A signal or four got crossed and the driver dropped me at a party store in Hamtramck. I begged him to take me somewhere else, like where I was actually going, but he told me “Saint Uber don’t make mistakes,” pushed me out the door, and left rubber getting out of there.
My phone beeped. The prick had given me a three-star rating and flagged me for being late to the meeting point.
When life gives me lemons, I make bad decisions, so I went inside the party store, grabbed a bottle of whiskey that tasted decent for what it cost, and had the cap off and dropped inside the paper bag before the door had finished swinging shut behind me.
I was thinking about going back in to ask about how to get downtown on the bus when I saw
Molly Sivers sitting on the curb in the light of the one working street light on the block. No makeup, no soft lighting, no airbrushing, but it was definitely her.
Molly Sivers, with her light brown skin, perfect spray of freckles, and jet-black hair.
Molly Sivers, fresh off the cover of Rolling Stone and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, sitting on the curb like she was waiting for Michaelangelo to come and sculpt her.
I forgot about the bus and decided right then that Saint Uber didn’t make mistakes after all.
I didn’t say anything, I just sat down next to her and offered the bottle. She stiffened. Can’t say I blame her, what with the way women get treated in this best of all possible worlds.
“What’s in it?” She was still leaning away from me. Cigarette smoke wafted down the street from somewhere.
“Nothing.” I took a swig.
She relaxed and took the bottle from me. Even her fingers were pretty. She drank, wiped her mouth, and looked at me. “Let’s have it.”
“Everybody’s always dying to ask me questions. Usually stupid or pervy ones. What’s yours?”
I put my ugly hand out. She looked at it for a beat then passed the bottle back. I said, “I don’t think I have one.”
“C’mon, everybody has one.” She was slurring. Just barely. Probably would have been worse without the elocution lessons I was sure she’d spent years of her life taking.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. How about…What makes you a super, not just a regular model? Sour cream and tomatoes made the difference between a taco and a taco supreme back when I ate Taco Bell.”
“What’s your name?”
“Clark? No shit?”
She took the bottle from me and had a good pull on it. “You don’t look or sound like you’re from around here.”
“I’m on my way to a reading.”
“What kind of reading? Tarot cards? Palms? A reading of the banns?”
“Fiction. Jimmy Doom’s doing a reading at the Tangent Gallery.”
“Who the fuck’s Jimmy Doom?”
“The number three fiction writer on Substack after Rushdie and Palahniuk. He’s been publishing a story a day for over two years now, minus five days for covid.”
Molly Sivers hiccuped and looked damn good doing it.
“Is that it?”
“He’s also an actor and a bartender. I hear he wears a tiara and gives out half-priced drinks when Jeopardy’s on.”
Molly said, “What’s a TV show I don’t give a fuck about?”
“Me too, to be honest.”
“What’s your favorite piece of trivia?”
She nodded. “Live más, Clark.”
“I’ll warm up by saying it isn’t Shel Silverstein wrote A Boy Named Sue.”
She laughed. “My brother told me that every single time he got drunk. At first on accident, then on purpose.”
“It also isn’t that Harrison Ford was working as a carpenter when he got cast as Han Solo.”
A single, soft rain drop, far, far lonelier than the cloud it fell from, sliced through the cone of light sheltering us, ran down her cheek, and dropped, glittering, into the gutter. It left a faint track on Molly’s flawless skin.
She looked better than ever. She looked so good I wanted to cry. So good I wanted to carry her on my back wherever she wanted to go for the rest of her life.
She pulled on the whiskey and said, “That, Clark, is what makes me a supermodel.”
Prompted by Kerry E. B. Black (Detroit, supermodel, raindrop). I borrowed this writing prompt format from Jimmy, and I’ve been running with it all year. I’ve got 9 prompts left — enough to get through January and February.
Leave a comment with a living thing, an inanimate object, and a location and I will write a story based on your prompt and tag you when I publish it.
Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash
Jim’s Taco Fund (trying not to be a starving artist)
If you’ve ever tossed some coins to a subway saxophonist or a juggler working a stoplight, please consider sending a few bucks my way — $5 covers a day’s worth of tacos; $3 buys a fancy coffee!