Johnny America


De­tec­tive Tish


The smell of a naked woman knocked De­tec­tive Tish off his chair. He got up from the floor and ad­just­ed his tie. “How can I help you?” De­tec­tive Tish asked as he sat back down.

“My clothes are gone. They have been stolen,” the naked woman said as she looked around De­tec­tive Tish’s office.

“Are you sure?”


“Okay.” De­tec­tive Tish looked straight at the naked woman’s breasts. She sat down in front of De­tec­tive Tish’s desk and didn’t cross her legs. She took a cig­a­rette out of who knows where and lit it. “Please find my clothes. You have to find my clothes.” The cig­a­rette smoke curled up to­wards the flo­res­cent lights.

De­tec­tive Tish did not have to find her clothes. It was sim­ple. He want­ed to see this beau­ti­ful naked woman naked as long as pos­si­ble. But the naked woman had come to him to find her clothes. If he found her clothes, she would not be naked any­more. Darn, De­tec­tive Tish thought, darn. His gaze dropped from the naked woman’s breasts down to the place be­tween her legs. He start­ed to scrib­ble a striped sweater in the mar­gin of his notepad. “Are you cold?”

The naked woman blew smoke out of the cor­ner of her mouth. “No.”

It had been a long time since De­tec­tive Tish had sat in the pas­sen­ger side of a mov­ing car. He was al­ways dri­ving him­self to his mother’s house, to the track, to the scene of a crime, alone. But he sat to the right of the naked woman in her car as they sped down a road. She was a reck­less dri­ver, tail­gat­ing and run­ning over traf­fic cones when­ev­er she saw one. And she wasn’t wear­ing her seatbelt.

“You should buck­le up,” De­tec­tive Tish said as he tight­ened his grip on the door handle.

The naked woman reached be­hind her seat with­out tak­ing her eyes off the road and grabbed a Jell‑O cup. She ripped the top off while steer­ing with her knees. “You want one?”

“What fla­vor is that?”


“No thanks.”

“I don’t like how they leave marks on me.”

“But they could save your life. Es­pe­cial­ly the way you dri­ve.” The naked woman didn’t have a spoon so she start­ed to lick the or­ange Jell‑O. “Where are we going?”

“To my place.”

“Okay.” De­tec­tive Tish liked the sound of that, but wished that he had been the one to sug­gest go­ing to the naked woman’s place. Now she might think that he didn’t want to find her clothes, or worse, that he didn’t know how to find them.

When they ar­rived at the naked woman’s apart­ment, she opened the door and walked in. She dropped the key on the floor, walked over to a large win­dow and sat on its sill, smok­ing an­oth­er cig­a­rette. De­tec­tive Tish looked around the apart­ment and saw that there wasn’t any­thing in it.

“Do you have a chair? I want to ask you some ques­tions about what hap­pened to your clothes.”

“You’re the de­tec­tive. There’s a chair in the kitchen.” De­tec­tive Tish walked in­to the kitchen and walked out with a small wood­en chair. He placed it near the win­dow, sat down and pulled out his notepad.

“Where did you keep your clothes? Be­fore they were stolen?

The naked woman took a drag on her cig­a­rette and no­ticed some­thing through the win­dow. “It was prob­a­bly my ex-husband.”

“What makes you think that?”

“We di­vorced about a year ago. When we first met, he gave my clothes more com­pli­ments than he gave me, and on our first date, he gave me a bunch of hay in­stead of flowers.”

De­tec­tive Tish crossed out a note he had writ­ten on his notepad. “He gave you a bunch of hay on your first date?”

The naked woman fin­ished her cig­a­rette, opened the win­dow and tossed the butt out on­to the street be­low. She leaned out and breathed in the fresh air. It was cold out­side and De­tec­tive Tish was get­ting cold. He could hear men yelling and cars honk­ing. The naked woman leaned fur­ther out of the win­dow, so far that De­tec­tive Tish thought she might fall out, but she popped her head back in­side. “I re­mem­ber it like it was yes­ter­day. He took me to a farm. He talked about the an­i­mals and the dress I was wear­ing. He said I was wear­ing a nice dress.” The naked woman closed the win­dow and sat back down on the sill. “A pig caught his eye and he won­dered what it would look like in a pol­ka dot biki­ni. It was very sweet.”

“The thought of a pig in a pol­ka dot biki­ni was sweet, or was the mo­ment sweet?”

“All of it. It was all so sweet. We got mar­ried and moved in­to a nice house. I re­mem­ber see­ing a goat strut by our kitchen win­dow wear­ing a nice evening gown with him chas­ing af­ter, or a bunch of chick­ens pos­ing in a coop wear­ing striped biki­nis and it would make me smile. It made him so hap­py. He would fall asleep at night smil­ing bright­ly telling me that he felt like a kid who takes his mother’s clothes and puts them on an­i­mals that aren’t meant to wear panty hose.”

“Why did you di­vorce him?”

The naked woman’s gaze went back to some­thing out on the street be­low. “He changed. His thoughts of dress­ing farm an­i­mals in women’s cloth­ing, they be­came a lit­tle too… in­tense.” De­tec­tive Tish had been tak­ing notes, but he was now draw­ing a pig wear­ing a biki­ni. “He stopped go­ing to work, he stopped eat­ing and he stopped show­er­ing. He stayed up all hours of the night think­ing about what out­fit to put on which an­i­mal. I tried to be sup­port­ive, I even tried to un­der­stand what he was do­ing. He held a fash­ion show in our back­yard.” The naked woman start­ed to cry. “He made a cat­walk in the mid­dle of our back­yard and set up lights and he pumped in loud mu­sic and he ran around in his bathrobe tak­ing pic­ture of all the an­i­mals he had dressed up. He even had card­board cutouts of pho­tog­ra­phers and peo­ple in the crowd.”

De­tec­tive Tish didn’t want to find the naked woman’s clothes but he did want to meet a man who chas­es af­ter a goat wear­ing an evening dress. He got up from his chair to hand the naked woman his hand­ker­chief and saw what she saw out of the win­dow. A pi­ano had fall­en from an apart­ment above and land­ed on a hot dog cart on the street be­low. The hot dog ven­dor was look­ing up at De­tec­tive Tish, like he was the one who de­stroyed his hot dog cart.

Filed under Fiction on September 23rd, 2009

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