Picture Show This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Why I'd love to go. I've been dying to see that picture for days. Oh, 7:00. Perfect. Just enough time to freshen up.

I'd love to walk a mile barefoot on hot coals. I'd love to slowly bite my nails down to the cuticle one by one. I'd love to be caged with a rabid bobcat as much as I'd love to go to the movies with this loggerhead. But I simply went onion-eyed on the telephone. The words seemed to dribble from my mouth like pea soup. Why couldn't I have thought of some excuse, a slight headache or something? Oh, pooh, I've never been a quick thinker when put on the spot. So now, here I am, suffering next to this barnacle.

Why yes, I've always thought Rock Hudson was simply the Bomb. He certainly has acting talent and the Hollywood physique. Why yes, I guess I do see some resemblance now that you mention it.

Why does he feel the need to whisper in my ear with that surly breath? In the car we couldn't just listen to the music? Oh no, that would be too normal for dummy over here. He had to sing along. Well, actually it was more like a gargling sound. The ride seemed to take hours. I bet he purposely took the wrong turn. Then again, he doesn't look like the type to have passed Geography. That was nothing compared to this movie. At least thirty-five years have passed since the previews. I'll be lucky if I get out of here without wrinkles and the need for a peroxide dip.

Oh no, thank you. I'm fine. The popcorn was just enough. Oh, arenAt you sweet. Thanks, though. I wouldn't want to trouble you. No, I don't want a refill on the soda, dear. We really should keep it down. Wouldn't want to disturb the people in front of us.

Oh, darling this. Oh, darling that. I'm not his darling. I'm not anyone's darling for that matter. Brushing against his yeasty hand in one popcorn bucket was enough for me. I'll probably wake up frothing at the mouth tomorrow. I suppose I should be thoughtful enough to send him a thank-you for this darling date. Hasn't he ever heard of watching the movie instead of jabbering through it? Well, maybe if I concentrate on Mr. Hudson's face, I'll forget about being here with moldwarp. Oh, what's the use! Learning Gaelic would be easier.

No really, I don't mind. Sure, sure, I really don't think you'd miss much. But do hurry back.

At least I'll have a few minutes peace while clay-brain uses the restroom. I know he was just about to try that yawn, stretch, 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... arm clasped around the girl's shoulder move. If he even attempts to touch me with one of those clapper-claws, I'll be forced to pound his bladder in two. Those paws could smother a girl my size. I wonder what his mother looks like. I better stop now before I give myself eternal nightmares. I already feel like one of those innocent victims trapped inside the hellish flames of a horror movie. I hope he doesn't expect a good-night kiss because not even a whirl around the town with Rock himself could persuade me to press against those sheep-biters. I really should have objected to his villainous choice of seats. The back is always for young lovers who suck on each other like babyback ribs. Maybe I'll get lucky and my sterling date will flush himself down the toilet. He's just about at that mentality.

It would be practical to spend this quality time devising an excuse as to why he must bring me directly home. Allergies, that will work. "Why sir, I'm terribly sorry, but I am absolutely allergic to that goatish cologne you are wearing. It simply reeks!" Perhaps "Sir, it is that rank gel you lather on your hair. You really should be more careful when choosing a hair care product. That goop could be toxic and clog your pores." Well, that's a prize-winning line. On second thought, I hope the movie lasts forever. Please, please, please, don't ever turn the lights back on. I couldn't bear to be seen in public with this mongrel. The rumors that would fly. Oh, the sheer misery of my life ...

Gee, that was quick. Yes, I guess I did. Oh, nothing important happened while you were gone. No, I haven't given much thought to after. Well, whatever you'd like.

I thought maybe he would get lost on the way back. Hm ... just wishful thinking. I know what he'd like. The back seat is what he'd like. I'm surprised his paunchy little car even has a back seat. It's not like it gets much use. Whoever named it necking was a rather poor judge of anatomy any ways. Does he really think those spongy sprouts of hair protruding from his neckline are attractive? He resembles the spawn of some carnivorous rodent, a recent laboratory escapee. If I had tweezers in my hand bag, I think I'd pluck each strand and laugh in his watering eyes.

Oh, that's alright. No harm done. I insist, take the arm rest. I'm perfectly comfortable just the way I am. Just little old me. Sure I can see fine. Doris Day is such a trip, isn't she? Oh, I didn't know you had a thing for blondes. Well, no one ever said that to me before. Oh silly, do stop. You're such a tease!

********

Well, that line about hair the shade of honey should win her over. I mean come on, why does she think I asked her out? All my buddies say blondes are by far the easiest, and everybody knows they have the hottest kisses. Redheads are fair-to-middling torrid, and brunettes are the frigidest of all. I wish this stupid flick would get on with it. We all know Rock is going to get the chick. I wish I was as smooth as Rocko up there, but I don't think I'm doing too bad tonight. Little Betty Boop can't resist me. After all, I did dab up with my lucky cologne.

Well, this movie is certainly a sleeper, darling. Maybe we should leave a little early.

Oh, that's all right, I understand. No, no, I'm not offended. It was only a suggestion. Don't worry yourself over it.

So, she's one of those girls. Has to stay until the bitter end, huh. Speaking of smells, whatever perfume she has on is driving me crazy. It's slightly fruity, kinda like mango. I've always liked exotic fruits. Maybe it's supposed to match that hideous tangerine nail polish. I certainly hope it doesn't flake all over the car. I just had it vacuumed this morning. She didn't even bring a jacket. Well, I can offer her my leather hide. Definitely chivalrous. She wouldn't mind being kissed by a gentleman, now would she? I mean, the movie is titled "Pillow Talk." That doesn't have an innocent ring to it. If I didn't know better, I'd think she was edging away from me every time I lean forward.

Darling, are you cold? Oh, you're welcome. Just thought I'd ask since your shirt is rather thin and all. Not that I was looking or anything. Well, if you are sure. Don't hesitate, really.

Nice job, mumblebrain. Almost a slip-up. It would be a shame to ruin such a fine evening. Oh good, the romantic scene with that soupy music that makes the ladies blubber. They start shivering and sighing. It's rather embarrassing for a man to have to console a weeping willow in the public atmosphere of a theater. At least this one doesn't seem to be scrambling for a Kleenex. Maybe I should offer. Anything for appearances. Then again, she might be fickle and take it as some kind of insult. Better not make rifts while the night is still young. Ah, women, flighty little creatures. But what is there to understand about them?

Maybe if I murmur sweet words in her ear, she'll think I'm some kind of poet. I could always quote a Shakespearean thing or use the ever-classic "I've loved you since the moment our eyes met" confession. She'll never know the difference. If I could only remember something from that English literature class. There's always Plan B: woo her with that star-naming bit in the parking lot. It never fails to set the mood, although lately I've come up empty-handed. Just a bad string, I guess. Bound to turn a new leaf or a few other more interesting things. Maybe I could get my arm around her if I'm discreet about it. Subtlety is my speciality.

Oh, yes, I am a little tired. Hard day, you know. These seats cramp my legs after awhile. Maybe if I stretched a bit, darling. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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