Driver’s Side Airbag #39
56 pages

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The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
by David Huberman

Leaning back on his chair at the rear table in Aggie’s Diner, Matthew O’Brien sips his iced mochacino, pondering what he is going to say to his three companions. It is a hot humid Friday night in the last week of August. They are meeting for their official boys’ night out, as they have done for the last few years. They always eat at Aggie’s, the best downtown low-fare restaurant West of Broadway. Later they will play cards at the Pink Pony Lounge in the Lower East Side or shoot against the Asian pool sharks at some billiards hall in Chinatown. Only four of the old gang have shown up tonight, but what a fearsome four they are. But why them and not some of the other guys? Pure coincidence. He is dazzled by this latest play in the very strange game of Fate.

Matthew stares straight into the last arrival’s face, welcoming him with a crafty smile. John Paul DeLucca takes in his friend’s cool stance. That never fools him. He catches a glint of leprechaun mischief bouncing around Matthew’s boyish face and smells trouble. A weird silence around the table tips off John Paul to the recent occurrence of an extraordinary event. The three friends gaze at him with very sober expressions. Matthew, a lean man of Scottish extraction in his late twenties, breaks the silence with a nervous laugh and a shake of his mop of bright red hair. His behavior is so out of character that John Paul begins to worry  that something is terribly wrong.

"Ah Johnny, you’re frowning like a mother henIt’s really not  that bad, but to answer your question of what I’ve been up to, I
say you should rephrase it to include the two other gentlemen here as to what have we all been up to? We do have some interests in common other than shooting pool, playing cards and partying, you know. Ah, you looked so puzzled, please let me explain."

Casting a knowing wink of the kind that only red-haired people can give in the direction of his two seated friends, Matthew begins.

"Well now, the first time I saw her had to be at..."

Matthew’s opening is cut off mid-syllable by the growl of a six-foot-two Sicilian who looks like John Gotti.

"I get what you’re saying Matt, I've been with her myself, you know!"

"Ah, Jilly. Your outburst has let the cat out of the bag. She’s some woman, isn’t that right, Clayton? Hell, we all have our little stories about her, don’t we now? I sure wouldn’t mind hearing what Clay has to say about his great experience with the peculiar lass."

Sitting opposite Matthew and Jilly is Clayton Thomas, a white trash rock ‘n’ roll drifter type. His black curls and face bring to mind the singer Jim Morrison. Clayton is a harder version, in tight blue jeans and a deep black T-shirt. There is a stereotypical rose-colored tattoo inked across his huge right biceps. Clayton smiles weakly.

"No, Matthew, you have the spotlight on this particular subject. Finish what you were saying, maybe I’ll grow wise listening to you."

John Paul speaks before Matthew can engage his vocal cords.

"The Apocalypse is coming, I feel it, Gentlemen! Yeah!!! So out with it Matthew, what’s going on?"

"It’s just a girl. Really. You been with any girls lately, Johnny?"

John Paul considers the question. He can not avoid his image in the restaurant’s wall mirror. He wonders if this is what everyone else sees? His reflection shows him a man who just turned thirty, with premature salt and pepper gray hair and Mediterranean features. He studies himself critically. There is nothing he thinks, nothing that overtly reveals his true nature. Nothing that would explicitly define him as homosexual. He is exhilarated that he fits in perfectly with this bunch of straight macho guys. He likes being the exception to the rule.

"Don’t be sarcastic, Matthew. It doesn’t become you. As for women, or girls, or chicks or babes, they really don’t jive with my gay lifestyle."

"That’s not what I heard," Clayton slips in, "I’ve always wondered what happened that night you spent with Wendy Miller. Of course, I’m not the only one who speculates about that."

John Paul slapped the table and a disagreeable look warped his face briefly.

"Let the busy bodies think what they want. Me, I don’t kiss and tell."

Everyone at the table cracked up in hearty laughter.

"Okay, okay, I don’t get it." John Paul said. "All three of you slept with the same woman, right? That’s what the big joke is all about, am I correct, guys?" He surveyed the trio, waiting for an answer.

"I kinda don’t want to talk about it, it’s not what..." Clayton’s weak voice stopped mid-sentence.

"Lost for words now, Brother Clayton?" Matthew turns to John Paul and tries to hold a severe tone that dissolves into mirth. "If everyone is done interrupting, maybe I’ll finish what I had to say. Perhaps Fate has brought the three of us together tonight to confess to you, John Paul."

"Wait a minute now. Number one, you are the one who interrupted yourself to ask that stupid question, and number two, I still don’t get it. You boys are going to confess to me about some girl? That’s ridiculous! I’m not a priest! I am your fellow brat from PS 114. I’ve lived through your beer and pot parties, witnessed your gangbangs, met your girlfriends when you had them, and even escorted you to that cheap cathouse you all loved so much. If anybody should confess, it should be me. But I am guessing you guys wouldn’t want to hear the lurid details of my life as a homosexual, would you?"

There had been total silence while John Paul completed his oratory. He feels suspicious as he notices his friends seem to be as jumpy as high-tension wires. Big Jilly is sweating profusely, even though the diner’s ultra-cold air conditioning system appears to be working fine. Matthew O’Brien is biting his lips to shreds, while Clayton’s legs are noticeably doing a non-stop Samba under the table.

"What the Hell is going on? This is John Paul, your childhood Homo friend. I hung with you through thick and thin. Why are you guys acting so weird? Is it me? Or is this all about the girl?"

Jilly started waving his meaty paws, speaking loud enough to turn the heads of some of the noisier customers.

"No! No! No! John Paul, this has nothing to do with you."

Matthew takes over.

"Look, Johnny. We’ve all known you were a fruit as along as we can remember. You never tried to hide it, that’s why I trust you. Personally, I don’t care too much for homosexuals in general. I would never beat one up or anything crazy and stupid like that, but I’ve always shied away from types...."

"Queer beater! Queer beater!" John Paul shouted at the top of his lungs. If there had been a chandelier above him, it would have rattled from the rising sound waves. The other tables became agitated. His friends were ready to jump out of their skins in embarrassment.

Clayton, always the quiet calm one among them, asked, "Are you finished? Is it out of your system? Look what you did to me, I’m as red as a plum tomato."

"Yes, I’m done now." John Paul settled back in his chair and smiled devilishly. "It’s enough. But hey, this has got to be some serious business you are confessing here if I got Matthew to use the word homosexual instead of faggot! Am I right? Wow, you bums look like you are about to take a dump on the table. Okay, you wore me down, I’ll play Sherlock Holmes, Matthew, tell us your story about this babe, this girl who seems to have you all jumping off the edge of your seats. She must be the key to your weirdness, isn’t she Matthew?"

In a soft, slow voice, nearly a whisper, Matthew began his tale.

"I’ll start at the beginning, but no interruptions this time! Like I said, I was hanging out at Coney Island High. That night, a Sixties garage band festival was happening. The club was packed wall-to-wall with hot, beautiful, young Rock ‘n’ Roll girls. I was at the bar ordering my drink. All these wannabes were running rampant. You know what I’m saying? Rod Stewart lookalikes, Sid Vicious clones, Mick Jagger doubles. I can’t stand them, they’re just a bunch of poseurs. So there I was, seeing the sights, trying to figure the odds. I was figuring which chicks were with their boyfriends, which ones were true butch rockers, which of the Gothic dolls looked good under all their makeup. I made my rounds of the club. By the time I approached the area near the bar that brought me full circle, I had come up with six possibilities to concentrate on, six women that I was attracted to, that might give me a tumble. The competition was stiff. I would have to outwit the rock dicks and motor morons that came there every night to feed on the flora. I settled on this young Gothic vampire type. I’d seen her around before and was willing to bet she didn’t get in the club on her own ID card.

"From what I can tell under her bluish-white pancake makeup, she has nice big lips. That always gets me, big succulent pouty lips. I was on the verge of introducing myself, when suddenly, the crowd around me parted like the Red Sea. I thought maybe Marilyn Manson was in the house. Then I see her. She’s sparkling like some fucken diamond, shining out over the ordinary groupies. Next to her, even my cute Goth is a pathetic skank."

"It was like a bomb went off in the middle of Coney Island High. The girl was Eurasian, having inherited the best features of all her races. Very fine silky black hair whirled around bronzed shoulders and body. Green emerald eyes glittered in her beautiful oval face, as she surveyed the peons all around her, following her, adoring her. She wore only a skimpy electric blue dress and was displaying ample flesh. Her ripe brown breasts looked perfect to me, not too big and not too small. Her huge erect nipples were completely visible through her flimsy dress. She might as well have been completely nude. Her walk implied that she was the ultimate combination of physical traits, all tantalizing to the naked eye. My naked eye was falling out of the socket. She was what they meant when they invented the word foxy. The Sports Illustrated bikini issue had nothing on this honey."

Matthew has entered a trance-like state, re-experiencing every delicious moment he spent under the spell of this chic goddess vision. Jilly and Clayton nod their heads in synchronization, as if they are also reliving Matt’s story.

"Okay," John Paul says, "enough about her sex appeal. What happened next?"

Matthew casts him an extra dirty look.

"I said no interruptions, didn’t I? Just listen if you can, all right?"

He resumed his recollection.

"Then things started to get insane. This one rocker dude was near the middle of the bar, buying a drink for a porno starlet. I had seen her in a few flicks. Called herself Lady Godiva. She was a stacked blonde sexpot with that LA sleaze look. She was pretty hot stuff. As he was handing the glass of booze to the actress, the rocker freak caught a glimpse of Ms. Eurasia and Boom! Without missing a beat, he reaches right past Lady Godiva and offers the drink to the bronze beauty. She takes it from him as if he were her butler and breezes right on by, drink in hand, with an array of panting guys trailing her. The rock dude is left stranded with his eyes bugging out of his head. Ms X-rated lights into him and starts kicking this shit out his ass.

"A bunch of geeks swarmed around her, falling over themselves trying to get her attention. Girls were left alone on the dance floor as their boyfriends joined the pack attempting to captivate the beautiful woman. She ignored all of it. She was on her own mission, probably had a few belts before she arrived. She doesn’t look drunk, maybe just a little tipsy. The other self-proclaimed beauty queens in the club are simply dying. Some of them have been reduced to tears and ran to the ladies room with mascara streaming down their astonished faces. Others watched their ego trips of being the ultimate babe take a wrong turn right out the window. ‘This can’t be happening to me’ they thought in unison. But it has happened and they burned with the knowledge that they were only counterfeit copies in comparison to her. Pearl Harbor was no worse, nor Waterloo. Their boyfriends had thrown them aside like soiled dolls, without giving it a second thought.

"So, I was digging on all the craziness that’s going down until I realized that I was fucked, because now all the available women were wacked out, depressed or angry. That Eurasian honey had ruined my evening; there would be no Rock ‘n’ Roll nookie coming my way that night.

"Guys, now you know me. No way was I about to join the three-ring chaos around her. What I did, I got right up in her face. I walked right up to her and my impulses overcame me. I said to her, ‘Thanks for nothing! This night is a bust on account of you. You wiped out all the women in this club! Now what am I supposed to do?’

"She just laughed at me. I turned so red I thought smoke would rise from my smoldering head. Then she stopped laughing and looked at me seriously.

"Oh, I’m sorry. You must think me a callous person, but I wasn’t laughing at you. I was just amused by the whole ridiculousness of people in general. I am not a rude girl, really I’m not."

"To tell the truth, I was surprised at that remark. I had already labeled her as a conceited bitch. I was wrong. Not only was she beyond gorgeous, she also had a heart. As she turned all her attention on me, madness continued to gush just outside the space we occupied. Women were screaming at their men, who were buying the Eurasian girl uninvited drinks, and continually interrupting our conversation. Well, at least she was talking to me. I wasn’t saying much, since my tongue had somehow twisted into a knot. She waved away the jerk-offs like she would a horde of fruit flies. I confirmed my suspicion that she was a little drunk. She was slurring some of her words, and said something that I couldn’t make out. I thought at the time that she might have been going back and forth into another language.

"After a minute or two of that, she stopped for a thirty-second interval and seemed to pull herself together."

"My mind was racing along," she said. "Sometimes when that happens my words don’t come out right. It happens to me a lot when I am under the influence. Do you always turn so red when you’re angry? Are you Scottish?"

"My parents were," I said.

"Oh! I just love Scottish gentlemen. Last year I traveled to Scotland and I found the castles, the countryside and the people to be so beautiful. Especially the men!"

"Then with a wink and an impossible lovely smile, she grabbed me into a passionate kiss. Fifteen minutes later, we were still sucking face big time. I dragged her out of Coney Island High and we jumped into a cab to my place. The rest is history."

Matthew ended his story and looked nervously at John Paul. John Paul had never seen these boys looking so weird. He suspected that some element of Matthew’s adventure had been omitted. He turned this thought in his mind, trying to figure out why his oldest friends were acting so nuts. They had never been quite like this with him before. They were revealing a side he had never seen, exposing their seamy underbellies. He turned to face Jilly and Clayton.

"Let me guess. You both slept with her too?"

The large John Gotti lookalike scowled.

"Yeah, I fucked her. She had a nice ass."

Clayton mumbled in the affirmative. "She was the most beautiful...the most...."

"Beautiful girl in the world?" John Paul finished the sentence for him.

"And all three of you are stuck on her. That’s what all this is about. My three macho buddies, the biggest womanizers on the East Coast, are all hung up on the same tart. Wow! What a disaster. You guys need to step out of each other’s way. Forget this tramp. There must be a million other gorgeous women waiting for studs like you. Now on the other hand, living the Gay lifestyle....ahh, forget about it. You don’t want to hear about my life. Come on, let’s go to the Pink Pony and play some cards."

Later that night, when he was alone, John Paul wrestled with an uneasy tension that lingered on. As crazy as it seemed, he couldn’t escape the feeling that he, John Paul, was the source of their stress. He didn’t know what this girl, this marvelous specimen of womanhood had to do with him.

"Dammit!" He scoured his mind for some enlightenment. Why was he the key to this riddle? Was he over-dramatizing, reading into the situation something that wasn’t there? Sure there was a mysterious allure to this girl, after all, all three of his friends were obsessed. Even Clayton was completely cowed. Jesus! Just as he was deciding the enigma would never be resolved, a very dark thought creeped into his head. Could they be using her to get to one another? Could they be latent homosexuals, unconsciously communing by having sex with the same lover girl? No! He refused to believe it. He remembered attending on of their sex and beer parties several years ago. A bunch of them had hired a prostitute, a party girl. Their acquisition had been very adept at handling groups of surly young men. A Mulatto perhaps, a dark sensuous woman with a huge but shapely behind and eyes that pierced the night. She played with his childhood friends in the same way a lion tamer would control fierce jungle cats. She would have none of that two or three at once crap. She kept them orderly, one at a time. No anal intercourse, no peeping by the others was allowed. No chance for the party to head into an offbeat direction. Some of her tough guys were extremely nervous and got away with cussing and off-color jokes, but that was it. She was in complete control. In John Paul’s opinion, it was just a straight-male bonding ritual. Much as he would perversely enjoy detecting a touch of closeted homosexuality in his self-righteous friends, he found no evidence of it. No. It was perplexing, but he knew that another solution would show itself in time. The reason for their secretive behavior would surface sooner or later. He would have to wait.

Abruptly he stopped considering his friends’ troubles. As if he had been enchanted, he found himself in front of a darkened bar called the Night Owl, on West Houston Street. Like a sleepwalker, he had wandered over to his favorite bar, the place he went every Friday night to top off an evening of eating out and playing pool with his straight friends. At some point, he would always leave them and shift into his other world, the Gay life where he really belonged. A glance at his watch told him it was only 12:30 AM. There was plenty of time left for John Paul to party the night away. He passed through the shadowy facade, knowing that inside he would find it to be nice and cool with plenty of light. He searched the faces of the male patrons, but none of his usual companions was among them. He took a seat at the bar and ordered a beer. He examined the crowded room while sipping his drink, deciding which of the several prime specimens he would court for the evening, when in walked a woman. John Paul was instantly captivated by the young Eurasian beauty. She was slinky and seductive in a bright red backless mini-dress. Her big green eyes and long silky black hair mesmerized him. No one else existed.

york.jpg (111362 bytes)"Why are you looking at me that way? I’m not a ghost." Her words snapped him back to the noisy bar.

"I’m sorry. I usually don’t stare so fiercely. Women don’t ordinarily come into his bar." Then he knew who she was.

"I’ve heard so much about you," he said, the tone of recognition clear in his voice.

"Oh really now, is that so?" She did not sound surprised.

Then she giggled and raised her delicate bronzed hand to John Paul’s hair to play with one of his curls.

"Have you ever been to Greece? You look like you might have been born there. Were you? I do so love Greek gentlemen!"

John Paul was shocked. He felt an overpowering animal attraction to his lovely creature.

"But I’m Gay," he said, disappointment tingeing his his words.

"So am I," she winked, "and, I’m not a Lesbian."

"Ah!" John Paul nodded his head, but did not let on all of what he understood. He thought it wise to keep certain bits of illicit knowledge to himself.

And that is how John Paul DeLucca joined his friends in a collective sexual encounter. All four of them had managed to fall in love with the most beautiful "girl" in the world.

Eric York - Brain POP! 

Originally appeared in Vermis Jr. Vol 2 1/2, Hungry Maggot Global Publishing, PO Box 905, Flagstaff AZ     
86002-0905.  Also: Welcome to Nod #18.  PO Box 24906, Denver CO 80224.  

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