Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The Words over at Three Word Wednesday are break, negative and surface. This is a reworking of an old piece of flash that I’ve never been quite happy with in parts, mostly the ending.


Moving Day

My agent convinces me that a move to into the city will be good for my career, which has cooled since I took a break and moved into the outer boroughs.

I say OK, but nothing pretentious. No SoHo loft, nothing in Tribeca.


I ask my assistant to find me something sensible, sedate, but with good on-street parking. 
He finds me a small one-bedroom in a rent-controlled high-rise with a doorman who wears a long purple jacket and a black derby hat.


“It’s the next big thing, as far as areas go,” my assistant assures me. “And I’m only eight blocks away, if you should need anything.”


Moving day arrives and I drive into the city with a few necessities – sheets that smell like home, favorite books, alarm clock, laptop – and I walk through the tiny space and take mental snapshots of my new nest.


There’s a knock at the door and I open it to find a tiny woman in a Chanel suit the color of Pepto-Bismol. She’s carrying a small, pink pastry box tied with white twine.


“Mr. Bascomb, my name is Mrs. Levitz and I just want to say how happy we are that you’re moving in,” she says. “Here at the Constantine, we’re all very big fans – who will absolutely protect your privacy like our very own.”


The box in filled with four monster cupcakes, two chocolate, one red velvet and one that looks like vanilla, with toasted coconut sprinkles covering the entire frosted surface. I thank her for her generosity and she’s already waddling down the hall, waving a hand and reassuring me that my solitude is safe.


I stare at the cupcakes and realize they’re the only food in the place.


I grab my coat, hat and head out to find the nearest market. There’s a slight drizzle, so I duck under a black-and-red striped canvas awning where there’s bins of apples, oranges, fresh-cut flowers. The doorbell jingles its little tune and I pick up a red-handled basket and start down the aisle.


Next to the coffee and teas, there’s a display for catheters and enemas.


Near the dairy case, a giant display of rubber bondage suits.
Next to the cereal and oatmeal, equestrian tack - whips, crops, bit gags.


There are shiny metal speculums mixed in with the cheese graters; nipple clamps on an end-cap near produce; all manner of dildos and vibrators near the beer and wine.


The entire back wall of the shop is one big magazine and DVD rack, with titles like WhAP (Women who Administer Punishment), Leather Journal, Whiplash, Lesbian Cat Fights and ToeKiss.


I decide it’s time to check out.


The girl at the check stand is early 20s, her hair raven-dark and she wears it like Betty Page. She’s in a black leather bodice, held together with red satin ribbon. Over her black leather pencil skirt, she’s wearing a white apron.


“Did you find everything OK?” she asks, eying me suspiciously as she rings up my purchases – a quart of milk, loaf of wheat bread, Swiss cheese, Parma ham, a couple apples and oranges, a bottle of Merlot.

“Just fine, thanks,” I say, trying for an even tone, nothing too stupid or negative.


“Nipple clamps are on sale today,” she says.


“That’s OK, thanks.”


“It’s Thursday, so all latex is 30 percent off.”


“I’m good, really.”


“Here, then, can’t let you go away empty-handed,” and thrusts a small tube into my palm, the label reads “Stroke 29, Masturbation Cream.”


I rush out, flush, and nearly flatten Mrs. Levitz. The small tube of lube falls, rolls, stops at the toe of one of her pink shoes. She picks it up, reads the label through cat-eye bifocals attached to her with a gold chain.


“Mr. Bascomb, tisk, tisk, tisk” she says, hands me the lotion.

And she waddles away, waving a hand and mumbling about my solitude.


I look back at the store, the sign reads “Food & Fetish.” And fish into my jacket for my cell, hit speed dial for my assistant.


To tell him that my transition from the suburbs will be much more gradual.

27 comments:

VL Sheridan said...

Welcome to the big city. It would have been funny if Mrs. Levitz had said something like, "Oh, you shop here too?" Great stuff Thom.

anthonynorth said...

Excellently surreal :-)

gautami tripathy said...

Hope you are settling down well..

pitching forward

Jay Thurston said...

Oh you have Food & Fetish stores where you live too? jk.

A place like that is bound to turn a few heads. You captured the shock factor well.

K said...

This one was too hilarious. I did a double take cause I almost couldn't believe what I was reading.

J.A. O'Sullivan said...

Yep, must be New York . . .

shail said...

That was a god read :)

Angel said...

Hee hee, poor guy!

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Food & Fetish? Hilarious, but I wish like heck I knew where you came up with these things!

Susannah said...

Wonderful, I loved it! ;-)

ladynimue said...

Your tales amuse me biiig time !!! enjoyed this :)

Dreamer said...

That was funny :D.

Ramesh Sood said...

It made me laugh..

R.S. Bohn said...

As it happens, I've got very dark hair with bangs, in a Bettie Page Style. And I'm partial to...

White aprons.

;)

Does Food and Fetish deliver? Maybe he could just ask Mrs. Levitz next time to pick something up for him.

Christine said...

Great story. Laughed out loud at the titles of those mags! And the small detail of sheets that smelled like home really brought color and dimension. Loved that!

Timothy P. Remp said...

The contrast between suburbia and the leather side really came through well. The detail was also eyebrow rising (in a fun way), the characters—wonderful. I was thinking it was New York too.

-Tim

naramalone.com said...

Laughing. You have such a gift for detail. I could see every inch of this store.

Bernard S. Jansen said...

Food and Fetish is an interesting idea. Moving is always a traumatic experience; especially for artistic types. Well written.

Marisa Birns said...

Very amusing story. A one-bedroom in a rent-controlled building with a doorman AND good on-street parking? Definitely NOT New York City! :)

Sulci Collective said...

Food is a fetish! This guy loves himself so much that he'd probably lick chocolate off his own body.

Bit disappointed that for all her promises, nosy neighbour adjusts her glasses on her nose to make damn sure she checks out just what the cream is...

Good clean family family

Marc Nash

vandamir said...

How can I get a "Food & Fetish" store in my neighborhood? Right next to the church one block over would be fabulous.

pegjet said...

Huh, never thought you'd write a fantasy story... *snicker*

Irreverant fun, and the rework worked.

Jen Brubacher said...

What a place! It's almost magical, like some kind of freaky fairy land. I half expected her to give him a wink and turn into a Goddess.

quin browne said...

AHAHAHA!


wicked funny.

Eric J. Krause said...

Good story! Yeah, I'm guessing it's going to take some time for him to get used to living in the city.

Dee Martin said...

well they do say if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere....
yes it's the cheap shot but I'm tired.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I love this, Thom! Except, I have too many questions that don't get answered. Like why this guy's career flagged when he moved out of the city. I can't think of what would be so important to what he does that where he lives matters.

I dig the store and the environment this guy's moved into. But, again, I'm left wondering what sort of person doesn't scope out the scene before signing the lease?