Fiction: Star on the Mountain
by Jennifer Burton
Posted on July 26, 2005
Click to read previous installments:
* * *
It is 3 pm on a Sunday- and I am at Prince.
Yes. This is the highlight of my week.
No. I am not ashamed to admit it.
What about Laura?
Oh her- yeah, she gets her panties in a bunch about it, but it's either Prince or hanging out with her mother, and she'd rather I not hang out while they do their gossip thing. Later she will meet her girl friends at the King's X for cocktails and gossip. They will then cruise over to Erin's and Aceitunas for more cocktails and gossip.
She gets her night out with the girls. I get mine.
This is Rain, she's an old friend of mine and she dances here.
If you couldn't guess, her parents were hippies too.
“Yeah- they used to tour with The Dead.”
Rain is her real name.
“My stage name is Scarlet.”
We both think it would be really funny if she ever did porn she'd call herself “Scarlet Rain” and menstruate on the guy while she cums.
“He wouldn't think it's that funny, but I would.”
She's a dominatrix- that's her sort of thing.
“A girl's gotta even out the cum shot monopoly somehow, right?”
She's got a wicked sense of humor. That's why we've been friends for so long.
“I've got a 150 IQ to boot. My degree was in electrical engineering. This pays more.”
So tell everyone why you do this again?
“The money's great. It's a great way to meet my other clientele.”
Let's clarify for the audience, hon- she doesn't do drugs or drink. This is why she makes money.
“I also find it really amusing to watch all these assholes with wives and a family drool and throw their money away on a mirage. It's fun when you see couples, though. So why don't you bring Laura in?”
She's a bitch, and she wouldn't enjoy herself.
“I gotta go back to work, Manfred.”
You go girl.
Rain is 30.
She will be able to retire in five years.
Here comes Cassidy. Her nickname is Butch Cassidy around here. She's a cowgirl from Van Horn, and a lesbian, but damn she's hot. It's just too much when this chick puts on her boots and something frilly. A man can dream right?
Next we have Claire. Her stage name is Roxy.
She's into glam rock and outrageous costumes.
“The management really hates me because I don't ‘conform to the Prince standard.' Fuck those guys. Like I'm gonna prance around in a bikini and wrap like the fuckin' night shift.”
Isn't she precious.
So, I'm sure you're wondering why exactly do I come here? I have never cheated on my wife- nor do I intend to- especially under these circumstances. No I'm not a misogynist. I don't come here simply to gawk at body parts, and dream of a life apart from Laura. I like these girls. I like the drama- the soap opera of it all. I like to talk to Rain on slow afternoons. She's a great therapist. I like to drink large quantities of alcohol and play cards with the bouncers. This is how I escape. Now is that so bad?
I'm sure you're also wondering why I don't just leave Laura. A promise is a promise, right? I don't plan on breaking my end of our financial contract until I actually catch her cheating. I know she sleeps around, I just haven't amassed enough evidence. And fuck if I'm going to let that cunt take half of what's mine. People forget that marriage is really just a financial agreement, and if she gets caught cheating, her claim to property is null and void. It's all about patience, guys.
Well, enough chit-chat. I'm going to get a dance from Butch Cassidy.
A man can dream, right?
* * *
He's looking in the mirror, smoothing out his eyebrows with a licked pinky finger. He straightens his bow tie, and sniffs. The lavatory's marble floors shimmer like his black hair in the startling fluorescent overheads. He makes sure his nails are immaculate before throwing the door to the lobby open and swaggering to the bar.
His shift began almost an hour ago, but it's as empty as a politician's eulogy, and he immediately begins busying his fidgeting fingers by mopping down his bar with a towel.
“Hey, Maxine. Is there a band tonight?”
Maxine turns sharply away from her work with eyes caught in the headlights, “What was that, Jack?”
“Is there a band tonight.”
“I think so. I think it's that cover band from last Thursday.”
“Sure. Yeah, they were pretty good. The singer was hot.”
“Yeah, she was pretty. I can't remember her name though. Kathleen, was it?”
“Something like that. Great voice, though.”
He continues his fidgeting, double-checking his well and call bottles before resigning himself to sitting down for a spell. It's 3pm on a Sunday. He's too busy thinking about the night before to worry about the prospect of a patron entering. Too much whiskey. Too much blow. Too much pussy.
“So what did you do last night, Maxine?”
“Huh? Oh, I stayed in. I have a test Monday morning in Astronomy.”
“Yeah? You're taking Astronomy?”
“It's better than Biology.”
“Who's your professor?”
“Dr. Marquez. The man's like human Valium, I swear to god.”
He doesn't listen. He's thinking about Maxine. Her latte colored arms wrapped firm around his legs as she sucks him off. Damn, she's got a pretty mouth.
“So what did you do last night Jack?”
“Oh, I went down to the King's X, hung out with some buddies.”
They are locked in several minutes of uncomfortable silence as she sweeps the carpet, and he polishes glasses to a high gloss. She's drowning in worry: grades, next semester, her Phi Kappa Phi nomination. He's just thinking about those legs of hers wrapped firm around his…
Oh, shit. A customer just walked in.
“Mr. Diaz. Good afternoon, Sir.”
“Buenas tardes, Jack. Como estas.”
“Muy bien, Senor, gracias. Que quieres, Senor?”
“Johnny Walker blue, por favor.”
He fixes the drink, and hands it to Mr. Diaz, whose exhausted eyes greet Jack's with the most despondent gratitude.
“Long day, Senor?”
“You know it Jack.”
Diaz takes a few sips and allows his presence to gel.
“Mijo, have you seen Red around today?”
“Not today, Sir. I did see him last night, though. He came in for a couple of drinks.”
“Hot date?” His lips curl liscentiously, as an eyebrow raises on cue. “I know how Red is with the girls.”
Jack looks quizzical, “I thought you would know about that, Sir. He was out with your daughter.”
Diaz's demeanor flips to a look of sheer confusion.
“Yeah, he was out with a girl named Luce. She said you were her father.”
“Yes, Luce is my daughter…” Diaz's face becomes increasingly marred.
“If I may say, Sir, you have a gorgeous daughter.”
Diaz abruptly gets up and throws a $50 on the bar. “Keep the change, Mijo. I need to take care of something.”
Diaz walks out; his face focused on the door, muttering in constrained fury.
* * *
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