Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Streak - 6

"This is Jupiter," Kyle said.

Evan thought this was an unusual thing for Kyle to say. Witty. Uncharacteristically incisive; oddly emphatic. Sober, even. His mind was prowling for a suitable rejoinder when he realized Kyle's outstretched hand was indicating the stripper to his right, a curly brunette with a glo-stick belly piercing and a hot pink G-string.

"Juniper!" she protested, swatting Kyle on the shoulder in mock outrage.

"Juniper! Juniper! Juniper!" barked Kyle. "For Christ's fucking sakes. Let's have another drink. Jupiter, Mars and Pluto over here."

They all sat down on the leather banquette, Juniper to Evan's left, then Kyle, then the other stripper. Evan understood that Kyle had introduced him to Juniper because he'd selected the other one as his own. He also understood that there would be no verbal communication nor any other interaction between himself and the other girl, nor would there be further dialog between Kyle and Juniper. Among teammates, this was an unspoken tenet of stip-club protocol. Evan permitted himself a perverse glance at the other stripper's face. She was a curly-haired blonde with thin lips and thinner eyebrows, a diamonique stud in her nose. When their eyes met she looked away shyly like they were chaste teenagers at church, stealing glances over the pews.

Kyle poured Krug for everyone. "A toast!" he declared, raising his glass.

"To baseball!" cried Juniper.

Kyle face froze and he theatrically planted his forehead on the glass table before them. A few seconds passed, the others still holding their flutes aloft. There was Kyle with his face down, his gelled hair faintly aglow from the spotlit stage a ways behind them. Boom-boom-boom went the music.

"Did I say something wrong?" asked Juniper.

Suddenly Kyle rocketed out of his reverie, head up, glass held high.

"To BASEBALL!" he exclaimed, and they all laughed, and they clinked and drank.

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