Slidshod

Her foot goes haphazard.
She's walking on the broad, white lines in the intersection, her hips wide and her tits full. And that fucking high-heeled foot wants to go mickey mouse on her. But her date, a little lump of a Salvadorian in cowboy boots keeps dragging her along.
–I gotta–
–You coming? Miss. You coming?
–Listen. I can't
–Come on. Let's go.
–Listen, Fucker. What have I got to say?
And she starts laughing. For some reason the entire mess of this situation rubs her funny bone to the point of peeing her pants. The date drags her across the final two white strips of intersection and starts to pull her onto the intersection to the other side of the street.
–Listen. Wait. Would you listen?
–Let's go. Let's go.
–Fuck you. Where the fuck are you taking me?
–It's good. You like it.
–I'm. I can't even walk, Pablo. That's your name isn't it?
–Pedro. I'm Pedro.
–Sorry. Pedro. I'm sorry. I think maybe better get me a Uber…
–Come on. You like it.
–What I like? And, honey, you're knowing that how?
–I like it.
She looks at Pedro, and his dollop of a mug. For a moment, in her shit-faced state, she's in love. She wonders at the purity of his soul. She loves that his affinity should be hers. How long has it been since someone shared notions like that with her? So much vacillation with other dates and even her women friends. The: I don't know. What do you think? I don't care, whatever you think. Does that work for you? But not with Pedro. Her eyes stare at him and the well-cleaned fawn, fake leather of his boots. Would his toenails be clipped? For the fifth time that night, she notices the cologne he wears: too strong and cheap, yet endearing somehow. Where will she sleep tonight? What size would his cock be? Some Latin men have tiny dicks. She thinks of Maggie and that Ecuadorean she dated until they fucked (which Maggie refuted because she never felt his pinky dick at all). And then the flash and horror, did she shave her coochie in the shower that night? And then pondering, what difference does it really make? A sense of confidence filling her clouded brain.
–Okay. That sounds good. Lets go, Pedro.
He smiles at her for the first time. His eyes light up, warming behind the nondescript of his cheeks and he takes the vulnerable of her palm into his dry, worn hand. She makes that first step into the intersection. And then it's time for the other foot to hit the ground. But it's silent. Probably the only sane part of her, as the hoof keeps trying to slip shod away. If she's honest with herself, which she has never been before, she know'd it. She would know this will turn out crappy. She would hear the buzzing in the background. The flicker of the street lamp trying to wake her out of her stupor. She'd notice the owl circling above waiting, enjoying the stupidity of the wide-hipped middle-aged woman and the lumpy immigrant man. The smell of piss lingers in the asphalt. The hammer of the late night traffic headed home to warm, clean beds.
–Pedro?
–Yes?
–Stop it. Listen. Just listen.
–Yes. Okay. Let's go. And now I listen.
–I'm glad I met you.
–Yes, yes. Okay. Let's go.
They cross the intersection. Her foot drags behind. Her Pay-less red pump hugs onto every island of white paint as though gripping a ledge. The ledge. Each time, her foot claws to the next pinnacle. You might say, she rather likes this moment. The precipice of the destruction. Without knowing it (although she would sometimes confess she loved to fall in love) this dim-lit drunken moment: this is her favorite moment, her only moment. Here in this flicker of glory, her whole path justified. Her whole, tragic grin of a sad, little existence justified. Not by the guy, but by the inevitability of the guy, by the heart-break and blue breath already choking her tambourine sparkle good-bye.
When Pedro kisses her cheek she smells his jaw bone deep by the shadow of his neck, where he'd sweated earlier. Underneath the cologne, he has an up-close foreign smell, like cumin. At last, her rebel heel joins the rank and file, and together they cross the intersection.

Published in ONTHEBUS 2018