It’s summer! Time for some fiction that, literally, leaps off the page a little!

 

MIRANDA

BY JARED HULCE

I MET Miranda one evening during the unusually hot summer of 2006. A “brown-out” occurred and my apartment building was one of several that had its power temporarily disconnected. I went to “Tony’s” for dinner and drinks and pleasantly spent most of the evening there. Returning home late to brush my teeth by candlelight.

Miranda was in the company of friends seated at the bar. Most noticeably attached to Tyler, who is gay! He is apparently her roommate. A very amusing middle aged Irishman, but a Prospero he ain’t. Miranda laughs easily, displaying a perfect smile. The kind you see on models and actresses, especially in close-ups on TV commercials. She was provocatively clad in a very, very red flimsy semi-transparent top that you’d expect to see a soprano at the opera portraying Carmen wearing. The left side of it was dangling off-shoulder in a calculated dishabille manner, to reveal a little cleavage—(very little!) and a similarly colored red bra within. It was also short enough to display quite a bit of nicely tanned midriff.

Miranda had a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist. It was of an eye! With a couple of ornamental strokes. It reminded me of an ancient Egyptian symbol. What its stated purpose was meant to convey apart from its decorative value, I hesitated to inquire about. My personal opinion about tattoos is they’re quite unnecessary on pretty women. And if anything, I find them somewhat disfiguring. Not unlike scar tissue!

That evening I became a sort of honorary participant in her entourage. Although I had previously made the acquaintance of Tyler, this was the first time I’d seen him with Miranda. After a while Tyler got up to chat with a couple of other guys and a very attractive young woman named Jean whom I had been introduced to earlier. They had moved to the other end of the bar. At that interval three youths passing by outside peered through the window making signals to Miranda who happened to be staring at that moment from her perch at the end of the bar nearest the windows. She smiled her 1000-watt smile at their cavorting and it encouraged them to enter the restaurant. Three callow looking young men of such diverse appearance it would make any writer proud to have imagined. But they were for real! They all quickly gravitated, like moths to a flame, closely to the corner of the bar where she was seated. Miranda amused herself with this new situation while Tyler was temporarily preoccupied. And she teased this gruesome threesome with the sort of banter, which she was apparently very capable of handling.

Miranda cheerfully and skillfully deflected their obvious obsequiousness with the aplomb of d’Artagnan fencing with Athos, Porthos and Aramis! One of these Musketeers was tall, swarthy and had a lean and hungry (read horny!) look about him. Another was short and perhaps the better looking of the lot but also the most garrulous. The last one was tall also and leaning heavily on the bar, practically drooling. He possessed a nose that rivaled that of a toucan without the charming coloration. All three were thinking only with that tiny brain located within the singular male appendage that motivates young men to perpetually make fools of them. The poor schmucks can’t help it. This appendage has a mind of its own after all! I was a young schmuck once and remember all too well.

Eventually she became bored with them and began to wind down her repartee. She also looked tired. It was getting late. She politely discouraged their suggestions to go to another bar, finally calling over to Tyler to take her home. Larry, Moe and Curly left rather hesitantly and reluctantly. Their tails between their legs. (The double entendre is intentional). I couldn’t take my eyes off of her and overhearing the deft way she handled herself. I was seated only a couple of feet away at the next nearest barstool. Amazingly (or not!) I was completely invisible to the four actors in this little tableau vivant!

There’s a keen intelligence within her persona that might reveal a great deal more upon closer and longer acquaintance. I was a little disappointed when she asked me when my birthday was. I thought that hackneyed old astrological question had finally become passé by at least—1989! Despite that I sensed a depth of character beneath the operatic role-playing and insecure laughter, (usually in response to Tyler’s witty remarks), which may one day hopefully surface. Women are quite extraordinary at creating and/or re-inventing themselves. The better for keeping us lads under their thrall. I gave Miranda my card asking her if she’d be interested in communicating via e-mail. Assuring her that I was not a dirty old man. Earlier in the evening she described herself as interested in writing and made some attempts at it. But said she came up against that old bugaboo…writers block. I suggested e-mail correspondence, as a method of getting around that problem because engaging with someone else in e-mail exchanges is a good way to exercise one’s writing muscles. Often as not ideas bounce around and germinate from the habit of so doing. Many, if not most of the writers of the 19th century (and some in the 20th for that matter!) were voluminous letter writers. And yet they found time to write a shit-load of books and articles. Of course they didn’t have all the many distractions we do now. TV, Movies, Radio, Cell-Phones, etc. (Though they did hang out frequently at restaurants and pubs just as we do today). But they had cheap servants to do all their menial chores, like laundry and cleaning. Or their overworked wives did it! (I guess women writers must’ve had male servants and maids!)

Anyway, I digress, back to my present special character. Miranda. What more can I say about you? That you’re so very lovely. What with your curly long brown hair worn down your right shoulder. Your luminous dark eyes and that smile! Oh yes! That smile! It could even heat up Dracula’s arteries. This tale can only continue to develop if I can engage with you in intellectual intercourse. That is, intercourse, as described by one of its definitions in Webster’s, namely: 2: exchange esp. of thoughts or feelings: COMMUNION.

If I were, how shall I put it? Fortunate enough to have the sexual definition presented to me by Miranda, I would probably be overcome with delirium. Or a hallucinatory experience of some sort! (After all, I am as old as Paul McCartney now). However, I’m not dead yet! “…we are such stuff as dreams are made on…” To quote Prospero in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” wherein there is a character named Miranda, his daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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