foot of the front steps. I start to climb the steps when I am serenaded by the sweet sounds of wood splintering. I make several attempts and finally reach the porch, which is worse. The porch is a wooden frame with a piece of rotten plywood. The door, is worse. I try not to laugh.
I look around for the hidden cameras, because this has to be a set up for one of those YouTube channels or something. The door is a single piece of plywood. Three rusted hinges hold it in place and there is a spot for a padlock. I guess there is another on inside to lock it once she is home, but truth be told, a determined two-year-old, could break in. I knock on the door, this causes the glass in a nearby window to fall into the weeds.
“I’m coming!” Was that an orgasm? The trailer starts rocking and I hear footsteps approaching the door. I hear the scraping sound of a lock being removed from the inside. I step back from the door to avoid being hit, my foot falls through the plywood floor. I struggle to get my foot back without losing my shoe. I pull my foot up and nearly lose my balance as more wood cracks under me. I feel a strong hand grab me. “Easy there, big fella, I have better plans for you than a trip to the ER.” I look up to my first view of my, uhm, date. She is wearing a black top that barely covers her ample and from the outline, obviously pierced chest. It stops just two inches above her belly button ring. Below that is a cheerleader’s style skirt. Her ensemble is completed with her, I’m ready for the street corner, high heeled shoes. She gives me a big smile. “Am I sexy enough to make you want to take me back inside?”
I hear Charlotte laughing. I try to fake a smile. “Are you ready?” I get a sudden thought, that she is definitely ready, but not for what I want. “TO GO!” I blurt out a little to forceful. I extend my hand to her, I’m terrified of the steps and want to be sure I can grab her if she starts to fall.
She takes my hand and wraps her fingers between mine. “Such a gentleman. Keep it up. You might get lucky.”
Am I? Are you going to stay home? Damnit, be nice. “I always strive to be a gentleman.”
“Hopefully not in bed though. I like my men to be rough.” She gives me a big grin and a wink. Men?
I am a gentleman, I even open her door and help her up. She repays me by wiggling her ass, damn near in my face and revealing, just like before, nothing under the skirt. I have had girlfriends who would dress like this as a special thing to turn me on, I was already involved and sleeping with them. It was never normal dress, and it would only be worn for controlled environments, not a first date. I start to close the door, when she sticks out her hand grabbing my shirt and pulling me into her, she plants one on me, complete with tongue and second hand cigarette. Gross. I end the kiss as fast as I can. She gives me a big grin. “Damn, you know how to use that tongue. I’ve got a good place for you to put it.” She says with a girly laugh.
I have a headache by the time I get behind the wheel. I have to be on Elm street, because this is already turning into a nightmare. I had planned to see the movie by myself, why didn’t I just stick to the plan? I want to slap myself, or better yet, let Charlotte slap me.
The drive to the theater has me thinking about three things, first what the fuck is her name? Second, why the fuck did I invite her? Thirdly, where the fuck is her hand? Actually, the third one, I’m very aware of where her hand is, and every time it moves towards my zipper, I shift forcing her reposition. She even asks me if I have ants in my pants and that is followed by her offering to pull them out.
The drive is filled with her explaining that she works at the gas station, where we met. I thought the employee shirt gave that away. She shares with me that I am so lucky, she gets asked out every day and that most don’t get the privilege of a date. I thought hookers weren’t particular. That was a bad thought. When I get home tonight, I’m going to drop to my knees and beg Charlotte for forgiveness.
The theater is one of the multiplex units, twenty-four screens. The parking lot is nearly two-city blocks deep. I park at the farthest you can get and still be in the parking lot. I enjoy the walk after sitting for so long.
“Jim.” Shit she remembers my name. “Why did you park so far away?”
I smile while answering her, well I hope I’m smiling. “The walk will get the blood flowing.”
She gives me a bit of a pouty face. “Trust me, the blood will flow to all the right organs after dinner.”
I’m not a saint, and I have had more than my share of first date sex, but in every instance the decision to do that was after being on the date. I honestly believe, had I suggested, we would have skipped the date and started fucking right there at the gas pumps. I wonder if it is a case of loving sex that much or if she believes it is the only way to get a man. If it is that later, that is a shame. I walk around and open her door. She looks pissed, then it changes so fast that I’m not sure I really saw it. “I guess the walk will be ok, these shoes aren’t really for walking.” Could have fooled me.
She offers me her hand, I struggle with the urge to slam the door closed on it. I accept her and help her down. As she gets out of the truck she leans in, I assume to give me another cigarette flavored kiss. I involuntarily step back, she falls out of truck. I catch her before she really falls, but she does come down a little hard. “Oops, sorry about that.”
She grabs my hand, lacing her fingers between mine, she also digs her iron claws into my hand to make sure I don’t let go. I really need to remember her name, I think it started with a B or maybe a S. Damnit, I am pretty sure she told me, why the hell is it so difficult to remember?
We reach the entrance of the theater, while I was trying to remember Barbara’s name, I think it is Barbara, she continued to spew forth words that I didn’t hear. The line for the tickets is pretty short. “Why don’t you wait here, while I grab the tickets.”
“Why don’t you use your credit card at that automatical thingy?” She points to the will-call machine.
“I have to get the tickets from the agent. They aren’t available from the machine.”
Barbara looks confused, like she can’t understand that. She moves her head back and forth from the ticket agent to the will-call machine several times. Her head finally stops turning and focuses on me. “Ok.”
I step in line and I have to smile. I can remember the first time I saw Spaceballs. Dad was a die-hard Star Wars fan and he loved Mel Brooks, a movie by Mel Brooks making fun of Star Wars was pure gold. I even remember Dad trying to explain Mel Brooks to Mom.
Spaceballs was released when I was four, I really didn’t get it, but Dad laughed really hard, so I laughed with him. Mom has a good sense of humor, but I don’t think stupid humor is her style. When the movie came out on VHS, Dad bought a copy. I don’t remember Mom’s reaction when we saw the movie that first time, but I do remember it when the tape broke, it was something of a happy dance. When Dad brought home a new copy, language I had to wait until college to use, filled our living room.
Spaceballs was released in June of 1987. It takes something special for a movie to be re-released and movies like Spaceballs don’t have re-releases, normally. Six years ago, advertisements went out for a special one week showing of Spaceballs. The tickets aren’t sold, they are given away. All the tickets for all the showings are available upon request from the ticket agent. The local news thought it was a stunt by a failing theater to drive in traffic, well even if it was or wasn’t, it did work, sort of. Most nights, the showing of the movie was pretty much empty, except the Friday and Saturday night showings, when it was filled with high schoolers on cheap dates. The theater did tell the reporter that it didn’t increase concession sales, but that the owner was still pleased with the results. This of course, started the rumors.
I’ve heard most of them. My favorite of course is the alien conspiracy. Apparently, aliens wanted to indoctrinate the youth into helping with global domination. I don’t understand it, but it is amusing. The most reasonable rumor was the celebration of the original release of the movie or Mel Brooks birthday. The problem with that rumor is that both are in June. The movie has always shown in the middle of April. The last and probably second most popular rumor, is that some rich asshole likes the movie so much he, or I guess could be a she, pays to have the movie shown every year. That rumor does kind of explain why all the tickets are free. He or she buys all the tickets to guarantee ticket sales, not needing the tickets they are given to the general public. He or she can come watch the movie with no one being the wiser. Makes sense to me anyway. My favorite part is that every year, the movie shows on Dad’s birthday. We make a big deal out of it, we all come to watch it as a celebration. This year, his birthday.
I get the tickets for Barbara and I, I’m still not sure that is her name. I’m not sure how I missed the mountain moving up behind me, when I turn to return to Barbara, I step on his foot. Now this isn’t any ordinary mountain, it has a head with small beady eyes, arms bigger than my entire body, legs like trees and the attitude of an asshole. Seriously, how does he move and not affect the tides? He must have just come from the gym, he is wearing a bright yellow tank top with the logo of Abs by Atlas printed on it. He is wearing a pair of long basketball shorts and tennis shoes. A large heavy gold chain hangs from where his head connects to his shoulders. I don’t think there is a neck.
I’ve spent time in the gym. One of the things I’ve never found appealing in man or woman is when they take body mass to the point where every vein sticks out everywhere. I feel like they are trying to cause their own aneurisms by pumping iron. This monster is one of those, the veins are so prevalent, that I find him disgusting. When I accidently step on his foot, he flexes, straining every thread in his clothes. “What where you are going fucktard! I should rip off your tiny little head and piss in your neck hole.” His voice is gruff and comes complete with grunts and snarls.
“Excuse me.” I start to move around him, should only take me a week.
“Chad, you stepped into him. Just get the tickets and stop being a dick.”
Charlotte told me that if I use my brain and my heart, that I would find Miss Perfect. She also said it would happen when I wasn’t looking for her. The voice that fills my ears, makes my heart cry. I turn to find the source and when I see it, I know, not with my eyes, not even with my brain, but my heart lets me know. She is the one, she is Miss Perfect.