December 21, 2015

O Christmas Tree!

(Throwback Version)

Connie needed money after the divorce. Still in her 30s, she figured selling wallets at the mall was a good start. To nudge sales, she wore clingy wrap dresses, platform sandals, and a thin gold chain around one ankle. On slow afternoons, Mike, the young guy in appliances chatted her up. Dressed in the latest polyester suits and stacked heels from men’s apparel (20% employee discount), he’d also smoke weed to withstand eight hour shifts demonstrating vacuum cleaners.

Late one December night, they both ended up at his apartment door after a hard charging company Christmas party. Connie leaned on the wall while he fumbled keys. Blinking to reset her vision each time she started seeing double, she finally asked, “Hey, you got it?” After all, Mike just drove her clear across town from the banquet hall. Using both hands to aim each key toward the lock, he reassured, “Hold on juu-Uussss a sec.”

Crossing the threshold, Connie’s stride became a mixture of hot chick and vodka tonics. She tried to play off an involuntary side-step by posing against his Christmas tree. Unfortunately, tree stands aren’t built for action and the whole ensemble tipped over in a Whump! Bulbs popped on impact and the light strings went dark. Bending over, he asked, “Jeeeezss, are you Okaaay?” Tugging her dress hem off a branch tip, Connie squinted to figure out which guy was asking.

For his part, Mike failed a chivalrous hand up. He also failed to drag his date to a clearing. Undeterred, she sloppy hand-motioned and cooed, “Rightch here baby.” Dropping to his knees, he climbed on board for the kind of sex you can only have when you’re wasted enough to fall into a Christmas tree and wipe out that side of the room.

The next morning, mortified that her inelegant behavior had a B-movie witness, Connie dialed it down until visits from appliances withered to nods across the floor. Come April, she quit to sell watches at the opposite end of the mall. Eventually changing jobs yet again, she was no match for all the queued up salesmen, or her own appetites.
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This is one of my first stories. I revisit it every once in a while and guesstimate there are over 40 drafts. I change, my writing changes, times change. The one constant is me having to write to let off the steam that builds up inside my head. This story also contains one of my favorite lines.