Johnny America


Sun­day Morning


Af­ter on­ly three weeks of com­mu­ni­ty col­lege, Eileen de­cid­ed to be­come a strip­per. She dropped all of her class­es, changed her name to Fe­li­cia Storme and set out to vis­it every re­spectable strip club in town look­ing for the per­fect op­por­tu­ni­ty. It was­n’t as if this was all that sud­den and she’d al­ways been a lit­tle wild, still, it took every­one by surprise.

Eileen asked for every Sun­day off from Les Femmes. She’d told Bradley, her gay boss that she went to church. He re­luc­tant­ly agreed. She did­n’t go to church though. Sun­day was her day. Her all alone-do my own thing-fuck all men day.

Sun­day came; half-full or half-emp­ty, and Eileen woke up. As she’s done every night for the last six months, she washed all the traces of Fe­li­cia off the night be­fore and this morn­ing her long, sui­cide blonde hair was a com­bi­na­tion of frizzy and frumpy and it made her laugh when she saw her re­flec­tion in the bath­room mirror.

Her Dad had ob­ject­ed the loud­est. He’d be damned if any greasy bas­tard is gonna check out his daugh­ter, prob­a­bly get his hands on her, get her hooked on them drugs. While he was say­ing this, he was rub­bing her back.

“Dad, I may be young, but I’m not stu­pid. I know what I’m do­ing.” And she twist­ed away. “Be­sides, that’s how you and Mom met.”

“What’s that hon­ey?” Cried a voice from the kitchen and her Mom ap­peared, framed in the door­way, with­out a shirt and sip­ping a Mi­mosa from a plas­tic cham­pagne flute.

Any­way, back to Sun­day. Eileen was stand­ing at the bath­room sink, brush­ing her teeth and the phone rang.

“Hu­woo,” she said through the suds of toothpaste.

“Um, yeah, is Fe­li­cia there?”

“You have the wrong num­ber,” she said clear­ly, af­ter the shock of hear­ing that name on this phone had caused her to swal­low her tooth­paste. She hung the phone up and re­turned to the bath­room where she rinsed and sat down on the toi­let to think.

Who has this num­ber? My house num­ber? She did­n’t know and af­ter go­ing to the bath­room left those thoughts there, swirling in a tidy bowl of regrets.

She went back to her room and got dressed, bun­dled up ac­tu­al­ly, grabbed a stack of mag­a­zines (Blue­print, Smith­son­ian, Na­tion­al Ge­o­graph­ic) and head­ed to the liv­ing room. She switched on the tele­vi­sion, flipped through the chan­nels to Fox news and be­gan skim­ming through the mag­a­zines. Soon, the beep­ing of the cof­fee mak­er’s au­to­mat­ic timer sig­naled its awak­en­ing. She fixed a cup and set­tled back in. Hours passed. Eileen fell asleep.

She dreamed about the day that she’d taught Lil­ly how to dri­ve a stick shift. It was the day they’d both turned nine­teen. The day they first kissed. In re­al­i­ty they’d laughed it off and they would­n’t get se­ri­ous for an­oth­er five weeks, but in the dream, Lil­ly told her it made her feel re­al sick and she puked out the win­dow and this in turn made Eileen puke from the smell. She woke from the dream fight­ing back the urge to vom­it and with queasy stom­ach went in­to the kitchen for a glass of wa­ter. She drank it and looked at the phone, hang­ing on the wall like an ob­scen­i­ty or an accusation.

“No. I won’t call.”

Eileen de­cid­ed that they were all the same. Every­one. They all want­ed some­thing and it was some­thing she could­n’t and would­n’t give up. She leaned against the wall and stared at the stain on the tile floor and list­ed *every­one* in her head, alphabetically.

Filed under Fiction on February 19th, 2008

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Anonymous wrote:

My name is Fe­li­cia Storme in re­al Life! And I al­ways get told I have a strip­per name!

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