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pizza. That’s all he wanted was a pizza.

And then when the Domino’s guy finally got there, his coupon was expired so he didn’t have enough money and the stupid honky refused to leave the damn pizza. Probably went out to his car and ate it all by himself.

Fuck it. He knew Mom said don’t go out for anything, but she wouldn’t want him to starve there at home, would she? Plus, that slap this morning, that knocked something loose in him. She wouldn’t be back for a nearly an hour yet. And the Go Go, where he could get a badass pizza for free, was practically right across the street.

It was so dark in there, the only lights the low blue ones illuminating the lineup of liquor bottles arrayed against a mirror in the center of the horseshoe-shaped bar, and the spotlights — blue, pink, dark hot purple — shining on the girl on the stage. The music blasted from the giant black speakers mounted high in each corner of the room; the girl — the part-black girl, Tiffany, wearing something white, with rhinestones twinkling like stars — humping the pole.

Tiffany pulled the white thing down and her giant breasts sprang free. Darrell quickly averted his eyes but, too late, he felt himself grow a huge boner.

That’s why he didn’t like coming in here: It was so embarrassing. But he liked remembering it later.

“Heeeeeey, little man.” It was his brother, DaShawn, coming out from behind the bar, taking his hand, patting him on the back. Mom didn’t like him hanging with DaShawn, but having a brother who was the owner: that made him feel important. “Come to finally pop your cherry?”

DaShawn was laughing, teeth even whiter than usual in the bluish light, eyes glistening. He was always telling Darrell, come over, I’ll fix you up, it’s embarrassing having you old as you are and still a virgin. And Darrell was tempted, definitely he was. But what he figured was, your first time would stay in your mind forever. And he would never admit this to DaShawn or anybody else, but he wanted it to be with somebody he didn’t have to pay, somebody that made him feel something besides hot.

“Nah, man,” said Darrell, hoping he sounded cool, like he was turning down a Diet Coke. “I just come for a pizza.”

If he said that kind of thing to Mom — come for a pizza instead of came for a pizza — she might have smacked him again, or at least wanted to. But with DaShawn, it was the opposite. You didn’t want to talk too white around DaShawn, even if you were white.

“A pizza? What, Mom stopped feeding you?”

“She’s out, at her classes and all. Just had a taste for one of your pizzas.”

“All right, little man, one hot juicy pizza, coming right up.”

Tiffany was all but naked now, squatting down with her knees spread wide, standing up, squatting down, standing up. Darrell, afraid he was going to come right there, wheeled away and pretended to study the janky-ass jukebox, pressing against its curved side till his hardon subsided.

There was a round of applause and then another girl took the stage, the big redheaded one, kinda fat, though DaShawn said a lot of the guys got off on that. To Darrell, she looked like a teacher, or somebody’s mom.

The one he liked, the few times he saw her, was Taryn. Goldilocks. He knew this would upset his mom if she knew it, but he liked white girls better. And Taryn might be a girl in his class, she looked so young.

Yeah, if he was ever going to take DaShawn up on his offer, it would be with Taryn.

At least the redheaded lady didn’t make him hard, so he could look around more, check out who was in the place. Holy shit, there was his gym teacher, Mr. Cardozo, the freak with the blue fishies swimming all up and down his arms. And old Mr. Farley — Fartass, they called him, the janitor. Darrell was shocked to see a couple of men he knew from church. One of them laughed, got up to tuck a dollar in the redhead’s thong.

Then Darrell caught sight of the fire marshall, sitting at the bar near the front door with one of the beat cops, both off-duty now in civilian clothes. Darrell had caught a glimpse of the marshall last night at the fire, stepping out of his red car. But had the marshall seen him?

Feeling sweat break out along his hairline, he stepped back into the shadows.

“Here’s your pizza, little man,” said DaShawn, carrying the box himself.

“Thanks,” Darrell mumbled. “Say, can I go out the back way?”

He’d be shielded from them then by the bar and the stage.

DaShawn looked at him strangely for a moment, but then shrugged.

“Sure, bro. This way.”

They went through a door at the far side of the stage, Darrell hugging the wall. The girls were changing back here. Darrell cast his eyes down.

“Where’s Tiff?” called DaShawn. “Someone’s asking for her.”

The other girls shrugged.

DaShawn pushed open the steel door, painted black, that led to the alley.

“Don’t let Moms catch you,” he laughed.

Darrell, pizza box in hand, heard the door slam behind him and was set to break into a run. But he was stopped short by the sight of two gigantic bare breasts staring up at him from the pavement. At first he was mesmerized by the body, and only after a moment did he look up to see who it was and what she was doing lying there. But the lovely body, he discovered, was completely without a head.

Read Darrell’s side of the story.

One Response to “19. DARRELL: Topless, Headless”

  1. [...] in my name, and if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t your prior business shut down because of a felony, a murder wasn’t [...]

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