Boris, Bourbon, and Kate
Been a delicious afternoon at the Sandy River. Drifting on air mattresses to their own private spot, making fast love, then slow love. Sweet Cakes was down at the river taking a last soak. One of the things he liked about Katie was that she was so tiny, 4’11” to his 6’1”.
When she came back Boris, 'call me Bor', was standing there still naked, his back to her. He was staring up at one of the trees, her red sneakers round his neck suspended by the shoe strings. Sweet smoke curled out of the white home roll in his hand. When he turned round to see her he put his hand behind his back, but he wasn't fast enough to hide it.
"Hey I thought you stopped smoking those," she said.
"Ah Katie, I was celebrating, a fine July afternoon, and you and I doing the three legged dog by the Sandy River. What could be better?"
Kate was pulling on her red thong now, and reaching for her sleeveless blue cotton dress. One of the very first things she found she had in common with Bor, even before she knew his name, was that while she hated bras, he hated underwear period. Not much to base a relationship on but she'd had slighter reasons in the past.
"I gotta go Bor. Due at Krispy Kreme at 6 for my shift."
"Oh, do you hafta go again?"
"Yeah, you know that." She was pulling her dress on now. "I’ve been late three of the last five shifts and you’re the reason."
"Krispy Kreme, Krispy Kreme," he was chanting now, "sugar, grease and two thirds steam."
"Aren't you gonna get dressed?" she asked. "I’m late."
"Nah, I’m going just the way I am."
"Well, gimme my shoes."
"You know what it means darling, in the city when you see a pair of shoes dangling over a telephone wire?"
"It means a drug dealer deals there."
"Yeah. I been looking here at this magnificent tree and I think its time for a new tradition."
He reached for her sneakers dangling round his neck, lifted them off.
"No Bor, gimmie those shoes."
She was reaching, but he was faster and reaching back, beginning to swing.
"No, no, don’t do it. Bor, Bor, gimme--"
With a final swing the shoes levitated up, up, up and over a branch twenty-five feet above them.
"Damn, Bor." She looked down at her feet. "How am I gonna go to work without shoes? I don’t even want to walk to your truck."
"No prob," said Bor. He grabbed his jeans in one hand, picked her up like a sack of kettle corn, threw her over his shoulder, and carried her up the hill to the old pickup where he set her down.
He opened the door like a gentleman, helped her in, and bowed deeply, whereupon he saw the almost dead pint of bourbon sitting forgotten on the floor boards between her feet. One swallow left. He stood up, opened the cap, inhaled and liquored down. He threw the jeans and the bottle in the back, walked round and got into the driver's seat, still naked. He took one long look back.
'Katie,' he said, "see that tree down there, see those red shoes? Sweet cake, these are the good times."
Kate was looking down at her ten perfect toes with the chipped pink polish. She turned to see the red shoes and bumped up against Bor, who was leaning toward her. She started to say, “Well, they're just shoes…” but the shoe part got lost in the kiss.