Oh my GOD. This one is good.
She looks at his small dick, nestled, curled in the dark open fly of his shitty suit pants; he’s tugging it out, but skin sticks to skin in the humidity and it makes his dick look reluctant in his clumsy, fleshy hand. She thinks about the Human Freaks and Oddities collector cards her friend Carmen bought her, and how they teased each other about the Fat Fingered Man (what a lame abnormality to have): “you love it when he sticks his fat fingers in you!”. She looks up to see two boys, surely brothers, maybe eight and ten, standing in their seats, leaning over the row between her and them, the eldest for sure old enough to know what was happening if he was to see, hell, probably both of them old enough to point and scream and sound the alarm. She looks back at the now wagging and sort-of hard dick, pinched gently between his right thumb and index finger the way an educator at the zoo holds a snake at the base of its head, and he tells her to suck it. “I. I can’t do that. There are kids right there.”
He has produced a wad of bills, hundreds, and is spreading them in a fan on his thigh, theatrically, and whispering too close to her about the necessity of being comfortable with risk, and telling her that maybe this is a waste of his time, people have expectations and it is not an unreasonable request, and she swallows hard. “I. I thought this was just… an interview. I thought. That. I actually thought that you were going to tell me more about it. So I could. Think. About it?” She is disgusted, with him, with that woman, with herself, but part of her still worries about disappointing him, is scared of making him angry, is worried that she misrepresented herself. She reminds him that she is not even eighteen. He laughs right into her face, his breath disgusting, cigars, bologna? “You don’t have to follow any rules if the work you do is already illegal.”
He begins to put himself back into his pants, visibly irritated. She looks at the big ring on his little finger, and the money, and she tries to remember the thoughts that brought her here. She had fucked a lot of awful guys, she had told herself. For nothing. In order to stop listening to their unrelenting pleas. In order to go to sleep. In order to make someone jealous, or curious. But when she turned this proposition over in her mind, in the attic room at her parent’s house, she had imagined the tragic, handsome, lonely (a widower?) “wealthy businessman” or “foreign diplomat”. Not this. The woman, of course, had misrepresented things herself. She knows how stupid she has been, was being. She also knows there is only one other stop between where she is going and what she’s left behind, and that she doesn’t have money for another ticket if she does find the nerve to just stand up and get off the bus when it stops.
Speaking to her like a spoiled child, he tells her he’s going to put his fingers in her illegal little pussy (“She told you not to wear panties, right? But you never do, do you?”), and he wants her to show him how she fucks. She turns her face to the window, and she disappears through it. Her body is completely numb, she is only aware of his fingers moving in her because her reflection shifts in the plexiglass of the window, forward, and back, forward, and back. She wonders if this is an out of body experience. She turns her head to the right, and tries to see the bus driver’s eyes in the oversized mirror, but she is scared to look too hard or for too long, still uncertain whether she is hoping he will see her because she wants him to rescue her, or if she is afraid he will see her, and she’ll be caught, humiliated, punished.
Now he’s coaching her, his mouth again at her neck, her ear: “I thought you knew how to fuck. You aren’t even moving. You need to show me how you fuck. Ride my hand. I need to feel you clench your pussy.” She tilts herself toward the window, pulls herself off his hand and firmly presses herself against the rank velour of the seat. Her skirt is still up around the top off her ass, but her lap is covered. She thinks about the germs on the Greyhound seat, and she looks back up at the two boys, the older now hitting the younger with his own hand. Her big brother used to do that to her, hit her with her own hand clenched in his, “why are you hitting yourself?!” For now, she decides she would rather have a pussy full of germs than raise her hips to lower her skirt, risking, what, a sneak attack? As if he’s going to swoop in and ram his fat fingers back inside her? She does not acknowledge his presence to her right. As far as she can tell, he is ignoring her as well.
When the bus stops by the military base, she feels him stand. She watches his back as he makes his way to the front, his shirt-tail showing at the vent of his jacket. She wonders how he will get back. Will someone in a car come for him? Will he immediately call the woman who set their meeting up? She wonders when he put the money back into his pocket. She wonders if he would have given it to her at all, at any point, or if it was a prop all along.
She knows the scenery of the remainder of the trip so well she can see it with her eyes closed, her cheek against the cool, greasy window. Here is the small airplane on the grass. Here is the big Texaco with raunchy souvenir salt and pepper shakers. Here is the burned out house with the giant stuffed rabbit leaning in the door, where she and Daniel went to take photographs earlier that Summer. Here is the boiled peanut stand. She wishes she had a warm two-pound ziploc bag of boiled peanuts in her lap.
At the Greyhound station, she remembers that they had promised to have a package waiting for her, clothes, and shoes, they asked for all of her sizing, that she could keep “no matter what you decide”. She actually gets excited as she waits for the counter guy to come back. She feels a little shitty, and wonders if accepting these token gifts will push her over an invisible line and make her a whore. She tells herself that she deserves this, if nothing else. The worst of it is done and over and can’t be undone. What harm is there in taking the stuff? She is incredulous when he returns empty-handed, and insists that he check again. Even when he comes back, she stands silent and stubborn, her palms flat on the counter until they are surrounded by steamy halos. When she lifts them, she wipes the wet outlines away with her forearm and turns slowly away.
It starts to rain a little as she walks to the school. Her genuine disappointment about the shoes makes her feel much cheaper than anything the fat fingered man did.