Tales of the Bearded Toad

Short stories and the occasional true tidbit devised in the life and times of the Bearded Toad

Monday, July 09, 2012

Mane Attraction

The curl released from her finger like a spring and bounced back into the jumble of its companions. A deft twist, and she had it again, twirling it in counter clockwise circles with her left hand. She was staring of course, but not in that frozen, completely oblivious to the world way. She was staring at the man who had just walked in the door. Her friend could tell that she was impressed with something about him, but she wasn’t really sure what.

Her friend nudged her with her elbow to break the stare, just as the smile was beginning to get a little too big, a little too telling. Neither said anything, but they looked at each other quickly and turned away. A little cough from one; it doesn’t matter which. She tried to remember what she was saying just before the little bell dinged on the door when it opened. Her brow furrowed a little, then released upward, bringing the sides of her eyebrows with it as the daydreams crept in.

Her friend was weighing it out, searching for what had grabbed her. Was it the way he was dressed? The way he walked in confidently? The tattoo peeking out from his sleeve?
“Do you remember that guy I dated two years ago that was obsessed with his car? Jeremy. He was always talking about the next part he was going to put on it, and the next auto cross race, and how his car compared to that one. Do you know which one I’m talking about?”
She nodded in reply and said, “Yea. Why?”
“Well, I remember getting really excited about him when we met, because I was drawn to him for some reason…of course I was a bit tipsy that night. Somehow, though, when we’d gone out for a couple of weeks, the lustre wore off of him faster than he was trying to wax it back into his paint job.”
“Right, we laughed about that, and said it was because he paid more attention to his stick shift than he did to your glove box.” They giggled again.
“Exactly, but I don’t think that’s it anymore. I realize now that I wanted him because of his hair. He had that long flowing hair, just like the guy that just walked in the door, and all I wanted to do was run my fingers through it. But after I got that out of the way, I figured out he was a pretty hollow vessel.”
The bell on the door tinkled again, and they both turned to see. The guy she’d just been fantasizing about was about to greet the newcomer. He did so with the nonchalance of a rapper, facial expressions included. They both watched and listened to every step to the handshake, every distortion of vocabulary in the completely topical conversation that ensued.

They looked at each other and shook their heads slowly, but that sly smile crept up on one side of her face. “So, I’ll take the one with better hair,” she said.

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