Suddenly, I realize that I hadn’t updated my favorite blog in three days. I’m sitting at the Bagel Stop in Alpena, Michigan. For those of you not in the know, this is a small bagel shop (you don’t say?) attached to Neimann’s Family Market, a local grocery store. They offer cheap bagels, sandwiches and the like. As well as free wireless internet: at the moment, I have no internet (as I live with my grandfather) so I come here to write my freelance articles.

It’s a chilly day today and the workers at the Bagel Stop are putting things away. I realize that they probably close in about 45 minutes or so. That gives me time to finish up this entry, drive to my friend Kevin’s and go for a little walk. He’s my walking buddy and I’m hoping to continue walking every day it isn’t incredibly cold out.

Tonight, I have to go to a volleyball game in Lincoln. I’m a sportswriter you see, paid to write about sports. I’m not a sports guy but I understand their basics and can keep track of stats. I’m also a pretty solid writer who is capable of pumping out a five hundred word article in 10 minutes. It’s my skill.

The door opens and a beautiful lady walks in to the Bagel Stop. I should explain what I consider my standards of beauty so that you aren’t imagining your own beautiful lady. Some writers like to leave things like this to the imagination of their reader. I would rather not: I want you to feel what I’m feeling at the moment as I see this woman walk in the door.

And granted, I’m talking about physical beauty here. She’s tall, about as tall as me (six foot) with long legs, wide hips, thick legs and very small belly which pushes against her black and red band shit. “Bad Religion”? I can’t see it from here. Her hair is black, very black and runs along her sides where it rests gently against the curve of her beautiful bubble butt. Her jeans cling to her legs as she walks past me in a rush of air, scent of cigarettes and tomatoes passing me as she goes.

A few things about this girl stand out to me: the black rimmed hipster glasses she’s wearing (I’m a sucker for that, you see) as well as her cool confidence as she walks across the room. She walks as if she owns the Bagel Stop, as it is blessed by her presence. Is she the owner’s daughter? I don’t know Hal Neimann, I couldn’t tell you.

Of course, the “Bad Religion” shirt indicates a punkiness that has always been a positive attribute for me, the last punk human being on planet Earth. She stands at the counter, staring down at the bagels and I pause “Queen” by the Melvins to hear her speak. I’m about 10, 15 feet away on one of the side counters, up on a “high chair” straining to hear her talk.

The importance of her physical beauty is limited compared to what she has to say: trust me girls, your looks matter to this guy much less than your brain. However, this particular girl is a 10 to me (if only me) physically so I want to hear if she has anything I’d be interested in hearing saying.

“Can I help you?” says the heavy girl that works behind the counter. Her countenance is rather dull but she has a pretty face. She seems bored at work or perhaps just unintelligent. It’s hard to tell: having worked these kinds of jobs, I know they can rob you a few IQ points if you’re working a long enough shift.

“Um,” says the girl (my girl, as I’ve already begun to think of her), “uh…I don’t eat bagels a lot…”

“Oh…” says the girl behind the counter, looking at the rags on the counter next to her. She was cleaning the tables a moment before. Undoubtedly, she wants to get back to cleaning the counters, closing down the shop and going home. I can’t tell her age but because she’s undoubtedly out of high school (and this is Alpena, Michigan) she likely has a few kids at home to take care of after she gets out. Hopefully, she has a husband or boyfriend to help but this town widows or strands far too many single mothers.

The girl with the long black hair stares down at the bagels. I can only see her back but her shoulders hunch over. I can read tension in her body in her shoulders in her words. Suddenly, I’m standing behind her, rubbing her shoulders, kissing her next, relaxing her tension and whispering sweet nothings in her ear.

I continue to watch her from across the room. It’s bagels. Just bagels. Pick a bagel. It’ll tell me something about you.

“Oh jeez…” she says with a nervous laugh, running her fingers through her hair, which instantly creates static causing it to fly up unevenly, “um, what would you…what would you recommend?”

“Uh…” says the girl behind the counter. “That depends on…what do you like?”

“I like things kinda…I dunno. The ‘Everything’ sounds good.”

Nice. The “Everything” is my favorite. My Girl is looking much better than before. More people come and go, grabbing bagels from the display case in front of the girl. She doesn’t seem to mind. They obscure my view and it’s harder to make out what she says.

The girl behind the counter says something I can’t make out. My Girl shakes her head and stands straight, putting her hands on her hips. She turns to crack her back from left to right. Again I’m standing next to her, holding her, trying to help her make up her mind.

It’s a bagel. Just a bagel. Pick a bagel.

My Girl shakes her head and turns. She walks past me and makes eye contact. She smiles briefly and looks away (the way people do) and leaves the store. A cold gust of wind rushes in at me as she leaves. I turn to look at her. She stands with her back to me again, lighting a cigarette. It starts to rain on her as she walks to her car.

The girl behind the counter rolls her eyes, grabs her rag and jumps on the counter. She starts taking off all her clothes and shrieking in a high pitched moan. My Girl turns and looks at her from outside. Her eyes widen as the girl points at her on top of the counter. Everybody in the Bagel Stop stares as the woman gyrates wildly. My Girl looks at me with a wide eyed, questioning look as if I can help.

Maybe I can.

I quickly put my laptop away and scramble outside. I stand across from her with my laptop in my bag as she stares at me, inhaling smoke. The woman from behind the counter jumps down, body twitching as she walks towards the door. Towards us.

“What is happening?” she says.

“I don’t know,” I say. I take her hand and we run to my car. As I close the door, the woman slaps her hands against my windshield, shrieking. I start the car and back away as the skies turn dark behind us. My Girl looks at me with a stunned expression, smoldering cigarette in her hand. She smiles as we leave the parking lot.

This isn’t her. She has no Facebook (as I learned later) and fears getting her picture taken. She wouldn’t let me take any pictures. Not even as we drove through a town on the verge of chaos…

To Be Continued…

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