The Pink Missive
The panties were lying on the tile outside my door. I turned my head to the
right, to the left, looked up the stairs, down the stairs. There was no one
around, no one’s voice, just the harsh buzz of the building at rest. It was
lonely as all hell that winter so I tucked my salsalito turkey and provolone
hoagie from the bodega under my arm, palmed the panties, and hurried inside for
a better look.
They were a faded pink, cotton, worn thin in the crotch, a turquoise
butterfly stamped on the front, right above where I imagined the owner’s bush
would end and her downy stomach hair begin. I paced with the panties held over
my mouth and nose like a SARS mask. They smelled of Mountain Breeze detergent.
Usually I’m not one for synthetic breezes, but right away I could tell those
panties belonged to my perfectonehundredpercentamazingsoulmate. They belonged
to a woman whose dresser drawers were full of a rainbow assortment of Victoria
Secret undies and were a leftover from her more innocent days that she wore
when laundry day approached. No doubt about it. They were a pink missive from
the Patron Saint of Lonely Fat Bachelors.
I let my roommate Harry give them a sniff and he rolled his eyes back in his
head and said, “Oh, I do love the meadow in the spring, when the buttercups are
“What do you think I should do?” I asked. “I’m sure these panties belong to
“No doubt about that.”
“So what do I do?”
“You go door to door. If the panties fit, she’s the one for you.” I must
have looked a little hesitant, because he added “If you don’t find her, I
I couldn’t have that. Harry and I had a long history where every time I
liked a girl, he’d bumble his way into bed with her somehow and then the girl
and I would become lifelong friends after they broke up. I had to find that
girl before he did. I put the hoagie in the fridge for after a passionate fuck
with the girl of my dreams. We’d split it.
I gave a shave-and-a-haircut on the door of the apartment directly below
mine. The floor shook and footsteps came thudding down what must have been a
long hallway like ours. When the footsteps stopped the light in the peephole
blinked out and I stood there for a good five minutes listening to heavy
breathing behind the red metal door. I had no idea who lived there. I’d only
met one of my neighbors, and that was when the guy living next to me locked
himself out of his apartment and wanted to exit my bedroom window and cross the
fire escape to his room. I let him, but I kept an eye on my wallet. Finally the
door opened up.
She was geographic. Her body spanned continents and eras, and I wasn’t sure
she’d fit through the door frame. Her wet and dirty gray hair clung to her
forehead. She was eating off-brand orange cheese puffs from a jumbo-sized jar,
orange fluff tucked up in rolls of her finger fat, and she was wearing a floral
print muumuu that made her look like a prairie at dusk. But still, I thought I
could sense she was beautiful once, maybe around the time Cleopatra was. I held
the panties up to her thighs, too disgusted to roll them up one of her cankles.
They wouldn’t fit.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she asked. Her voice was ogreish
“I’m looking for my soulmate.”
“If she fits in those, it ain’t me.”
“Do you have any daughters?” I asked.
“Yes I do,” she said, stuffing cheese puffs into her cheeks and smacking
“May I talk to them? I’m looking for my soulmate.”
“You got a telephone, you can talk to anybody,” she said.
“Ha-ha. Yes, or a computer. So no one else inside?”
“Bebe?” Bebe! Flapper sex on a gilded beach!
“My golden retriever.”
“Oh, I see.” I could never get off to bestiality, but I thought I could try.
If that’s what the Patron Saint of Lonely Fat Bachelors wanted, that’s what the
Patron Saint of Lonely Fat Bachelors would get. “Could I meet her? I like
“I don’t see why not.” She shifted her weight from foot to foot until she
was facing down the hallway. A pool of sweat had gathered in the small of her
back, and her muumuu had ridden up. Her backside had the overall appearance of
a map showing a road leading to a pond and surrounded on all sides by the Great
Plains. A man could get lost among those dead flowers and broken dreams. For
all I knew, some had.
“Come here, Bebe!” the woman yelled. “Here Bebe!” Jingles came down the
hallway, a dainty bell around a daintier collar.
Bebe slipped between the woman’s legs. She was as fat as her owner, looked
like a body pillow covered in shag carpet. I knelt down and told her how
beautiful a puppy she was and petted the length of her body, slipped the
panties over her golden-haired haunches. She looked like someone had tried to
shrink-wrap her ass in cotton. It was a no-go. I pulled the panties off fast
and must have caught some of Bebe’s hair, because she gave a yelp and dashed
back through the woman’s legs.
The woman shifted her feet back and forth faster than before but still
clocked in below average.
I thought maybe I could pave over the situation with some manners. “Well,
thank you ma’am. Have a good day.”
“You’re a sick kid. I could always tell. Nothing like Harry.” She reached
out to pat my elbow in slow fat motion, smeared corn product on my sleeve.
“Godspeed in your search though.”
Godspeed! The rate at which I was going to fuck this woman when I found her!
On the wings of Hermes with my pink missive of lust and love and fervent
passion I headed next door and gave two shave-and-a-haircuts for good measure.
You can’t ever be too smooth, Harry always said. This time I could feel air flowing
out from around the door frame, a breeze rolling down a hill and all around me.
It had to be my woman.
She was plainplainplainwhitebreadamericana. I couldn’t describe her any
better than I could describe an off-white wall in a suburban dentist’s office.
Her face was as bland as a stock photo of sunflowers and I pictured her sitting
in her apartment, her head following the sunlight all day. Still, I thought
that could be good. Maybe the sex would be amazing and I could close my eyes
and think of other, more describable women.
“Excuse me,” I said. “I live upstairs and I’m looking for my dream girl.”
“That’s nice,” she said, and stepped aside to let me in.
Plainplainwhitebreadamericanathat’snice. The walls of her apartment were
white and bare except for thirty-one pairs of white granny panties tacked up in
six columns of five with an extra to the right.
“Nice art piece,” I said.
“Oh, those are just my panties,” she said. “It’s easier to get to them that
way. One for each day of the month.”
“What do you do with the extra ones in February?”
“I wash them anyway.”
The girl was simple. Simple and nice. She was like a computer fresh out of
the box: the operating system and basic software were there but otherwise the
hard drive was blank. It was all wrong. There was no way my perfect girl would
have a wall full of granny panties, and besides, this girl was as thin as a
flagpole. There was no point in even trying them on her.
As I turned to leave I spotted on the coffee table a blue vase clearly from
Target and filled with roses clearly from the bodega. “Those are nice,” I said.
“You live with a boyfriend?”
“Those are from Harry up in apartment 33,” she said. “Nice boy.”
Harry! Nice boy! Harry carrying groceries, Harry bringing flowers, Harry
always one step ahead!
“You know Harry?”
“Sure, met him on the stairs. We have tea sometimes. Would you like some
“Tea. I don’t drink tea, sorry, I’m hyper enough without it. Maybe some
other time? It was nice meeting you,” I said.
“It was nice meeting you, too” she said, her voice like a million corporate
telephone menus speaking in unison.
As I went from door to door, the story was the same. Whenever there was an
answer, the woman wasn’t right, and Harry had already been there and left.
There was the cougar who answered the door in a red towel, a pink cursive A
embroidered over her breast, just under where the towel was tucked into itself,
which was just too much for me. The apartments filled with Hispanic families
who had yet to be gentrified out of the neighborhood, whose daughters had long
flown the coop. The girl with a smooth complexion like plastic and hair like
the original Barbie’s, someone I could play house with but never love. Not a
dream girl one.
The wind was leaving my sails. How did Harry know everyone in our building,
while I knew no one? I went to the next apartment, my building
superintendant’s, and gave three sharp raps. I didn’t have enough steam left to
be smooth. A girl who came up to my navel answered the door. She was eating an
icy pop, blue. Might have been the superintendent’s daughter, but I’d never met
“What?” she asked. Blunt for a girl eating a blue icy pop. Red maybe, but
“I’m looking for my perfect dream girl,” I said.
“And I’m looking for a way out of this 8,363,710 horse town,” she said. I
always liked sassy women. I could tell she was going to grow up into a vixen
and stay that way. The way she ate her icy-pop suggested longevity. Maybe this
was one of those child-bride things and I could propose to her right then,
start sending her Barbie’s and Ken’s and then buying her a car and marrying her
on her eighteenth birthday. I bent to slip the panties up over her pink jogging
pants and she grabbed on to them before she knew what she was doing. She stared
down at the panties for a moment like I’d handed her a flier for the Pedophile
Elks Club, then turned and ran inside with them, the door slamming shut in my
face, the drained icy pop wrapper left behind at my feet.
That was it, I figured. I could see my shadow under the fluorescent light:
another six weeks of lonely New York winter. I’d never find my dream girl
without those panties, so I might as well get used to being alone, buy a
comforter to shield from the cold and ear plugs to block out Harry’s effeminate
sex squeals. I headed back to my apartment. I was halfway up the first flight
of stairs when I heard the door open behind me.
There was a soft, calm light, a heavenly meringue beat. Long, flowing,
saintly hair. A noble maroon bathrobe. It was Him, our brother of Grace, the Patron
Saint of Lonely Fat Bachelors. He walked with divine purpose in my direction,
his eyebrows getting bushier and blacker as he came closer, but then it was
just my building superintendent, Victor or Vector or Vance. I couldn’t ever
remember his name.
When he got to me he stuffed the panties into my mouth and told me to
listen. I didn’t mind so much — have you ever tasted a spring breeze so soon
after the winter, so fresh? but then he
grabbed my collar and got in my face, brought me back from my fantasy of rolling
hills and golden locks.
“Listen,” he said. “Three tenants have called me. You need to stop going
door to door with panties. If I get one more complaint.”
He let me go and I thought it was over, I could go huddle up with some
hentai porn, but as I started to pull away he head-butted me in my nose.
“Why can’t you be more like Harry?” he asked. “Harry brings me home-made
salsa. Hombre makes a muy picante dip.”
I stumbled back upstairs. The blood from my nose ran into my mouth and it
started to taste like my dream girl was becoming a dream woman. I was partway
to my room when I noticed Harry’s door was ajar and moaning and squealing was
issuing forth from the threshold. I peeked inside. Harry was lying on his back
and a woman was grinding up and down and around on top of him, thrashing her
hair around and raking Harry’s hairless and boyish chest with her long red
nails. She looked like Cleopatra + Cindy Crawford + Calamity Jane + The
Babysitter + Audrey Hepburn + Eve + Lindsey Lohan + Tyra Banks + Bebe Daniels +
Audrey Tautou + Karen O + The Girl Next Door + Kobe Tai + Aphrodite + Toni
Morrison. Harry had a pair of red silk panties stuffed in his mouth and his
hands and feet were tied to the bed frame. He looked at me and winked.
I paced, I fumed. I stacked the old pizza boxes up and placed the bloodied
panties on top with a vinyl copy of the Harold and Maude soundtrack turned
backwards, Cat Steven’s blissed-out face looking down at the panties like he
understood it all. I crossed myself mouthnipplenipplegroin and said a little
prayer: Patron Saint of Lonely Fat Bachelors, our Brother of Grace, bring bad
fortune on Harry and bring me a girl. I vowed to challenge Harry to a
gentleman’s duel the next time we were alone.
That was my dream girl and Harry was writhing underneath her and there was
nothing I could think to do about it. I lay in my bed with the sheets bunched
in my hands, my brain boiling, the pillow hard and unsupportive. To calm my
mind I pictured a new and different and more perfect soulmate in a green German
beer maid outfit with white stockings and red garters, prancing through a
rolling meadow full of clovers and buttercups, parsnips and forget-me-nots, her
green skirt bouncing up to reveal the pink panties, myself in green lederhosen
merrily bounding toward her, her happy expression and open arms, my happy
expression and open arms, and then I was on her, and licking her, and she
tasted like a fresh mountain spring, like flowering snowballs, and then I was
in her, bent over in the grass, the panties pushed aside, and I thrust into her
until I planted seed aplenty. We curled up next to each other in the grass,
picked buttercups and sniffed them. She held two of the golden blooms over her
nipples and smiled at me. We left the rolling meadow and went back to our log
cabin where we produced many blond babies. We kept a vase of sunflowers, to
remind us to appreciate the small things in life. Once a month we visited the
shrine of our Patron Saint to pay homage and say thanks for what he had given
us. And when the babies were asleep at night, my soulmate would read me a
bedtime story about the American prince who went door to door to find the woman
whom the panties fit, and then brought her into his castle for long, lusty
nights, and I would bend her over my knee and lift her skirt to spank her over
the panties, and whisper into her ear, “you are a very, very naughty girl, Frau
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