International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:
Date with Britney Spears
stood in the entryway of the Dennys Restaurant waiting for
my blind date Marcy to arrive. She told me on the telephone that
she looked like Britney Spears but the name didnt register
with me. This was in 2001 and I was still years behind on pop culture.
can you not know who Britney Spears is?" Marcy asked.
I didnt know
much about music and didnt own a television. I just stood in the
entryway of Dennys hoping someone would walk up to me ask, "Are
you Elmer Bull?" Just then a woman walked in with a body shaped
like a football and she had a head of long wild hair that stuck out
in every which direction. "Im Marcy, you must be Elmer?"
I debated saying "no" as Marcys eyes looked a little
bit crazed. It didnt bother me about how the rest of her looked,
but her eyes conveyed a lot of inner disturbance while they darted back
and forth. I said I was Elmer.
Our maitre d looked like a parolee, and his arms were covered
with tattoos of dancing clowns. He sat us down at a booth and asked
if we wanted to hear about the special. Marcy said no and he left us
with the menus. I wondered if I was supposed to make small talk with
her but decided to study the menu as Marcy was moving her lips mouthing
the words on the menu.
An ancient looking waiter asked me what I wanted. I told him Id
have the special, not knowing what it was. "With our without bacon?"
I hesitated and said, "Without."
Our waiter turned to Marcy and smiled genially, "What can I do
for you Maam?"
"Ill have the number four. Oh, and Ill also have the
number two in a to-go container so I can have a meal for tomorrow."
The waiter was non-pulsed that she ordered two meals, and he took our
menus and left. Marcy looked me in the eye and said, "Whats
your favorite all-time movie?"
"I have no idea," I said.
"Mine is Dirty Dancing!"
Marcy talked nonstop about Dirty Dancing until our waiter reappeared
with the three meals. It turned out the special was bacon lettuce and
tomato. I ate the lettuce and tomato on a bun and watched Marcy as she
ravaged her pancakes, sausages, and eggs. Soon the check arrived and
then we were in the parking lot together. I didnt know how to
graciously say goodbye, and I started strolling backward away from her
while saying, "well it was nice to meet you and"
"WAIT!" She shouted hustling toward me with her Styrofoam
food container. "I WANT TO SEE YOUR PLACE! YOU CAN TELL A LOT ABOUT
A MAN BY HOW HE LIVES!" She was still shouting even though we stood
three feet apart.
"Im sorry but I am starting a new job tomorrow and have to
get up early."
It was true. I had a new job working at a receiving dock of a bookstore.
Marcy shouted, "ILL JUST COME OVER FOR A FEW MINUTES! ILL
FOLLOW YOU IN MY CAR!"
I turned the key to my Ford Festiva and it started. Marcy followed me
in her Dodge Omni and I sped off debating the ethics of trying to lose
her in traffic. We sped down Interstate 694 and swerved in and out of
traffic, but there is a maxim about driving a Ford Festiva: it is impossible
to lose someone who is chasing you. We pulled up to my apartment building,
and soon we were inside Scorpio Heights, which is a three story affair
with carpeting and a broken buzzer in the entryway. I gave her the grand
tour of my one room apartment with all of the furniture and belongings:
a bed, alarm clock, card table, yellow rotary phone, clothes, and some
Marcy shouted, "DO YOU READ THOSE BOOKS?"
I was about to ask her why she was shouting but instead I yawned and
stretched my arms out while saying, "Well I have to go to bed now.
I have to get up early tomorrow."
"HOW EARLY DOES A BOOKSTORE OPEN?"
"I dont know but I want to be well rested."
She leaned her face up to mine and shouted, "YOU CAN KISS ME GOODNIGHT!"
I leaned toward her and she opened her mouth and a smell came out similar
to raw sewage. I forced a cough and said, "Ill walk you to
your car." I didnt want to tell her she had bad breath.
"WILL YOU SING ME THE SONG IVE HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE?"
"Never heard of it," I said.
Marcy started shouting the lyrics and someone in the apartment next
to mine pounded on the wall and screamed, "SHUT THE HELL UP!"
I walked Marcy to the door and she said "WILL YOU CALL ME LATER
I said I was going to be asleep and she left. I set my alarm clock and
went to bed. Her shouting voice echoed in my head. Marcy was like a
wood tick that was going to latch on to some poor schmuck and drain
the life out of him while shouting at him to his dying day. I fell asleep
to the sound of traffic on Interstate 694 and awoke an hour later to
my phone ringing.
I answered and heard, "I MADE IT HOME OKAY. THANKS FOR CALLING
ME AND ASKING IF I MADE IT HOME!" It was Marcy screaming.
"Thats good," I said.
"SOME GUYS DONT KNOW HOW TO TREAT A LADY! CALL ME BEFORE
YOU GO TO BED OKAY?"
I hung up the phone and then took it back off the hook. I fell back
asleep and dreamed that I was two inches tall and lived in silence inside
of a water cooler. I just swam and swam and swam and drifted in the
water bubbles. I didnt have to work or deal with the Marcys
of the world. The water bottle gurgled and I floated up and up with
the bubbles. The alarm rang and I showered and shaved and chewed thoughtfully
on some toast. I put the phone back on the hook and it instantly started
ringing. I picked up the phone thinking it was the bookstore but instead
I heard Marcys voice, "DID YOU SLEEP OKAY?"
I hung up the phone, ripped out the cord and sped off to my first day
on the job. The supervisor of the receiving department of the bookstore
was a pill-popping man named Joe who wore dark sunglasses, and the right
side of his face twitched often. He said there wasnt much to the
job. You unload the delivery trucks. Something about manifests and checking
if all the books are inside the boxes. We drifted lazily through the
morning, and I thought I could last a few months on this gig. Then we
ran out of books to unpack. Joe said when there was nothing left to
unpack we had to stock the shelves of the bookstore.
I followed Joe while he pushed a cart of books onto the sales floor.
He reached into his shirt pocket to get a couple of yellow pills and
jerked his head back to swallow them. While he did so he crashed the
cart into a table of Harry Potter books. We reassembled the display
of books on the table, and his face sweated profusely. He stood up and
stared off to the right and said, "That woman over there looks
just like Britney Spears." He tugged on my arm so I would look
at the woman. My entrails froze. It was Marcy looking about with that
crazed look on her face. She was looking off to the side so I lifted
up the tablecloth of the Harry Potter table, got down on my knees and
crawled underneath the table. I heard footsteps approaching and then
Joe said, "hi there sexy." A trail of light shone under the
tablecloth as it lifted up. Marcys face peered one foot from mine.
Marcy eyes blinked, and she shouted, "ELMER IS THAT YOU?"
I didnt know what to say so I said, "no."
Marcy shouted, "NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER!" She dropped
the tablecloth, and I listened to her footsteps marching away. I crawled
out from under the table and wiped off the dust bunnies. Joe said, "Dude,
you know that chick? Why did you blow her off? She is so hot."
I didnt understand what any of it meant, but my relationship with
Britney Spears ended then.
© Adam Graupe March 24th 2009
totalratbag at yahoo.com
I have been published in hackwriters.com, Midnighttimes, Pen Pusher
Magazine, Scars Publications, Nuvein Online Magazine, Ovi Magazine,
Burst , and Slow Trains Literary Journal.
all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility
- no liability accepted by hackwriters.com or affiliates.