Love in the Time of Heatstroke

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July 18, 2012 by Manny Wordsmith

She walked in with skin untouched by the day’s record heat. Not a drip of sweat or shimmering condensation was on her. Even her brunette hair, bouncy and full, was unscathed by Michigan’s horrid humidity.

She wore big sunglasses. The type that I hate. The ones that are big and ridiculous and cover most of the face. A spilt second (maybe less) of discontent passed through me. Then I realized that everything else on her was immaculate, including her ripped brown jean shorts and her light brown blouse. Most girls in their early 20s, who came in my store, did with their head down, too busy texting to ever make an impression. But this girl came in like photographers were staked out all night waiting for her.


She whipped off her glasses, which seemed like in slow motion, exposing a beautiful pair of brown eyes. This might sound weird, but her eyes spoke to me before her mouth did. They said, “Hey, we’re eyes. And we’re not really supposed to be talking…because we’re eyes and all, but we think you’re kind of cute.” Without skipping a beat, her mouth opened and she spoke. It wasn’t anything poetic or heart-stopping, but it had weight.

“Hey, there.”

A smile swung with her sultry words, and so did her hips as she walked passed me. At the same moment, the Skrillex remix of “Levels” by Avicii came on over the store speakers. The words “Sometimes, I get a good feeling” played over and over, as dubstep drums rolled in like thunder. Coincidence? I think not.

I don’t think I even smiled back or said anything. I probably just had that lethargic, longing look in my eyes, like a starving homeless guy stumbling on a 20 sack of White Castle Jalapeno Sliders. I had looked at sweaty, pissed off people stumble into the store all day. This girl was dry, happy and clean, equipped with a face like Shannyn Sossamon and the enchanting aura of a Hogwarts love potion gone terribly right!

Ron: “It’s no joke! I’m in love with her!

Harry: “Alright, fine, you’re in love with her! Have you ever actually met her?

Ron: “No. Can you introduce me?

We’re a lot alike, Mr. Weasley and I.

I never saw her again. She had scurried past my sight, escaping into lore like a unicorn dipped in melted skittles, spitting old RUN-DMC rhymes while moonwalking on a road paved with silk. She was truly a dream to behold.

I spent the rest of my day speaking to the tiring common folk. One exception was Russian Phone Guy. A man who comes in once a week to buy up to 6 pay-as-you-go mobile phones. This time, as he walks out of the store, I say, “Wow, you buy a lot of phones. I see you all the time in here.” He responds by saying, “You got to eat, right?” I’m pretty sure he’s a mobster and these phones are burners he hands out to his cronies. I’ve seen “The Wire”, I know how the game goes. I’ll keep you up dated!


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