Wednesday, August 14, 2013


This wild and crazy ride is dedicated to anyone who likes to have fun. While the attitude and antics of the characters in the story may not seem to be who you are now, take a moment to remember a time when making good decisions might have been a challenge...last Friday night shouldn't be too hard to dredge up...especially if you tried my kamikazes... so if you're smiling and blushing, you either have a good story to tell or need a sponsor stat. Raise your glass and CHEERS to the freedom and silliness of youth! *clink*

Author's Note: While most of this short story is based on real events, names and situations have been altered and/or combined to protect the privacy of those involved.





                     What is this song? 
                     I recognize it. The name is on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t focus because of that dang tube that no one ever knows the name of. The dentist hooks it over your teeth to suck all of the fluid from half of your mouth, while the other half fills with thick gobs of spit that overflow onto the bib they drape over your chest. The bib is useless; it’s like wearing a tissue. 
                     Yep. There it is. My mouth is leaking like a random drunk guy with a hole in his lip. And by random drunk guy, I mean my former best friend, Manny, every single Saturday night.
                     My tongue hangs loose, slipping through my teeth, and another stringy gooey mess drips out. It soaks through the bib and leaves a permanent yellow stain on my good white silk blouse. My favorite blouse; the one that I leave unbuttoned for Sten, the cute intern at work.
                     He turns red every time I lean forward and it falls open a little bit. I spent fifty dollars on that black bra at Victoria’s Secret in the States, and every time I see him quickly shift the mail from his stomach to his crotch, I have to smile. That bra is worth every penny.
                     He sweats when I stop him from moving onto the next desk. “Um, Sten? Did my Angel Body catalogue get lost somewhere in the shuffle? It’s the one with the lingerie in it, ya know, panties and such…” I walk my fingers across the desk like two long legs that can't wait to wrap themselves around him. I got my nails painted and sharpened into long, sexy points during my lunch break. The nails might as well be candy apple stilettos as they climb his arm and saunter across his chest.
                     He stammers and knocks several envelopes off the top of the mail cart. “I’ll uh check  for you. It…it’s no problem at all.” His accent gets thicker with every stutter.
                      We stare at the pile on the floor in front of us for a second before he pulls away from me and the finger that is was drawing invisible circles in the skin just below his adam's apple. He gathers the mail, but I notice a stray piece of  paper that flew onto the floor about three feet away from him.
                      Of course I'll help him clean up. I bend from the waist down and struggle to grip the thin sheet of paper with my new nails. When I look back, Sten is frozen like a statue, staring at my bum with eyes wide open. I’m sure he sees the red thong I have on under my tiny leather skirt...

                     ...You’re welcome Sten.

                     It all starts with the blouse. My ultimate weapon, the one that drips with feminine power, now has a big wet spot on it that looks like baby spit up. The discoloration starts at my rib cage, then pools up at the peak of my belly  attractive.
                     If I try to cover the stain with a blazer, a loose button will surely pop off, exposing my dirty secret. 
                     Danica will say, “Lindsey, I didn’t know Gucci was designing Rorschach ink blots. Is that a new trend?" Her lip will curl like it does every time she gossips about someone at the sinks in the bathroom, knowing full well that they're in the stall behind her. "Aren’t they usually black? Yours look more like…what’s the American term for vomit?”
                     Danica’s English is very good. She constantly reminds me that although we hold the same position on the job, this is her homeland and she'll always have the advantage. And now because of her, I’m too tense to think straight...

                     ...and this is why I can’t solve my musical riddle.  

                     Dang. What is this song? My eyes cross so I can study the curve of the tube rising up over the tip of my nose. Am I moving it with my tongue? I try to, but it keeps still. Who knows? I can’t feel it. Is it levitating? I have to laugh. Ha ha. That's funny. I'm like a carnival show.
                     Even my thoughts are slurred. The drool flows  unnoticed down my chin and onto my blouse when I cackle, wide mouthed and exposed.
 Suddenly, I remember the title of the song, but something is not right. The title floats right by my brain in one of those cartoon bubbles and I notice that my final answer ends in a question mark instead of an excited to have finally figured it out exclamation point. 
I mull it over for a moment, trying not to be distracted by the three sinks in front of me. I want to pull out the tube and spit, but what if I pick the wrong sink?
A trumpet chimes in, and I'm part of the band. I want to grab a mike as my confusion clears. It seems ridiculous, but I'm finally sure. Someone has taken this once popular hip hop tune and transformed it into that light music those sneaky doctors play in waiting rooms.    They're so slick. They know they're going to give you a shot and you're not going like it, so they get the patients drowsy and distracted with music like this, right before they come up from behind and shove a huge needle into your rear.
 And now, even though they've slowed the music down, the lyrics I memorized during my last summer as an unemployed student mooching off of my parents fit perfectly. My eyes get heavy and it's suddenly clear how they really get those old folks to behave in nursing homes. Songs like this could even be used for the medically induced comas they sometimes have to put people into.
I give in and close my eyes, helpless to resist as the elevator version of “My Humps” plays hypnotically and an intoxicated feeling comes over me. My mind sways rhythmically as I plot, I’m gonna get you love drunk off my humps…  I'm weightless, floating on a soft cloud of ambivalence and dreaming of a past I can't change and will forever live with...


Back in the day, I'd shimmy my way through the clubs, letting guys with salami breath buy me drinks. The one with the leather vest thinks I owe him more than one dance, but Silly Gold Chain Guy is waving at me from across the dance floor. It’s time to move on. I approach him and his jewelry, leaving the other to contemplate his mistakes. He’s ready to jitterbug with me to the next heavy bass hip hop song, smiling and unaware that his diamond encrusted gold teeth warp and bend through the champagne glass that he holds up like bait to lure me over. "Your Prince Charming is right here Snow White", he says as I weave my way through gyrating hips and flailing arms. When I finally reach him, I look away quickly, afraid I might turn to stone cuz dude is the male equivalent of Medusa. But after a big swallow of Cristal, the tiny flies I spied circling his dreadlocks are suddenly friends, joining us for a dance. I let him put his arm around my waist.


The man fog lifts and I realize that I’m high. My cavity pain, the reason that I'm here, is long gone, but the room is slanted and I'm dizzy. Did they forget to turn off the drugs? Are they trying to kill me? I peek out the door at the staff, who are coming and going with trays of metal instruments and paper cups. Each one glides and hops, giggling and stopping to shimmy with every third step. Ohhh I get it. Europeans like to overdose on sweet air.
Thinking is so much work. I rest my head heavily on the cushion of the dental chair, feeling so relaxed that I think I might take a nap. I drift off, dreaming that my mother is telling me to find my own place.


Mom's face is red and sweaty. She thrusts a sponge and a roll of paper towels at me and glares at all four walls and the untouched toilet.
"What?" I slur. "Aleas I made it to the baaathroom before I puked."
Somehow my hooting and snorting permeates the gunk and reverberates off the thickly coated walls, but I laugh alone.
“Lindsey, you’re a mess!”she screams at me. 
I roll my eyes. This is not the first time I've heard her say that. "In some circles, being a hot mess is fun, so what yuur saying is stoooopid!"
“I can’t take this anymore!  You’re an adult, so act like one!  I want you out of this house now!”
She seems serious this time.

I probably would’ve begged for another chance if I was able to close my right eye and fully engage with my dream mom. 
Wait, what? I can’t close my right eye?
And just like that, I sober up.  
I look around, scanning the cabinets, the counters, and even the floor, for what I need. Supplies are limited here, so I’m forced to peer at my distorted likeness in the spittoon hundreds have used to empty blood and other nasty bodily fluids into.
I close my eyes…no, I close my eye.  Even the chipmunk cheek taking up most of my reflection is not fat enough to push my right eye closed. I wink at my funhouse image a few more times before giving in to the terror that I’m feeling. 
Panic sets in, just like the time I woke up in that guy’s yard. My stomach turns at the memory, although it happened more than six months ago.


The car isn't on, but I'm sitting in the front seat, limp and staring out the window. Pervy Robe Guy’s back door faces the parking lot of Coco’s and if I think really hard, I remember believing that it was my house. My head rests on the seat, and I smile crookedly, happy that my parents moved so close to one of my favorite bars. The drive home will be a cinch, even in my condition. 
After a few tabs of what I mistakenly think is Ecstasy, I pass out. When daylight hits my pale, makeup smeared face, I step out of the car to stretch, and the yard comes into focus. An angry bruise shaped like a tiny pineapple has appeared on my inner thigh, and I yank my skirt down to hide it, ashamed, although I can't figure out how I got it. The actual owner of the house is having coffee on his back deck. He tips his mug toward me and smiles. His teeth are a cramped, crooked mess, but he's cocky in the way he smirks knowingly at me. I almost wave to him, until I realize that he's a stranger I've never met...or have I?
He looks slightly to the right, and my eyes follow. My stomach drops and I gasp when I see my neon pink thong tied around the car’s antenna. He winks at me and lets his robe slip open. Memories of the night before drop like bombs, relentless and exploding with shame. My skirt flies up in the wind but I'm already jumping back in the car. I turn the car keys in the ignition so hard that it makes an awful grinding sound that I ignore while u-turning sharply, ripping up patches of his backyard grass and almost taking out one of his kid’s bikes as I tear out of there. I don’t pull over to grab my undies off the antenna for five blocks. 


My heart pounds. The horror at my loss of control, both then and now is palpable.
The affected eye wells up with tears, turning it red with irritation. I try to wipe them away with my right hand, but I can’t lift it to my face. It twitches lifelessly on the arm rest of the chair. 
I'm having a stroke. I have to be.
Struggling to take a breath, I focus on relaxing. This anxiety attack might kill me before a stroke does. I need to get control of myself so I can figure out what's happening.
Once I'm calm again, I try moving my right leg, but it’s also useless. I have to wonder, Am I numb, paralyzed, or after years of abusing my body, completely brain damaged? I’ll never know unless I try out my left side. 
With trepidation, I start small. First my pinky. Check. Then all five fingers. Check. I’m hopeful.
Finally, I raise my left arm and wave at my reflection in the glass protecting the painting of Frederiksborg Castle that hangs on the wall across from my seat. I look kind of cute. Maybe I should take a selfie for Instagram. I want to slap myself in the head, but I can't. OMG Lindsey. Focus!
It seems like only half of my body is working, so the question is, can half of my body get me home?
I try my left leg. It doesn’t extend very much, but it’s functional. If I can hop out of here on one leg, maybe I can make it to my apartment. That is, if I can remember how to get there. Which part of the brain controls memory?  I don't know remember most of what I learned in Psych 101. It was an 8:30 class and getting up for it was next to impossible after the nights I had.   
What about language? What if I can’t yell for help? As if my one sided paralysis isn't bad enough, I might also be mute. A temporary resident in a foreign land, I may not be able to translate my problem into Danish. How will I warn everyone about the blatant misuse of drugs at this dentist’s office?
            Images of my move from New York to Europe come flooding back to me. They’re fragments, but sharp and painful enough to paint a picture. 




              A gay dancer publicly proclaims his love to me at the Savoy. He hands over the keys and title to his Porsche five minutes after meeting me.
"Girl, take the car. Go on, take it. I can't use it anyway on account of my license being taken away after my last DUI. You can have it so my bitch sister doesn't get her nasty paws on it. You'll look fierce behind the wheel, so take it."
 I leave him halfway through a song for a blond, the gay dancer’s keys still in my hand. The blond, Lars, happily transports my new car over to Denmark…but in his name instead of mine. He invites me  to come to Europe…but when I get there, I find out the invitation was not to live with him.
My frantic job hunt in a foreign country leads me to work for Morten Jensen. "I'll hire you on a six month trial. At that time we'll review your work and see where you stand." He seems so stern and formal, and we both know I'm only borderline qualified, so why is he giving me a chance?
Mixed feelings; I’m ashamed to go home and admit that my mother was right about Lars and my tendency to act without thinking, while at the same time I’m grateful to her for pushing me into finishing my degree in Computer Technology, no matter how close I came to failing many of my courses. 


Now, wishing that the laughing gas had impaired my ability to remember things, I wonder how I got here; a prisoner in a dentist’s chair.


Order the book and finish the story at:

 CF Winn is the author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a hilarious group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor's office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States.
You can now order SUKI in paperback at  or at BOOK REVUE, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, by email at or by calling (631) 271-1442.
Learn more about SUKI at BOOK REVUE

More posts like these can be found at Humor Outcasts and The Patch where she is a regular contributor. 

CF Winn is the founder of Winning! Publications, a firm specializing in editing and promotion services for authors. Her latest project is the just released Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name, a hilarious and heartwarming story of a boy saddled with a girl’s name and forced into a nomadic existence. Order it now: 

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