Monday, 1 August 2016

Strip talk on the Boulevard by Donna Spector

Strip Talk on the Boulevard

By Donna Spector

Sally, 30, manages a drugstore on Hollywood Boulevard. She tells her dream to Marty, a customer and new friend, as she puts makeup on Marty's face.
I was working in this place like Las Vegas, all lights and mirrors, but dark, y'know. Like how they never know whether it's day or night, and the clocks don't work. But I'm all in red spangles, my hair curled, and red fish net tights with these high-heeled red shoes like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. I'm serving burgers and fries from a runway that's moving past slot machines where all these people are shoving in cash. You hear the machines going CLONK! TINGLE-TINGLE-TINGLE! And they play these Bugs Bunny tunes whenever someone wins. Most of the people are old and wrinkled, all silent like piles of mashed potatoes with arms that keep shoving in the coins and pulling down the levers. Their faces change colors--gold, red, blue, green--from the slot machine lights whirling around. There's a man's voice, too, coming outta what would be the sky, like God, only it's this blue ceiling with star lights. He's talking real soft and smooth, like God on Valium. Down below the runway all these men in tight, shiny dark suits, black shirts, white ties and black hats with a cheesy white band are grabbing at my feet. I kick at their hands, because I'm busy, I got a job to do. But what I don't do is jab my pointy heels into the soft part of their hands. After all, they're just dumb guys, and everybody's hungry. I dunno what they're hungry for, but it ain't really me, and it ain't burgers and fries. I start crying a little, my mascara running down my face, then I'm sobbing so hard I'm getting the food all soggy, and pretty soon everybody else is sobbing. All the old folks at the slot machines, and the guys in the dark suits, we sound like a bunch of hungry kids in a abandoned nursery. We're so goddamned noisy we drown out the voice of God. 

No comments:

Post a Comment