Burnished Bronze and Sour Cream White

Peter felt more out of place than he ever had in his entire life. Imagine him, the whiter-than-sour cream Peter Nolan in a place like Pharoah’s, a combination restaurant/coffee house/hookah bar. The décor, the smells, the smoky haze that hung in the air, it all felt so exotic.

That feeling was heightened when, as he made his way through the maze of tables, the music began to play. Not having much experience with middle eastern cultures, he thought it might be Arabic. That thought was confirmed when a woman the color of burnished bronze stepped from behind a beaded curtain. Dressed in what he supposed was an Egyptian belly dancer’s costume, she began to dance around the room, moving in ways he didn’t know humans could move. He was specifically drawn to her midriff. It was bare, with a light golden chain draped around it, and it rippled and undulated in a most pleasing manner. He was so fixated on her stomach that he forgot to find a seat and just stood there, watching as that bronzed belly rolled and waved, hypnotizing him. Just then, she noticed him and began to dance his way. Even that didn’t break Peter’s trance and he was so shy that he normally avoided attention from women like the plague. In fact, he was so transfixed, he didn’t even notice as she began to dance around him. All he could see was that stomach and the chain as it oscillated and flowed. The spell was broken as she lightly grazed her fingertips across his bare forearm and sent an electric shock up his arm and straight into his brain. He realized then that everyone was looking at him. And most of them were laughing. He sheepishly stepped away and found a table in the corner.

As he sat, sipping a coffee, he noticed her heading his way, her most recent performance over. He began to feel butterflies in his stomach. What if she sat down and wanted to talk? He wasn’t good with the talking. Especially with girls. His mother had always told him that girls were sinful creatures who only wanted one thing, his money, and they’d do anything to get it. He took a sip of coffee. She was getting closer. What would he say? He needed to know what to say so he didn’t sound stupid. He’d never find out if his mother was right if he said something stupid. And, oh god, did he want to find out if his mother was right. And, he wanted to find out with this girl. She smiled as approached his table. The butterflies in his stomach turned into California condors and he thought he was going to lose it. “Keep it together, Peter”, he said to himself. If you throw up in front of this woman, you’ll never find out what that belly can do and you’ll be a virgin the rest of your life. He calmed down enough that the moment passed and thought to himself, Okay, crisis averted. Now, what am I going to say? He realized he better come up with something quick because she was only 3 tables away. Shit, what do I say? Two tables… and closing. God damn it, he panicked. Then, it popped into his head: the perfect opening line. Just as she got to his table and he opened his mouth to deliver it, she passed right on by as he weren’t there. Damn it, he thought. Another night, no nookie.