i sat outside, minding my own business and occasionally the business of others. smoke break in the middle of a slow shift.
i could see the narrow set of stairs that led up to the shaded patio out in front of the restaurant. an over sized SUV blocked my view of the actual stair case, the two middle steps that made up the core (i guess, seems pretty insignificant, but christ, it was a dull break). i could only see the last step and the tops of the disembodied heads of our satisfied customers as they left the restaurant with invisible, possibly nonexistent, bellies full of cheesy goodness and tangy marinara.
it's kind of hard to say whether these mysterious heads leave the restaurant with bodies they came in on. perhaps they had coldly left them in the trunk of their cars, squirming and scratching, with as much regard a hit man has for his victim with cemented sneakers sinking to the bottom of the boat basin. sure hope he's warm before he dies.
maybe they suddenly sprout them again, some strange evolved human with the regenerating powers of a skink, only much more widespread. have aliens conquered this city? subjugated it's people? mind fucking us into ignorant submission? i guess i'll never know, they seem to grow them back when i think about it or take any notice of it. what if, and maybe this sounds crazy, they had us so utterly mind fucked, we would unknowingly place replacement bodies in reserved seats. somewhere in the back of every restaurant in this town lies a miniature station where their biomechanical traveling suits are manufactured. i know i'm not a part of that, or am i? i just have to keep playing it their way i guess, so long as i leave with my pathetic check and my life, i really have no reason to complain.
i could also spot them (these crazy humanoids) leaving when the front door swung open. these faces seemed able to travel on the slight breeze escaping from those spring loaded doorways. so light, they appeared to be, that even a simple gust of air conditioned air could send them whirling into their cushioned seats. the plug was pulled and two wrinkled heads slowly hovered out, then gradually turned towards my little vantage point, which (and i didn't knwo this yet) just happened to be right next to their car. with sloth-like grace common in most feeble couples, four sets of mossy loafers descended the stoop. the dry paint began to dry, sun began to sink, grass was growing, and the yellow moss on his feet grew brighter, hours became minutes and seconds became minutes. death has obviously been shadowing these two for a long time, setting up stake outs in the neighbors houses, planting bugs and taking pictures. waiting behind every corner of every building is a skeleton in black tapping a a broken wristwatch. one day, he'll finally press that old bleached skull of his against the watch and realize it has absolutely no pulse and that he had missed his deadline centuries ago.
they eventually hit the final step.
there was something that took on the appearance of a female. wrinkled arms thinning with muscle atrophy, curled up over two hideous, pathetic excuses for breasts, that dangled listlessly over a belly the size of a basketball. the skin was fake, it must of been. this was one defective body she had been stuck with. should i tell her? no. too funny. somehow, those tyrannosaurus arms of hers could support enough gold jewelry to sink a spanish galleon. her neck. my god, it's a deflated cow's udder that, like most people her age, is probably covered in fine white hairs, just enough testosterone in her body to make her look even worse when she's dead. a practical joke, perhaps? so ghostly pale and thin, silky even. i bet they'd be worth thousands of dollars on the black market.
she appeared first, stooping and shuffling along as if she'd just been released from her little cubby hole in the bell tower. the man, her husband i assume, though he showed absolutely no interest in her, also hunched, but much less so than his mutant wife. he wore his best, dusty old suit, that looked to have been purchased somewhere in the nineteen seventies. a thrift store get up, of some sort. something i would buy and wear with my darth vader helmet.
at this time i picture this old man naked, slithering along into an old cardboard box labeled "donation bin." two seconds later, he pops out fully dressed, mothballs and cigar holes. a bottle of dime store cologne tucked away neatly in a shirt pocket.
the couple kept shuffled along, wordlessly, stiffly and without any other bodily movement whatsoever, until they had reached the bench where i sat silently watching them. the old man's head then slowly, ever so slowly, turned towards me bringing, into the sunlight, a head as bald as a bastard. so clean and white was this fleshy spot that i was temporarily blinded by the reflection of the setting sun. his cold blue eyes regarded me thoughtlessly, two sky blue windows, beyond which a set of rusty cogs, stiff sprockets, and toothless gears, sputtered and groaned, shaking away a coat of rust and frozen oil. a dead hamster, skin drawn tightly over it's miniature skeleton, rocks back and forth on a squeaky running wheel turned cradling casket. all behind a brittle skull and some amazing liver spotted skin draperies, that swung about comically before those empty blue windows. He stared at me for a while, a very stern stare. a strange conscious being staring at me through the front windows built into a ridiculous facade. his gelatinous, pale skin seemed to be attached to his face with an ancient and very cheap epoxy, it quivered with senile confusion.
the more i stared, the more his physical form changed. his skin seemed to take on a life of it's own. a symbiotic relationship of some sort, between man and costume, costume and man, the lesser species on the outside, blanketing the tender innards and conveying the thoughts, emotions and feelings of the greater inside organs through facial expressions and hand gestures. it's very survival depends on its ability to decode and translate his decrepit master's electric signals into an acceptable form of human behavior. i pity that skin, i wonder if it knows it's life giver's own life is nearing it's end. will it crawl off, defeated, and slug along the asphalt only to find another skinless body to lazily drape over and hang onto like a wet sheet on a clothesline?
he kept looking, some inner struggle seemed to tear him two different ways. or just one, but what it was, i'll never know. maybe he wanted to express his thoughts on the meal or maybe he just liked my shirt. maybe he thought i looked goofy, just another foolish young brat that thinks he knows everything there is to know, but only understanding one biased half. good or bad, i felt i had to break this strange ice developing and show my good intentions. it would take them months to reach their car door, quite possibly years. my break was nowhere near done, so i figured i might as well make what few minutes remained more comfortable. might as well make it a comfortable. i smiled, politely and waved. i come in peace, a mere flowered shirt tourist to this transient overlapping of social circles. circles made up of the young and old, the dated and foolish. even though, really, they had broken into my bubble of solitude...
did he take it positively? wait, maybe i angered the beast. no, i don't think his memory banks, so holed and dilapidated, could recollect the meaning of a simple smile and a friendly wave. harmless memory loss or blatant rudeness?
not a word was said about the food, service or speed. no complaints and no compliments. no smile or perfunctory nod, slight hand movement or a brief elevating of the eyebrows. just one long, endless stare. i became lost in thought, a little embarrassment.
the female creature, who took absolutely no notice of me, pawed weakly at the passenger side door. her long, bright red nails scratching in patient impatience at the flawless wax coat on the car. her gaudy jewelry rattled and banged. so loud was it that i'm almost certain the ears of every homeless man, women and child in bangladesh, perked up in hungry anticipation. the man fumbled dumbly with a complicated set of three keys until he finally fit the point into the hole.
* i'm sure the man would experience some strange sense of doddering deja vu later in the night. i pictured him, glass of tiger's blood and panda milk in one hand, bottle of viagra in the other. dressed in his sexily conservative pair of pin striped long johns, the crone prepares for the romantic night ahead. the man's hard on, try as it might, is shamelessly losing the battle against the thin fabric of his pajamas. a small white flag is all it's able to raise.
his wife, in a silk nightie, unable to sleep lying down flat (lest the fluids in her hump consume her), she is propped upright by a reading pillow. she's as close to being "good to go" as she's gonna get and her husband knows it. she crooks a finger in his direction, beckoning him towards her, then slowly spreads her veiny legs apart. the sound, i imagine, is one of an ancient stone door to an egyptian treasure tomb slowly sliding open for the first time in over two centuries. a grainy rumble that echoes impressively throughout the room. a geyser of dust spews forth signifying that the vagina is open and ready, gaping like a hungry maw. the man desperately tries to rouse his defeated pecker, her withered vagina is about as appealing to him as the mouth of a lamprey eel. actually, just thinking of how much better those rows and rows of sharp, bloodsucking teeth would feel when compared to this barren, skin searing wasteland of a cunt, really got his motor running. he'd have to remember to get one of those next time.
what follows can only be described as the lamest mummy fuck in the world. rhythmic weight shifting, stifled yawns and desiccated wheezes orchestrates this repulsive dance of sorts. their pores audibly emit an eerie hissing sound, much like a boiling kettle, powdered sweat mixed with what little moisture their bodies can spare creates a very pasty and very chalky sex cocktail. the soft sound of snake skin on a wet pile of yard trash can be heard above the monstrous crescendo of hacking and spitting, bone creaking and sometimes snapping.
time has lost all meaning, somehow. any poor soul observing might get lost in their hypnotic pumping, caught somewhere between gagging and shitting.
suddenly, the air is still and silent, no orgasmic moans have been heard in this room for the past thirty years, and, if the room actually expected to ever hear it again, it would be terribly disappointed. the old man collapses in a heap beside a snoring wife who may or may not have been conscious when he had finished. they will not move for seven days. *
i watched them leave, a smug smile creeping its way across my sorry old mug. they had unknowingly been casted in a perverted play of mine that. i'm sure in reality, they would've turned those bloated old noses up to it or maybe just keeled over from a heart attack. their sorry faces and pathetic routines, were all just props, sets and masks, easily pasted and thrown together in this mr. potato head imagination of mine. no copyright laws or U.S. patent documents or wavers that needed signatures of approval. just good ol' imagination and a guarded tongue.
(i wonder if they really would've turned down my little script.)
they staggered into a box shaped scion with a heavenly white coat of unscathed paint, and slowly drove away.
i scratched the rim of my nose and was pleasantly greeted by a giant clod of green and yellow. this nose goblin had been dangling, probably had seen the whole thing too. wonder what he thinks of me now.
i flicked it, got up and returned to the endless grind of alien slave labor. all the heads stood still. i was now onto their sick, twisted plot. smart, wise and ready.