© 2004 Kenny N Gamera
There is this girl who works with me at the bistro. She doesn't wait tables like I do. She works in the pantry, making salads during the lunch shift. She brags that it leaves her nights free for other pursuits. I've never had difficulty imagining what those pursuits may be because she is a very attractive woman. At least, I think so even if others don't agree, but most of the guys at work agree with me.
She stands only up to my chest. Since I am around average height this means that she is towered over by some of our coworkers, particularly the guys on the dishline, all big, brawny African-Americans. While she is not fat, her frame still may not match her stature in the view of the anorexic porn-goddess ideal, but it doesn't lack for appeal. She looks natural, having both an eye-pleasing shape and nice womanly curves.
Her long, brown hair frames a tanned, heart-shaped face. That face frames a pair of large brown eyes so deep in color they are almost black. Her white, almost unnaturally straight teeth fill a constant, mirth-filled smile. She laughs constantly, as if she were having fun at every moment. I think she does.
Her name is Lisa. I am in love with her and have been for a long time. After last night, I think she may have fallen for me as well.
Yesterday, towards the end of the lunch shift, Jimmy sneaked into the service area from the dishline. I had mentioned at the beginning of the shift that the boss forgot to schedule me for a double, and I had gotten one of those infrequent, almost mythical, Friday nights off. For months, he and the other dishwashers had tried to get me to join them in a night out. This allowed him to make another attempt.
Of all the guys at work, Jimmy was the most insistent in trying to get me out. He saw it as his life's mission to help me out of the funk that I fell in because of a very unfortunate choice of relationship.
"We're going to be hitting a couple places tonight. Kenny, you want to come out with us. We ought to be able to find you someone."
I decided to surprise him. I said, "Sure,"
He looked at me in shock.
"You ain't joking," he asked.
"No joke." After a laugh, I added, "Just let me know where."
He agreed to let me know when they decided on exactly where they were going before going back to the kitchen. I returned to cleaning the last minute mess of coffee cups and water glasses from my section. It took a few trips because it had been a busy day, but by the time I bused my last tray of china to the dishline, the guys were still discussing the best place to go.
Lisa came to their rescue. She walked up to the dishline with two armloads of the plastic bowls she used for condiments and some of the other tools of her trade. With a matter of fact voice, she said, "I'm going to that new place on the West Side tonight. I went there last weekend and it's pretty hopping."
George looked at me and asked, "How does that sound, Kenny."
"Whatever." I said, shaking my head. "You guys go ahead and go where you want. I'm just a white boy tag-along."
That earned me a few looks and a number of friendly denials. After I had assured them I understood that I was honestly welcomed, they decided to try the new place. It settled down to Jimmy, George, Ron, Jimmy's younger brother Bill, and of course, me.
I finished clearing my section early enough that the lunch hostess (who owed me big time for covering her ass in the past) felt that she could let me go early. This left me time enough to go home and not only shed the penguin outfit but also jump into the shower. I even grabbed a quick nap before heading over to Jimmy and Bill's place.
They had started the festivities well before my arrival. They made the required token offer of the joint they were passing. I shook my head. They didn't press since they knew that I prefer more traditional approaches to separating mind from body. I, instead, grabbed a beer from their fridge.
We sat around talking shit about the Lions (what else was there to say about them, they are the Lions after all). They finished their smoke and joined me in having a beer. They had started their second and I had finished my third when the others showed up. To give Jimmy and Bill a chance to finish, George got a beer for the rest of us.
After deciding on taking Ron's SUV, we settled into a discussion on the new club. None of us knew much about it. I had read a little in the local alternative paper, but that wasn't a hell of a lot. The place was so new that the guys hadn't heard anything one way or the other about it. Still, the guys seemed excited about it based on what Lisa had told us.
"Maybe Lisa'll be there tonight," said Ron as soon as her name had been mentioned.
Jimmy laughed then said, "She might be. I saw the way she was checking me out."
"Hell she was," said George. "She was checking my package."
My three co-workers began a light argument about which of them Lisa had been looking at this afternoon. Bill laughed through the whole thing, alternatively mocking or encouraging as the need arose.
I kept quiet, but I was certain that she would be at the club tonight. I had noticed her looking discretely at each of them. I should say that she had been looking at their packages.
With the beers done, the five of us loaded up in Ron's SUV. I found myself in the back between the well-muscled frames of Jimmy and George. Bill sat in the front, where he played with the radio switching between stations. He ignored the complaining of my companions in the backseat.
I was quiet through the trip to the club. Well, let's get honest, my lack of success in all things sexual has a lot to do with a case of near fatal shyness. When I stepped into SUV, its spell hit, and as we came closer to the club it grew worse; I became less capable of speech. In fact, my mind held nothing to say, as if I was incapable of thought.
The guys were too busy laughing and joking to notice my increasing silence. Maybe they could have pulled me out of it if they had realized what had happened to me, maybe not. Knowing myself as well as can be expected, I have doubts that they could've done a thing, so I was glad that they never noticed the zombie-like way I followed them inside the club when we arrived.
Like any dance club near any college campus, it had all the ingredients for a pleasant little epileptic fit: loud with music and conversation and half-lit by lights flashing most every colour imaginable. We sat close to the dance floor, where I watched the girls dancing with each other in silence. My companions cased the crowd for potential friends, comparing the talent in loud voices.
People of every shape and flavour packed tight with each other. Young women with thin, tanned legs and flat, jeweled stomachs, their ears filled with gleaming studs, roamed the floor like exotic creatures from some lost mythic golden age. I nursed a Bud to the heavy pounding of industrial mixed with a little hip-hop.
The guys disappeared on their first sortie. I stayed at the table joined only by another Bud. The one woman I had talked to had been a waitress. That had been only the minimal amount necessary to order the bottles of beer that were acting as a sort of emotional glue. I looked down into the open O of my bottle, trying to find the courage to at least say something to someone with a pair of tits.
"Hi, Kenny," said a soft, syrupy voice from behind me, which caused me to just about shit my drawers. "Where are the guys?"
I turned my neck to look over my left shoulder. The voice belonged to Lisa. Her skirt was short and tight. Her shirt was mostly unbuttoned. Her face was wearing a confused look.
"Nothing," I answered. "I was just lost in thought."
"Oh. I'm sorry if I startled you." She waited for me to shrug in answer. "Have you seen the guys lately?"
"They're on babe patrol, right now."
"Oh. How about you, Kenny? Having any luck?
I shrugged. She was scanning the crowd and didn't notice. I considered giving a verbal answer, but thought better of it. I did offer her a seat, which she took.
We began a laboured conversation about nothing much at all. She was too concerned with watching for the guys to hold up her half. I was too preoccupied with making a break for it and going home. We were still in the stage of "whachu think" and "yeah" when Jimmy came back from his misadventure.
The moment he sat back down, a more lively conversation broke out. Over time, each of the guys returned and joined into it. Several drinks later, they had remained. I sat on the side, a seasoned benchwarmer, watching the by-play.
With the lease on the beer coming due, I excused myself to the restroom. I made my return with every intention of saying good night and grabbing a cab home. Before the first word of my excuse could cross my lips, Jimmy said to me, "'Bout time, Kenny. I was afraid that we'd have to leave you."
"Wha-? Leave me?"
"Yeah, Lisa invited us to her place." I noticed that she was gone from the table, as were Bill and George. "Seems she wants to party with us."
Not waiting for me to reply, Jimmy grabbed my shoulder and started pushing me to the door. Ron grabbed my jacket from the back of my chair. They escorted me to the door.
At the SUV, Ron said, "We told her that we were all together tonight. It didn't faze her. All she wants is for us to start laying pipe."
My confused look must have gotten the story across. As I climbed into the back, Jimmy added, "Lisa is hot for dark meat, so we're going to party."
"And how do I enter into this?"
.... There is more of this story ...