THE GIRL IN THE CAFÉ

Written by Paul Goodrich

I hear them whispering the minute she walks in.  A jury of middle-aged women passing a verdict down on what they used to be, or could have been, if it wasn’t for all that botched liposuction and those fucked up Botox injections.

This girl is beautiful, stunning.  Not like one of those long-legged, Bulimic chicks you might see in the popular magazines, or strutting down a runway trying to make me believe that spines and rib cages are sexy.  I mean REAL beauty.  The kind that snatches you by the neck, drags you out back and punches you directly in the face, leaving you dazed, confused, and slightly thrilled at the memory of it all.  The kind of beauty that doesn’t give a damn about foundation, blush, or extended lashes, because any kind of cover-up would be an injustice to God.

This girl rocks a pair of gray sweatpants, a pink tank top, and some matching sandals like she’s headed for fashion week, and I can’t help but smile at her confidence.  This is the kind of girl I could spend time with, and talk with, and laugh with.  And if one morning I was fortunate enough to wake up next to her, I know she would look exactly the same, and to me…that’s the definition of sexy.  But too many times I’ve woken up next to low self-esteem clones with their faces practically melting off, because four-layers of make-up don’t translate well to the following day.  And as I was scrubbing the L’Oreal or Maybelline out of my pillowcase, I always had that same nagging thought…If those are the kind of women I have in my bed, then what does that say about me?

And just as I’m about to grasp that fleeting moment of clarity, these wrinkled leather bags at the adjacent table break my concentration.  They keep chirping about how young women lack class these days, and I can’t help but lean over and let them know that their particular shade of envy is no longer in style, and now seems to only be worn by old hoes. Needless to say, they don’t appreciate that very much.  They suck deep breaths and swallow the insult, then they huddle together and chatter words like “asshole” and “misogynist”, while tossing glances in my general direction.  But that’s the irony.  The rub.  The twist.  Men deserve centuries of blame for holding women down, stifling their voices, and keeping them submissive…but in the modern age, women are equally at fault…because they willingly throw stones at each other and serve as accomplices.

And as I focus my attention back on the girl, I think to myself…She’ll get anything she wants if she really wants it.  Regardless of prejudice, barriers, or the shriveled haters at the next table.  And as James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s World” plays on the jukebox…I can’t help but laugh at the thought.

WET MagazineTHE GIRL IN THE CAFÉ

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