Speedo-on-Hudson [Fiction] (138)

He struts into the shop like he owns the place. As the door closes you hear “Eye of the Tiger” blaring from his still running DeVille convertible.

He’s wearing nothing more than a purple Speedo and Aviator sunglasses. The door that closed behind him, squelching the music, reads “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.”

Julie would have been surprised, offended, disgusted or all of the above but this was normal summer weekend fodder of her town-on-hudson. She was just “oh so lucky” to be blessed with a particular stretch of the river that competitive kayakers loved to frequent.

“Do you have bagels?” he asks. He’s doing his best to try to look suave and disinterested as to whether bagels are on the menu or not. The look on his face says it all; this guy clearly wasn’t expecting a woman to be clerking and while Julie wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole the wet purple Speedo confirms it all for her. A perfect outline of what his car out there is clearly compensating for.

“No bagels,” Julie responds.

“7-Eleven has bagels.”

As though this argument might make a bagel appear.

“This,” she gestures around her, “isn’t a 7-Eleven.”

“Whatever.”

She goes back to pretending to read her magazine while Speedo continues to pretend browsing.

This wasn’t the first or last time today that a guy would come on to her. She didn’t understand it, other than the fact that she was a female, how anyone could find this drab garb she was required to wear (her hair pulled tight hidden under a hat, an oversized blue polo shirt and a black half-apron) attractive.

Speedo finished shopping putting his haul of a pack of gum and a Milky Way on the counter. Julie punched a few buttons on the register and told him, “one seventy-five.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

As though he knew his chances were already shot he didn’t attempt to hide the fact that he pulled the soggy five dollar bill out of his suit. Julie, however, had no qualms about the display of putting on rubber gloves. She gave him his change and he looked confused as to where he should put the coin before deciding that the best place for his quarter was the Give-A-Penny dish.

When the door opened again “Waiting for a Girl Like You” was playing on the radio.

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