Sunday, 21 November 2010

Issue nine// Thomas Mundt

Sexy Girls of the Hollywood

Come Monday morning, all Freddie could think about was Sexy Girls of the Hollywood, a lingerie boutique on Lawrence. He saw the storefront for the first time over the weekend and it'd been stock car racing around his frontal lobe ever since.

As a matter of strict physics, he was standing on the bathroom's frozen tile, waiting for his never-ending morning piss to subside so that he could rescue a near-incinerated strudel from the toaster oven. But Freddie was really back on that sidewalk in Albany Park, gawking at bad grammar and pastel delicates.

Sexy Girls. Pause. Of the Hollywood. Not ...of Hollywood, or ...from Hollywood. Sexy Girls. Pause. Of the Hollywood.

Freddie knew some FOB's came up with the name. FOB's are funny, he thought. They come so close to getting it right.


During his Western Civ class, Freddie flipped through his spiral notebook in search of blank pages. He found he only had one left. Better make this one a keeper, he thought. He withdrew a mechanical pencil from his messenger bag and clicked it until graphite appeared. Then he began to sketch an ink-haired woman in a garter set. She was all legs and he was perfect in his geometry, paying careful attention to detail as he unfurled her latticed nylons down her gams. When it was time to add breasts, Freddie made sure they were proportional.

Not too big, not too small, he thought. Like a real lady would have.


At lunch Freddie was a geyser, went on and on about his trip to Albany Park to his buddy Mitch. He sang of lithe coeds parading around Sexy Girls' storefront in miniscule bra and panty sets, of Woodstock-level exhibitionism just a stone's throw from his tía's new three-flat.

I'm talkin' a whole grip of 'em, Freddie beamed. I'm talkin' tits like ka-pow! Asses like goddamn! He told Mitch he was sure they all did sets at the Admiral, probably made a killing off all the dudes coming in from O'Hare. They were that hot.

You gotta check it out, Freddie implored. Like, today.

Mitch snorted, cracked wise about having his secretary clear his schedule.

Shit better be good.


On the westbound Lawrence bus, Freddie wondered if it was too late to abort. He didn't want to go inside. I don't have to, if I don't want to, he thought. He could leave. He could pull the cord to stop at Francisco and just book. He could run clear east to Uptown, to his hermana's high-rise. There he could take an elevator to the top floor and jump into Lake Michigan. All of that would be better than going inside.


Mitch snapped his Orbit as he watched a liver-spotted man in a Members Only jacket drape a pink feather boa around the neck of a mannequin. The fuck, he winced. I don't see any chicks. He then whipped a half-empty Coke bottle at the window. The twenty-ounce made a dull thud against the plate glass and fell to the sidewalk without spilling its contents. The man inside Sexy Girls cursed Mitch in a language he'd never heard before, a string of consonants played at 45 RPM, before resuming his handiwork.

You fuckin' lied, Mitch leveled at Freddie. He then turned and walked in the direction of The Benches, off to burn a blunt with whomever. Freddie was already next door, pretending to look at VHS tapes in a Korean bookstore's window display.

Fuck you, Polack, he thought. No one put a gun to your head.


After saying his prayers, Freddie got up off his knees and locked his bedroom door. He then unbuckled his belt and let his gamey jeans fall to the carpet. He didn't bother to step out of the puddle of denim around his ankles. The notebook was ready, waiting for him on the corner of his desk. He opened it and leafed through page after page of notes about marauding Romans until he got to the sketch. He gave the woman one last once-over, burned her form into his brain. Then he closed his eyes and drew back the taut elastic of his boxers.

She's perfect, he thought. Not too big, not too small.

© Thomas Mundt 2010
Thomas Mundt lives in Chicago. The nice people at Thieves Jargon, Dogzplot, Wigleaf, NANO Fiction and Hobart have published his recent stuff. His whole megillah can be found here.