Hank Kirton

The Blind Woman’s Legs

The blind woman’s legs were shapely and smooth and Matt seared the sight of them into his calendar brain. She was two tables distant at the bookstore café, reading Terence McKenna with her fingers. He’d slipped behind her spy-like and peeked over her shoulder to see what she was reading/feeling. Matt felt comfortable looking at her because she couldn’t see him back. She couldn’t judge him by his weight or his height or the bruises on his face. She had no idea he was staring at her legs, memorizing her in her short skirt and flowered blouse. She wore big blind-person shades, giving her face a delicacy that he admired. She was beautiful in general but hell, those gams. He thought, She should insure those sweet stems with Lloyd’s of London. But the point was she couldn’t see him unless she felt him. Felt his face. And what were the chances of that?

The German Shepherd at her feet was looking at him with a bite on its mind. Matt smiled, showing his teeth to the beast. He knew how dogs talk. You had to intimidate them. The dog didn’t move. It didn’t answer back. Good dog. Matt felt like he’d won an important contest.

And then he took a swallow of coffee and felt repulsive again. The coffee had gone cool while he was staring at the blind woman’s legs. He felt it unleash in his empty guts, reaching into his bowels like a cold endoscope. He wanted to scream. He wanted to vomit the pathetic straight out of his soul. The circus in his head returned, filling him with a hurdygurdy&smellofpopcorn&sawdust&horsedroppings. He closed his eyes and lowered his head and tried to think of other things. Pleasant things. Maintain. Maintain. He’d have to regain his composure if he was going to talk to the blind woman.

And then he broke into a string of giggles at the absurdity of that ambition. The laughter bubbled out of him with volume and froth. It was too funny. Who did he think he was? He lifted his head and saw that several people were watching him laugh and blood rushed into his face. Even the blind woman “looked” up.

But he couldn’t stop laughing and the circus roared back. With effort, he squeezed the sounds off and took another quick swig of coffee. Swallowing nauseated him again. Why did he have to be so, so human? Why couldn’t he be, be suave like other guys? The light inside was way too bright.

The blind woman closed her Braille book and snapped her fingers and for a second Matt thought the snap was for him but the dog stood up and led the blind woman out of the store. She glided easily behind the dog. It knew where to go.

Matt looked at his coffee. So what now? He felt like he’d had an experience. He was suddenly exhausted.

He picked up his cup and made it out of the store without incident.


From: Everything Dissolves

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