Thursday, December 31, 2009

Going Tarantino on ya...

[The first pages of the "Bitterroot" story I've been splicing here.]

The note from Melanie was tacked to his door, when Ben Olson got back from his last round of errands for the trip: Ray’s running late. Something about the hitch. Unsigned, nothing about the kids. He’d seen Vanessa over at the library, while checking out his books, but she was behind her boss’ glass window, her back to Ben, slouched as usual and being fed another earful by the sour face across the desk. Not a good time to pop in, even if a last chance to say goodbye before Christmas was riding on the interruption. Jessica LaMotte’s dour teen betrothal to Jesus Christ had soured the lives of most of her classmates at Brandon High School twenty-five years ago, Ben’s more than others—as next door neighbor, he was doomed to weekly proselytizing. From the look of gloom behind glass, JC was still AWOL from his child bride.

Ray Barnes’ hitch had nothing to do with equipment, and it meant it would be damn near midnight by the time he pulled up to Ben’s door. Hitch also meant that he’d stopped off in Montgomery, after swearing not to, and caught Traci Augmon at Friday change of shift, when she’d be primed for her own half case of Schlitz at City Park, while Ray indulged his particular bent for nurse flesh in white skirts. Mercy Hospital was a throwback institution—all the way back to the tri-cornered hat. Contrary to their name, the Sisters of Mercy brooked no deviation from their uniform code. Wages were docked for stocking runs; the wiser skirts kept backups in their lockers.

Feminists and Ray were both inflamed by such rules—differently inflamed, of course. Ray Barnes had lost his appendix and a strawberry mole at the heated age of fourteen in Waco, Texas, amidst a non-Roman coven of Baptist nurses who were similarly inclined to the white-clad business of healing. Newly absorbed in the rising and falling Dow Jones excursions of his adolescent penis, Ray could not see why all the tending nurse registry was not equally as absorbed as he. Feigning sleep, he would lie in his bed unclad by sheet and gown; two summers’ worth of General Hospital episodes had convinced him that a hospital, any hospital, was just one match-flame shy of igniting a full-fledged orgy, starring him at its center. The deaconesses of Wayland Baptist Hospital were not amused by such recuperative behavior, at least not until Traci Augmon came on with her body paints from 11 to 7.

Traci was two months out of nursing school at the time of Ray’s rampant post-operative tumescence. She’d passed her nursing exam with an able assist from Callie McDonough. At a price of two hundred dollars, it was not a hard sell; Callie was a genius and a sociopath to boot. She was not, incidentally, a nursing student; two hundred dollars would just as soon get a muddled but aspiring law student an LSAT ticket to a career of billable hours.

Ray had just about given up on his shark bait dick, when Traci came back on duty from a week’s worth of sick leave. The trip to Vegas had eased her migraines, but they were back with a vengeance once she hit the ghostly seventh floor of the WB. Alma Nelson, better known as the General, even better known as Nurse Rommel, took Traci to task for her tardiness (she was a minute and a half late) and her ivory—not white—sheer stockings. Incident report filled out for the latter offense, medications counted, and orders passed on at warp speed, the German field marshal huffed out into the night, leaving Traci and Sleepy Joe Givens to divvy up watch over the floor’s seven patients. As Joe was one tick shy of his first narcoleptic fit of the night, Traci volunteered to make first rounds. Before reaching Ray’s door at the end of the hall, she took six sets of vitals, turned off five blaring televisions, and picked up two sets of dental plates that had just missed their cups at bedside.

Though still unclad, Ray was in fact fully asleep when Traci made the acquaintance of his charged third eye, radar-alert to the tiniest of air current shifts in its vicinity. Was it following her movements about the room, as she picked up an avalanche of comic books on the floor, refilled the water pitcher, and—gag—flushed her engorged patient’s latest bowel movement in the toilet? A decade’s worth of back seat demurrals ranging from polite to withering had left her numb to the fulsome supplications of bellwether cocks, unless, of course, said cocks were the very basal thermometers Nurse Traci had ordered. On the other hand, even through her tightening migraine, Traci did note that Patient Barnes, Ray’s member was positively the first intact foreskinned specimen she had ever seen in her clinical and pre-clinical experience. She had heard tell of them, obviously, but had begun to wonder if they manufactured them anymore.

Curiosity, however, can be fed in a manner of seconds; its subject needn’t remain on continuous display. While Traci might not be given to the snuffs and snorts of an outraged Nurse Rommel, or conversely to the embarrassed titterings of pastoral interns and candy-striped teens, she still felt that a bit of penile education was due the likes of “Patient Barnes, Ray.” Her first night’s ploy was simple. The bedside Styrofoam cup of iced root beer, advertently spilled amidships, brought hopeful Ray to immediate attention at one end, while diminishing his less conscious attentions at the other.

Traci’s feigned apology of “oh, I’m so sorry” was entirely unnecessary. Or, more to the point, was merely inconsequential. One look at his white clad angel, framed by the blackest of Waco’s typically black nights, and “Patient Barnes, Ray” was positively smitten, detumescence be damned.

Love cured the lad of promiscuous exposure. Nurse Rommel and all the others were henceforth denied access to Ray’s love train; the final derailment was entirely up to the conductor, and Traci was more than qualified. One coat of neon chartreuse body paint—which did not, mind, completely wash off for a good ten days,—was enough to send the ardent bullet train scuttling.

Public fervor was cured, but not the love it bore.



Blogger Teresa said...

My, my, my. You have outdone yourself with this one. Thanks for the laugh! I needed it.

9:27 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: This was the starting, er, point. Glad it provided the laughs.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

"Point" indeed. We all got the point, so to speak, even if it was a little bit painful ;)

12:26 PM  

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