So, well, I ask her to happy hour, which I haven’t done since I opened
my practice and she showed up asking about the Help Wanted. Shy at first,
kind of woman who denies a new hairdo. Fingers rarely poked beyond her
sleeves. Vulnerable as a baby pigeon, pigeon-toes completed the effect.
Robin, that old employee? Long gone. This new Robin? Smiles. Speaks professionally,
decorates the lobby: a hoe in the corner and tiny tree plants for Arbor
Day; calendars of her International Brotherhood of Teamsters dad on Labor
(and Father’s Day); Styrofoam matzo balls for Yom Haatzmaut.
We hit a joint couple blocks down serving half-price cocktails four to seven.
It blasts disco. We go in anyway. She swivels her stool to me.
“I really believe in the work you’re doing.”
“We’re doing. We’re a team here.”
“Well, it’s important. Hypnosis is the future of oral hygiene.”
I raise my glass. “To fear-free dentistry.”
“To no-scare dental care.”
Third round of drinks, a knee brush. Course, I also thought Allison would work,
but she turned mean – cocker spaniel-spanking mean.
“It’s shocking to me you even have a vagina.”
“Lucky for you. Dick-less.”
Music goes thump-a, thump-a. I motion for the tab. Robin digs into her tote,
knuckles Sudoku books aside for her wallet. I won’t hear of it.
Now a block down, the bar’s beat vibrates. Robin tugs my London
She holds my cuff.
That was eighty-seven seconds ago.
Now the 36 drives off. Some man runs alongside, slapping.
Back at my place, I find a Simpler Times in back of the fridge and hit the
foldout. Tonight I’d kill for even a Serta twin. Back-to-back Threes
Companys. That Joyce DeWitt. I know, I know. Everyone goes gaga for
Chrissy. I’m more the Janet type.
Robin, I hope that guy didn’t wait long for the next bus. Anyway, I
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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 28 | Spring 2010