Snow Ball Fighting—a short story
I was bussing for Kayla at the Tuscan Oven. If I was supposed to be grateful for the gratuitous brush of her 34 DDs against my shoulder blades as she leaned over to grab a plate from the counter, the feeling was muted by the fact that I’d be lucky to get ten percent out of that cheap bitch come tip-out time. Still, I backed away slowly, her breasts sliding off my left arm. With a firm grasp on the dish, she giggled.
Marco flicked Kayla in the ass with a rolled up dish towel as he walked by. “Eric, they’re out of paper towels in the men’s john,” he said.
Finally. “Yeah, I’ll be there.”
Kayla groaned, her eyeballs rolling back in her head like I imagined they would if I ever got the chance to give her the fucking she deserved. “You’re so obvious. Anyway, table 15 needs to be cleared off as soon as it opens up. The Martinellis have been screaming at each other at the bar for twenty minutes and we need to seat them now.”
I looked over at the window table reserved for Laconia’s finest. A city councilor was helping his wife into her coat as they readied to leave. There was a single, crisp bill on the table. It wasn’t a small one. I wouldn’t see a dime. “I’ll be there in a minute,” I said to Kayla.
In the bathroom, Marco was separating fine, white powder into lines with his Capital One Visa. I started rolling my last twenty into a thin tube as soon as I walked through the door.
“Why is the hottest snatch always the tightest?” I asked, stepping up beside him and aligning myself with one glorious, snowy track. “She uses those tits to rake in more tips than anyone in this place, but at the end of the night she’s Ebenezer Scrooge.”
I could’ve let Marco go first, but I didn’t. I snorted, then I shook my head in an almost involuntary spasm of burning elation. I stepped back to give Marco space. “Those tits,” I whimpered. The words came out of a numb throat. Then, “I gotta get table 15.”
Kayla sat the Martinellis as soon as I wiped the table dry and stepped back. Table 13 needed clearing, too, so I put down my bin on it and watched.
That Mr. Martinelli was a lawyer was evidenced by a head of curls atop a clean shaven face. His jacket was off, his shirt unbuttoned at the neck, his tie loosened. He looked to be in his mid-50s, but he breathed distinguished air. His wife was full of creased angles that come from salad, cigarettes and various dehydrating beverages. The skin around her eyes and lips didn’t budge.
“Let’s not make this any more painful and drawn out than it has to be,” she said, each “s” a wet, elongated hiss dripping venom from two perfectly polished eye teeth. I imagined that in any other situation, her conversational tones were short and clipped. “I want everything.”
The man’s eyes projected more than one emotion. I stared at the couple as I pushed metal and china into my bin, where an untouched steak bled into a cocktail glass. He was scared, but there was something else playing out behind his dilated pupils. I saw him look through his wife, zeroing in on the visions in his head. If I had to guess, I’d say that’s where his secretary—or his wife’s best friend, or his law partner’s daughter, or the big-breasted waitress at his favorite restaurant—laid in splayed wait. Mr. Martinelli licked his lips, the dart of his tongue perceptible only to me.
“Then I am going to sell everything that whore stepped on, slept on, sat on, shat on, and so much as looked at. Do you understand me?”
He nodded. He looked like my father.
“I’d prefer to burn the place down so I wouldn’t have to think of her DNA existing in some invisible puddle on the bed, but too many people know about this, you indiscreet bastard. And they all know how I am. The insurance company would never give me a cent.” She gripped her highball glass against its solid crystal base with a ferocity that made bright blue veins stand out against the papery skin of her right hand. “Do you understand me? Do you?”
The man flicked open a Zippo. He brought it toward the Marlboro Red dangling from his lips. The lighter shook a little on its retreat. The cigarette glowed. I inhaled from two tables over.
Binky is the work-at-home mother of a one year old. Before embarking on this writing exercise, she knew nothing about cocaine or the foodservice industry. All hail, Wikipedia! You can find her on most other days at 24/7, which is where I happen to be crashing today (if you start to miss me too much...read my response to the prompt here).
Snow Ball Fighting was written in response to the following prompt: “A husband and wife are meeting in a restaurant to finalize the terms of their impending divorce. Write the scene from the point of view of a busboy snorting cocaine in the restroom.”
The post you just read is part of the August Blog Exchange, where this month’s participants flex their creative muscles as they lift inspiration from a set of unique writing prompts found over at McSweeney’s. Read other participants' takes on the prompts at their sites:
The Silent K
Clueless in Carolina
Mommy's Dirty Secret
Brave New World
A Mommy Story
Taste the World
Mom Maam Me
If you would like to participate in next month’s Blog Exchange, please email Kristen.