Drive-By Lovin’

January 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm (Clairissa, Sweet sticky things)

I sit here listening to the rain fall, wondering if my procrastination will pay off the way it did last week at this time.

I’d put feelers out to a girl, hoping for a hot date. Not having a lot on the agenda, I took my time getting up. At 3 PM I was sitting around in an oversized tee-shirt and gym shorts, cruising the internet and sipping extra-strength homemade coffee. I put in a concert DVD and turned it up as loud as I could justify without shaking my brother-in-law out of bed two rooms away.

I glanced over and saw my cell phone light up and vibrate. Incoming text message: Woohoo! Wish me luck!

It was from Clairissa. Not the girl I was contemplating deviant behaviors with, but I’m always happy to hear from her. There were two messages. I clicked on the first. “What you doing?” Then the second: “Are you sleeping? Im driving by on fwy.”

“I’m sitting here not doing a damn thing. Come on over!”

I wondered if I had time to shave and shower? Hmm. My phone buzzed again. “Im outside. Be in in a minute.” Guess not on the shower/shave…

I popped open the front door, keeping the screen door closed. My dog, sensing impending invasion, was vertical-breakdancing in the air with excitement. Clairissa emerged from an old sedan, looked my way and smiled. “I see you lurking behind the screen door, you dirty old man!” My neighbors were standing under the eaves of their garage, smoking. They nudged each other, and waved politely when they saw me open the door. I couldn’t understand their staccato Spanish, but it sounded like attaboys to me.

I held the dog down while Clairissa ran for my room. (Usually Clairissa loves being molested by my 80-pound German Shepherd, but it can be annoying.) I clicked the lock behind us, in case the kids came home.

“Look at you, all hipsterish!” She tousled my hair.

“Bite your tongue, woman!” I patted my hair down. “I’ll have you know no hair products were used in the making of this mess. And I would have shaved if I’d had more than three minutes notice.”

“Shall I come back in half an hour?” she teased.

“Good luck getting out of here now,” I said, blocking the door in mock-menace.

We hugged, she shed several layers of coats and sweatshirts, lost the boots and stretched out on my bed. Something about stretching out on her old mattress and a couple of deep breaths revitalizes her. I gave her a quiet minute to decompress; then she sat up.

“Wow, you look great,” I told her.

“Whatdyamean?” she asked. “Was I looking bad?”

“Of course not,” I replied, wishing I hadn’t stepped into *that* puddle. “You look bright, vibrant. It looks like you are putting on a couple pounds, and you don’t have that weight-of-the-world look on your face.”

“I’ve been busy. I’m trying to put a shop together, and it looks good. I’ll have a place where you can come hang out again…”

“You know I’ll be there…”

“Can I check my e-mail?” she asked. “Also, I saw you wrote something about me, but I didn’t get a chance to read it. It had pictures of oranges on it?” She was referring to a recent post where I put up a photo of tangelos and how they reminded me of her nipples.

“Sure!” I patted my thigh, and she sat on my lap in the easy chair in front of the computer. I pulled up the post and held her as she read.

I wrapped my arms around her belly and held her close. While I’m hardly immune to naughty thoughts when an attractive woman is sitting on my lap, it wasn’t like that. I nuzzled the back of her neck, inhaling her scent. I closed my eyes and let all my positive thought flow into her. It was like praying. I needed to hold someone, to love them. I cherished each second as she quietly finished reading.

“Cute. Next time you get some tangelos, let me know and I’ll bring some of my hardware. We’ll put piercings im ’em and you’ll really have something to show off at lunch! What else ya got?” She scrolled further down. “You know, I read one of your stories to my mom. She said, ‘That guy wants to marry you.'”

“Uh…” Not normally at a loss for words, I struggled for something appropriate to say.

She let me off the hook. “You know, you really paint a flattering picture of me. People read this stuff, then they meet me and think I’m the shit.”

“Yeah, and they would be right. Your point?”

She squirmed around, kissed my forehead and stood up. “You wonderfully delusional boy…”

“You changed your hair again. All black?” I asked. I could see the hair on her head was.

“Yeah, I’m in a goth phase. I feel so goth right now I’m pooping bats.”

“Pooping bats? That’s a neat trick, coming from a girl that claims to be able to shoot rainbow Skittles out her cooter…”

“I try to be well-rounded. Oh! You will like this…” She started unbuckling her belt. “I’m not all goth,” she giggled. She pulled her undies down, revealing her latest grooming masterpiece.

“Oh my,” I said. “Your tribute to Nirvana?”

“Huh?” she asked.

“Heart-shaped box?”

“Heh.”

Peeking out from behind her boy’s Underoos was a perfectly carved heart. It was dyed red. I stared.

“I need to hit it with the dye one more time, for that fire-engine red look. I may put some yellow in the center for a flame effect, and I wanna outline it in black. It’s a surprise for my girl’s birthday.”

“And I’ll bet it’s the most fun present she opens!” I managed to croak out. No matter how many times I catch a peek of her nubile body, it always leaves me feeling sticky inside.

“Do you think it’s better than the lightning bolt?” she asked.

“You had a lightning bolt? Man, I’d have loved to see that.”

“Oh yeah, I’ve had a bunch of ‘haircuts.’ I thought you’d seen them?”

“Nah, I’ve seen different colors, and various stages of everything from Landing Strips to Hitler’s Mustache, but I’d have remembered a lightning bolt. Last time you were sporting ’70s bush.”

“My Amazon ‘fro! I just whacked all that off last night. I coulda swore you saw the lightning bolt. I’ll send you a picture,” she promised.

She snuck across the hall to pee, surprising my brief-clad brother-in-law and sending the dog into conniptions of glee. She returned, hugged me and said, “Gotta run, have a client up the road in about ten minutes. Glad I got to see you.”

“Me too. You just made my day, You know.”

“Things are crazy now, love. We have to grab the bubble-time when we can.”

Don’t I know it.

I walked her to her car, still dressed for bed. As the rain poured down, I made sure she was situated, buckled in, knew which direction, etc… “Dude! I’m fine! You’re getting soaked. Get back inside, and put some clothes on!” she mothered.

I kissed the tip of my finger and touched her nose. “Yes, ma’am.” I retreated. My neighbors were back outside, smoking and watching the show. They grinned as I scurried back into the house.

Photography by Lisa Peck

That was a week ago. Since then I have had my less-than-stellar date, and have decided that single is a very fine status at the moment. Instead of hunting for the perfect girl, I will take a few deep breaths and try not to rush my happiness. I’ve been getting the occasional note from Clairissa, updating me on the shop’s progress. Honestly, I can’t wait. I’ve been lost since Hot Box closed; my Friday afternoon spot on the couch has been vacant way too long. (Although technically I still sleep on that couch-spot every night. The futon/mattress was one of the last things to leave the shop.) While I probably won’t be visiting for haircuts much, my eyebrows are thicker than blackberry bushes and I’ve got a rogue pube growing out of my forehead that is screaming to be bitten out.

I know just the girl to take care of it for me…

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