Art (c) 2005 Didi Gilson
Music by Paul A. Toth

Nice Easy

by Bob Arter


Eddie walked his shaved-head self out of the liquor store door and headed up Thompson Street. Angie was still at her temp job, so he thought about drinking his cheap tokay up at Washington Square, maybe listen to a little guitar and blues harp, maybe cop a feel off some girl gone on X and Viagra. People all around him on the late summer afternoon, he felt like a salmon swimming upstream, thought about spawning with a lady salmon. He couldn’t remember how they did it; did the male have a thing? He tried to remember from the Discovery Channel, couldn’t bring up an image but got a little hard anyway. He thought about Angie and got harder.

Suddenly he stopped, bumped by a girl a foot shorter and a whole lot lighter. She grinned like a pixie past the .25 caliber revolver she was holding in two tiny hands and said, “Easy, Ace. Just relax and enjoy it.”

Holding out the bag, someone squawking Eddie’s voice said, “Shit, take it. It’s only wine. Help your damn self.”

From behind him, another girl’s voice: “Thanks, Baldhead. I guess I will. Don’t you turn around or she’s gonna put a belly button in your belly button.” Eddie was confused. Mugged by two girls? He flushed as he felt a hand fumble between his legs. Pixie laughed out loud. “Can’t you find it?”

“Hell, this guy was right in the middle of a Penthouse daydream. And now it’s all gone away—just like that.” Eddie grunted as the hand found his scrotum and squeezed hard. The voice said, “You like that, Loverboy?” and Pixie laughed again and took the bag just as Eddie felt his wallet sliding out of his back pocket. One last, forceful squeeze and the hand was gone.

“Hey!” he yelled. Throngs poured by; everybody in New York was out cooling off, walking their dogs, avoiding each other's eyes. How could no one see this? Were he and these juvy girls invisible?

"Jesus, guys are so easy," one of them said. Eddie's eyes were closed in silent agony.

Pixie gave him a sharp-creased salute and he saw that the gun was a plastic plaything. Before he could gather his wits, she tiptoed to kiss his lips, dropped the toy in his Hawaiian print pocket, turned and ran joyously toward the Spring Street subway entrance. Eddie turned to look for the other girl.

He saw ten thousand girls swaying away, south on Thompson. One had auburn hair, the color of Sunday in the day’s last rays. She swung her hips in a slightly exaggerated sashay, but that didn’t make her his molestor.

Christ, he thought. What am I gonna tell Angie? And he looked at the retreating girl again.

Nice ass, he thought.