Stormy was cute and flirty. She’d changed her hair – added some red tips to the blonde part. But I just didn’t feel at home at DP like I have been. I don’t know why. It felt like it was me. She asked me about my crash, which was nice. And she was as hot as always. Maybe hotter.
I left early, after only an hour or so. I said to myself, “Stormy rocks. But… Yeah. I’m a customer. Why can’t I meet girls like her out in the real world?”
I drove around for a bit, and then found myself at Everyday Music, the one on Sandy. I still had money to spend and wanted more music. I went in, wandered around, and noticed one of the sales clerks… yeah. She was my height, maybe a little shorter, wearing a black minidress over black leggings and knee-high black boots, and her black hair cut short and shaggy. Late 20s, maybe? You know how bad I am at guessing age, though.
Previous wish, meet reality.
I felt self-conscious and weird, still. I kept thinking I had traces of Stormy’s lipstick on my cheek from her kissing me goodnight. That might be a good thing, though… pre-selection. I rummaged around in the used CD bins and kept finding stuff I wanted but wasn’t exactly cool: ABBA “Gold”, for instance. Or a collection of Donna Summer 12″ dance versions. Eddie Money. Cheap Trick, The Cars. All used. Awesome. As the finds kept coming, I decided to go with it. It became a theme.
And, because I was still thinking of Stormy, I wandered over to the DVDs to look for “Almost Famous”. Pretty eyes. A pirate’s smile…
As I walked past the counter, the girl I’d noticed before was hunched over a computer monitor with the sales dude, and they were giggling conspiratorially. I stopped and looked at them, and peeked around. “Can I see what’s so funny?”
The dude grunted, but the girl smiled and turned the monitor so I could see it. It was some foreign-language video on YouTube, subtitled… strangely. I’ll never be able to find it now, but apparently this guy was demonstrating modern dance styles. It was funny… but not as funny to me as it was to this girl. I laughed, and left to look for the movie. The store was closing in 10 minutes.
I found a used copy of “Almost Famous”. Score.
I headed back to the registers, and now the girl was by herself, still watching stuff. This time it was some British comedy clip, an actor repeating “Hey!” over and over again… and this time, it was funny. It was funny because the joke is run into the ground. A very special kind of funny. A humor that slowly takes hold and builds up, the same way a good pad Thai builds up in spiciness. I smiled… then I chuckled… and then, suddenly, I was laughing out loud, right along with the girl.
“Nobody else here thinks that’s funny!” she said. I laughed, and thanked her, then looked around to see where I could buy my CDs and movie. “Oh, I will help you!” she said, and took my pile of goods.
She held up “Almost Famous” and said, “That’s an awesome movie.”
“I agree completely.”
She led me to the cash register.
Another tattooed, black-haired girl walked in and was promptly told that the store was closing soon.
The sales clerk girl looked at me, “Have you ever seen the director’s cut?” I shook my head. “Don’t!” she warned. “It will ruin the movie for you. It did for me.”
“Really? Ruined it? I have to say that I’m dying of curiosity now. But I want to trust you… complete stranger. And I love this movie. I don’t want it ruined for me.”
“I’m just saying that I like editors. Editors are a good thing.”
The other girl, with some kind of heart-and-rose tattoo peeking out from the top of her white t-shirt, returned to the counter and asked about some band I’ve never heard of. The sales girl told her that she should look in Hip-Hop… or Electronica… No, definitely Hip-Hop.
The tattooed girl noticed the movie I was buying. “That’s an awesome movie.”
“I agree completely,” I said.
“Have you seen the director’s cut?” the sales girl asked the tattooed girl.
“Did you like it?” the sales girl asked, incredulous.
“Yeah… It was OK.”
“Yeah. What parts didn’t you like?”
The sales girl looked at me, then back at the tattooed girl. “Well, maybe I’m wrong,” she said in a tone of voice that made it seem as if she wasn’t admitting she was wrong at all, “maybe it’s OK. I’m just saying that I didn’t like it.”
I felt like she was still protecting me, by specifically not talking about the scenes which were added in, scenes which had the potential to completely ruin this movie for me. “Thank you,” I said.
And wandered back out into the rain, with my purchases.
Oh, and later, Sharai invited me to a benefit at a lesbian bar.