When I go shopping, I always know what I’m looking for – I don’t waste time looking around. I know from the get-go what will suit and what won’t.
That’s how I knew, the night I walked into the Cracker Jax Club, that she was the one.
I noticed her immediately. Like stale cigarette smoke, her longing hung in the air, drawing me to her. She sat by herself, nursing some fancy drink, a shy, hopeful smile plastered across her face. She was a plain girl – big, too.
That’s how I like ‘em. Big and soft. Eager to please.
“Hi, I’m George,” I said, sidling up next to her, planting myself on the adjacent barstool.
She looked at me, surprised at my singling her out. Her cow-like eyes shined with gratitude. “Hi George, I’m Judy,” she replied, her voice gentle.
I smiled. “So, Judy, is your boyfriend going to get pissed if I buy you a drink?” I made a show of looking around, wanting to flatter her.
She giggled, sweetly self-conscious. “I’m here by myself. No boyfriend tonight.”
Or any other night, I thought. I doubted poor Judy had ever had a boyfriend. The thought saddened me. An old song lyric popped into my head. All the lonely people, where do they all come from? Where do they all belong?
I knew the answer to that, but tabled the thought.
“So then, by yourself? No girlfriends?”
She ducked her head, unwilling to meet my eyes. “My friend, Shelley, she, um, met someone and they left a while ago. I told her to go ahead, I’d take a cab home.”
“Doesn’t seem very nice of her…”
She was quick to spring to her defense. “It’s not really her fault… men just love Shelley. Can’t get enough of her.”
I tilted my head, studying her. “How about Judy? Don’t men love Judy?”
She didn’t look up.
“Hey, Judy,” I said softly, “don’t be sad. Your time will come, sweet girl like you. You just haven’t met the right man yet.”
A small smile started to bloom at the corners of her mouth and, for a moment, she was almost pretty. “That’s what Mama says… never lose hope because ‘Mr. Right’ could be just around the corner.”
I gave her my best smile. “She’s right, you know. There’s someone for everyone.”
Her face lit up, taking on a more hopeful aspect. She didn’t look quite as bovine suddenly. “You really think so?” she asked.
“I do,” I said firmly.
Judy allowed me to buy her that drink, and then another. An hour later, we were old friends, and perhaps something more. I could see it in her eyes.
She figured Mama really had known what she was talking about. Sometimes the right man is just around the corner.
I paid the bill and stood up. Holding out my hand, I issued an invitation without words, and she eagerly accepted. Like her friend Shelley, she’d met someone. She wouldn’t be going home alone.
Smiling, I fingered the blade in my pocket. Finally, Judy had met Mr. Right.