your basement’s on fire would make a delightful in store euphimsim

Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

There is something startling about the first kiss. It’s always a surprise, even if you’ve known for a year that it was coming.

I wore a police cap in the store today. It kept falling forward onto my eyes, resting on my glasses and obscuring my vision. Someone said it looked too appropriate to be sexy and I laughed. My sleeves are pink silk today, and everything else is covered in wine velvet. I look as if I dressed to span three centuries and I forgot to brush my hair. It floated in a tousled corona of cloud around my head until I went out into the rain to fetch us tea from the Starbucks on the corner. I stood a minute outside the shop while my hands were slowly scorched by the cups of hot water and looked up into the sky, fascinated by the feeling of light wind and water falling out of the heavens, feeling a moment like I was alive instead of pretending to be infatuated by a little grinding retail life. It soaked me enough that I could tie my hair in a passable knot and be done with it. I’m fairly certain my manager didn’t notice the delay. She stands outside intermittently and smokes.

Every time I approach the red velvet curtain that separates the store proper from the storage area haphazardly filled with sex toys, I face a a row of unpleasantly shiny vaginas in clear cases winking at eye level and inwardly wince. It’s a vision of cheaply kept entertainment, our back area. The door to our bathroom has broken off its hinges. To the left plastic bins messily marked ANAL (small) and HARD DILDOES in block letters with black permanent marker are stacked on cheaply made metal shelves, to the right is a wall plastered in tiny crabby notes on how to properly run the store written by people who aren’t familiar with what needs to be done. I am continually impressed at how difficult it is to find anything in a place where black marker writing is on everything. LIGHTSWITCH, ALLURE, NIPPLE CLIPS, ALL CROTCHLESS PANTIES, POCKET ROCKETS, REMEMBER TO TURN OFF THE LIGHTS, SOFT VIBRATORS, ANKLE CUFFS, MENS, ALL GARTER BELTS, PLEASE REMEMBER TO REMOVE BATTERIES FROM TOYS BEFORE PUTTING THEM BACK ON THE WALL, BEADS, BOOTY SHORTS. It just goes on, and yet everything is moved every day. It would be an adventure if the prizes were anything I wanted to find.