Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Scandalous, Part II

Read Scandalous, Part I here

This man, all 6'4" of him, is sitting five desks away from me. His all black baseball cap is on backwards, the black University of Memphis logo is splattered in red paint. He rubs both of his eyes with his right index finger and thumb. I can hear his eyeballs squishing, emitting a moist, spongy sound from underneath the pressure of his fingers. 

He stands up, grabs his notebook, folds it in half lengthwise, tucks in his rolling chair, and walks towards me. He is wearing a black t-shirt that reads in bold, white, block lettering, "Stubborn & Stupid."  

"Thanks for the warning," I say to another classmate who notices the t-shirt at the same time. 

His bare arms are sleeved with tattoos. 

I remember, the touch of his skin almost eight years ago. To my surprise, despite all of his tattoos, his skin is incredibly soft. 

"I want to be a tattoo artist." He lifts his shirt to reveal his chest and stomach. "I did these," he points to various ink marks. I did the one on my Mom that I showed you." He slides the leg of his shorts up his thigh for me to admire his artwork. 

He uses his body as his practice canvas. The crooked letters and ink blotches resemble something Rorschach would present to a patient.

"Hey, you want a tattoo? I got the stuff in the back."

I shifted uncomfortably on his brown, velour, 1970's, flower patterned sofa. I am not interested in a scratcher leaving his mark on me, "Ah, no thanks. I don't have any tattoos. I like my boring, normal, iridescent skin."

"Yeah, I understand. I'll get better first, then we'll see."

"I've never touched a tattoo, can I touch what your skins feels like?"

"Sure, I use lotion every day."  

I rub my manicured hand on his forearm over his tattoos. He is soft like a baby. 

That was then, this is now. This "Stubborn and Stupid" man walks towards me to leave the classroom. I notice the ink on his arms. It has gotten better. 

His eyes are steel blue, the stubble on his closely shaven head is blonde. An inked sickle protrudes from underneath of his t-shirt up the back of his neck, hooking just below his right ear to curve around and cross the line of his carotid artery. The point of the blade rests just above his Adam's apple. That is new within the past eight years. 

I met him at a little Juke Joint with a notorious reputation off a forgotten highway near Sugar Ditch, Mississippi. I was there for a barbecue with coworkers. He was there with his mom. 

I am not the type of lady to frequent 'those' places. I wear pearls and sweater sets, everywhere. I caught his eye. 

He caught my eye. A big hunk of Mississippi man with muscular forearms, a broad chest, and thick, sturdy calves. He wears his fitted baseball cap backwards, a dazzling smile, fitted t-shirt, jeans that look well worn from farm-work, and dusty work boots. 

For some reason the sight of a man in a backwards, fitted, baseball cap disconnects the part of my brain where common sense meets with good decision making and reasoning skills. It turns me into a dumb girl. All I see is the dazzling smile, a possible twinkle in the eyes, with a potential bad boy persona; safe, but just bad enough to make him fun. 

After numerous telephone conversations, serenades, and many lunchtime song dedications on a local terrestrial radio station under the pseudonym 'Dirty White Boy" we decided to go on a date. For our first date we meet again two weeks after our initial introduction at the same Sugar Ditch Juke Joint. 

When I meet him outside the bar he suggests we go back to his house to watch a movie. Because I receive a particularly emotionally devastating telephone call during my trip down to Mississippi I jump at the opportunity for a low-key night watching a DVD on the sofa. 

After I touch his arms for softness quality control and even though I tell him that I am not going to be sleeping with him he attempts the old, "My junk just fell out of my pants, you wanna take a look and see if you like it" trick. Obviously it fails. I am not amused. I would leave had I not been throwing back bottles of cheap beer.

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