I walk up to the poorest looking house I’ve delivered to all night. I ring the bell and I’m disappointed when a girl from my film class opens the door. We could have used some variety around here. I was hoping to see a lesbian drug addict from Los Angles. This girl always sits in the back and doesn’t talk. I heard one guy say she isn’t even in the class. She probably comes for the free movies.
I never noticed her closely, looked at her face. From the back of the room and in passing her in the hallway she was dumpy and plain. Looking at her now, up close I see her eyes are alive. The most stunning eyes I’ve ever seen, sympathetic and sexy, full of both caring and mischief. Her eyes are orbs of bluish green, like magical marbles accentuated by pale complexion and shoulder length jet-black greasy hair. The thing about green eyes is that they are so rare that when you do get to look into a pair so darkly jade, it is like finding a treasure.
Her face also has at least sixteen moles of varying shapes and seizes. There are two little birthmarks under her left eye, a bigger one on her right cheek, and other moles scattered across her left cheek and one above her lip. I find all these quite engaging. Her face is like a relief map of beauty marks.
I’d like to make my hot drink special Irish coffee for her. She doesn’t look stuck up like that last rich bitch and besides, she might be a lesbian drug addict from Los Angeles but her ass isn’t fat, her face isn’t too made up, and her hair’s not big. Where I live, a girl without big spray can hair is a possible date. What I like is that she looks like she doesn’t live in Jersey; she could be from anywhere. It’s what I hope people think about my own appearance.
The girl has a fantastic body. In film class she always wore big baggy sweaters. Now she isn’t in loose fitting clothes. She is wearing a tight little tee shirt. The worn faded fabric is pulled taut over ravishing tits that are anything but worn or faded. I get instantly weak and turned on by the barely contained wobbling fullness under that tee shirt. I wonder why she doesn’t choose to always show off such a great rack. If I had a physical trait so extraordinarily alluring I would walk around naked. I notice what her tee shirt says because from the moment that she opened the door I haven’t taken my eyes off her chest.
The tee shirt reads- ‘I don’t date boys who read Bukowski’
“Are you going to hand me my pizza or just stare at my tits?” The girl asks.
“I wasn’t…I was just reading the tee shirt.”
“Do you like?”
“What? Like your tits? Yes, actually I was just thinking that...”
“No,” she says cutting me off and crossing her arms over her beautiful boobs. “Do you like Bukowski?”
“Oh. No, I don’t.”
“I don’t know. I haven’t read Bukowski yet. He’s on my list, but I guess he doesn’t have to be.”
“Why don’t you like Bukowski?”
“I love Bukowski.”
“But I thought…”
“I like his writing. I don’t like drunken boys who don’t understand the tenderness. The separation of art from artist.”
“Come in,” she says.
I reluctantly follow her into her house. I have no choice because she hasn’t paid me yet. The house is small, and has a distinct smell that isn’t exactly bad, but it sure isn’t pleasant either. I can’t figure out what it reminds me of.
The girl’s house has no holiday decorations up, no Christmas lights or a tree. Maybe she is Jewish. Everything is old and run down. The room isn’t spacious but it looks barren because there is a lack of any furniture, except for in the corner alcove, where a massive antique entertainment center made of polished deep brown wood is placed. There is an expensive looking computer and stereo set up. The girl sees me staring at it.
“That’s what’s left from my dad, it’s a credenza.”
“A what? It sure is cool.”
“Oh. I like old things like that, antiques.”
“I’m not sure if it’s much of an antique,” she says.
She turns her back on me, and the credenza. I follow her into the kitchen and put the pizza on the table. Down a hall a black and white television is on. The girl looks at me looking down the hallway.
“That’s my mom. She’s an alcoholic and rarely leaves her room. She won’t bother us.”
The girl puts the pizza into the refrigerator and pulls out two bottles of Samuel Adams. She walks back into the living room. She still hasn’t paid me so I follow her. She puts on the stereo and sits down cross-legged on the threadbare carpet. The music is instrumental, slow and bass heavy.
“Sit down,” she says.
I sit down and take a beer.
“You’re in the film class.”
“Yes,” I take a long drink from the beer. The girl looks at me.
I swallow some more beer. The first couple of sips relax me.
“You know,” I say. “I wasn’t looking at your tits. I mean I was but I hate it when girls wear tight tee shirts with writing on them over their breasts and then expect nobody to look. I mean why else do girls wear shirts like that?”
“That’s okay I guess, I’m sensitive of people staring at my boobs.”
She smiles at me and I smile back making sure my eyes meet hers. We both drink out of our bottles.
“Aren’t you going to eat the pizza?”
“No, not now. I love cold pizza in the mornings, so I eat it for breakfast. Besides when I was little I would eat it so fast I would burn my mouth. Now I don’t get burnt devouring every pleasurable thing.”
“Oh. Are you going to pay me?”
“Oh yeah, sorry,” she says getting up.
“What’s you name?”
“I’m Janis, named after fucking Janis Joplin.”
“No, that’s cool. Leonard Coehn sings a song about Janis Joplin giving him a blow job in the Chelsea hotel.”
Janis leaves the room. I look around. On the credenza numerous books are stacked in rows. I look at a few of them and open one by Charles Bukowski. The title of the book is Women. It’s a subject I might enjoy. I turn to the first page and read the first sentence. Mike always told me to read the first page of a book before I take one out of the library or steal it from a bookstore to make sure I will like it and it’s worth the trouble. You can tell if you’re going to like a book by reading the first page.
“I was 50 years old and hadn’t been to bed with a woman for four years.” I read.
Bukowski might not understand his subject. I read a little more. He has a simple structure to his prose. It would be something I could read through easily and still gain insight. I like that the writing wasn’t pretentious.
“I don’t know.”
“Here,” she hands me the money, I notice a twenty, and another beer. I finish the first beer in two big swallows. I start to make change.
“And keep the book, too.”
“Yeah. I think a guy who likes Leonard Cohen will like Bukowski.”
I put the book into my coat pocket.
“What’s your favorite film?”
"I don’t like films, people who say films are so pretentious” I try to sound cool. “I like movies, seventies flicks. Steve McQueen and Robert De Niro.”
“You know that part where he is at the rally and an undercover cop asks where he is from?”
“ Fair Lawn, New Jersey!” We say in unison. We both drink. I like Janis. I wonder what kind of blowjobs she gives. I bet they are pretty wonderful.
“I have to meet my friend at this bar. You want to come? I can drive us in the pizza truck.”
Leaving her house I realize the smell; a closed bar. Her house smelled like the Blue Rose when I go visit Purdy before he opens.