Mystery Man: Friday June 19th, 2015

“Ok, we know what type of guy June likes,” Pen gulps mouthful of her grape Snowball and points her empty spoon at June, “macho luchadors with enormous wangs?”

“Enormous wangs!” June affirms. She stirs her rainbow slushy- a once beautiful arrangement of cherry, grape, lemon and blue berry syrup now melted into grey goop- and takes a large bite. We marvel at how her big head seems impervious to brain freeze. “Eight inchers at least!”

I take several quick bites of my own lemon slushy and endure the death of a few brain cells. Even in the air-conditioned 7-Eleven our overpriced treats are melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West during a Filipino typhoon. Soon mine will be nothing more than a cup of pee colored Kool-Aid. What’s the fun in that?

“You’re up.” Pen nods towards Grace who’s nibbling on her own cherry flavored slushy, “Let me guess, enormous wangs too?”

“No.” Grace mumbles, her bright red lips drooping into slight frown. For the past ten minutes she’s been as silent on the enormous wang issue as I have. Honestly, I think we share the belief that wangs  (along with v-jay-jays and perhaps the Australian blobfish) are the ugliest things in God’s creation and don’t deserve mention while one’s eating.

“What type of guy then?” June’s voice echos inside her foam cup as she attempts to get every last drop of Grace’s buck ninety-five treat, “You look like a luchador type of girl to me.”

Ok, every girl a little something for luchadors.

Ok, every girl has a little something for luchadors.

“Not really.” Grace looks up, then down and to the right, her signs of thought and consideration, “There is one guy…”

I  felt she had someone in mind, a person she’s been thinking of since June brought up the subject this morning when we spotted a shirtless and glistening West Greenville varsity football team running laps. Her cat calls were lawsuit worthy and I crouched behind the steering wheel until we turned the corner.

“Who then?” Pen picks up a Little Debbie and brings it to the register. A balding, middle aged Jordanian named Sager smiles as he rings her up. Our unspoken agreement has lasted about two hours, we buy something every ten minutes or so and we get to stay in his rather spacious and air-conditioned convenience store. Much better than the alternative: baking in the Caravan.

“Colin Firth.” Grace’s words creep out, a timid kitten of love and devotion.

“Who?” Pen tosses the Little Deddie into our half full shopping bag, “Does he go to our school?”

“No, he’s that guy from that movie we watched, The Kingsman.”

“The one with the baseball cap?” June asks. She rummages though our little bag of goodies and pulls out a Twinkie, what Pen calls ‘zombie food,’ seeing that Hostess has been recently raised from the dead and all. “Bet he has big one too.” She wags the Twinkie in front of her crotch, “Muy grande!

“No ,Colin was the one with the glasses.”

“The old guy!” Pen’s laugh echo’s down the beer isle, catching the attention of a black woman holding a Colt 45, “He’s ancient!”

Grace shrinks back, almost telescoping into herself.

“He’s real old.” I say, unable to hold back my horror, “He’s like sixty.” I thought she’d go with the program and love what society has prescribed for girls our age, a Justin Bieber type or any one of the One Direction boys. Instead she’s revealed that she’s more screwed up than any of us. There are obvious daddy issues here.

“He’s not that old.” Grace says, regretting saying anything at all. I hope we aren’t traumatizing her. “And I just love the idea of him.” She back tracks, hoping to clarify things, thinking perhaps we won’t ostracize her just yet if we understood. “He’s the type of guy who’d fly you to Monaco for your anniversary then still be up with you at six the next morning to help get the kids ready for school. That’s the type of guy I want.”

June crams the remainder of the Twinkie into her mouth. “So Grace,” crumbs come out with every syllable, falling over the front of her shirt; she doesn’t bother to brush them away, “you want someone out of this world and down to Earth at the same time?”

Grace nods quickly, a Bobblehead on a car dashboard. Maybe she’s found someone who understands?

Impostable.” June dismisses the Bobblehead’s hopes as easily as she inhaled the snack cake, “You’re nuts to want, or should I say ‘expect,’ both.”

Grace wilts like a tulip on a hot day.

“The fat Mexican’s right.” Pen says, placing her arm around Grace’s shoulder, wanting to comfort and maybe educate, “Honey Boo, it’s Han Solo or Luke Sky Walker, you can’t have both. ”

Laughing, Grace pushes her into a display of two liter Dr. Peppers. Pen pushes back, but she has toddler strength and resorts to slinging a glob of grape slush.

The bald Jordanian eyes us suspiciously, and we quite down. The fact that June’s in our group already puts us at a disadvantage. She once spent an hour in front Sager’s magazine section, reading everything English and Spanish, before he realized she was flat-butt broke and chased her our with a wet mop.

“You’re up Big Red.” Pen says. She sits Indian style on the floor and leans back against portable cooler full of Good Humor bars and pints of Breyer’s vanilla ice cream. “You’re not into wrinkly old balls too are you?”

“Johnny Depp.” I say as confidently as ordering a favorite meal.

“Good one.” Pen says. June and Grace also nod their approval.

I go into the details: his super hot tats, charisma, the millions of dollars that could buy me a new mini-van with working AC. Grace mentions his private jet and June adds something about his obviously huge member. Pen just smiles, there may be hope for Big Red yet, she thinks.

Honestly, I’m not all that into Johnny Depp or Chris Hemsworth or even Chris Pratt for that matter. It was just a name to throw to the wolves. When I think of my perfect man only fragments of people come to mind, not the whole package. Clark Kent’s square jaw, Paw Paw’s large hands and his aroma of cigarettes and Old English cologne, the warm sun shining down as a life guard pulls me to shore at Camp Lake Onotobie, having confused my awkward backstroke with the death struggles of a drowning girl. A collection of memories that seem to point far West, where cowboys still roams. It’ll take time to work out the details.

“See Grace,” Pen slaps at Grace’s shin, “If you’d said Johnny Depp I’d have a little respect for you. Now I just want to get you to a shrink.”

“Well, who’s you’re dream guy then?” It’s one of Grace’s tipped questions, the result of Pen’s boyish walk and crew-cut coupled with the cotton skirts and enormous faux diamond earrings. The girl is a contradiction and we’ve all been left wondering which team she plays for.

“I’m not sure what type of person I’m into.” Pen tosses the question out the window, enjoying keeping us in the dark. She stands and takes a strawberry Good Humor bar out of the cooler and pays for it at the counter. She turns and tosses it to June who begins devouring it like a starved pit bull.

Grace looks at me and shrugs. We’ll find out eventually.

Maybe. I nod. I’m sure none us would mind if she was a lesbian, maybe it would linger in the back of Grace’s mind, kind of like knowing there’s a squirrel nesting in your attic or something, but she wouldn’t be all Westboro Baptist about it. As Pen would say, Grace is a cool cat.

“I think it’s time to go.” Pen says, “I got to pee and I need a place that doesn’t have snot on the stall walls.”

All of our bladders and senses of hygiene seem to agree and we head for the door. June grabs our goody bag and leers at Sager. “I’ll be back.”

“Sure, sure.” He says, “Just remember to bring your rich friends.”

June takes a moment to look in the bag and smiles. “Oh, I will. Una chica tiene que comer. A girl has to eat.”

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