I went home with the waitress, the way I always do
How was I to know, she was with the Russians, too?
I was gambling in Havana, I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money, dad, get me out of this.
—-Warren Zevon, Lawyers, Guns, and Money
By the time he reached the restaurant Paul had actually forgotten that it was Halloween. The girl at the hotel checkout had green hair – but on the drive this faded from his mind. He waited at the bar and a waitress walked up and leaned into the station right next to him. She was wearing a tight black sweatsuit or something. A white sweatsock was pinned to one shoulder, hanging down over one small breast. A sheet of some translucent paper was tacked to the other side – and a few small cloth items Paul didn’t recognize were stuck here and there. At first Paul was taken aback at the outfit-but then he remembered that it was Halloween.
“What are you?”
“I’m Static Cling,” she said.
“That’s pretty good.”
The place was almost empty, only one elderly couple sitting at a low table in front of a fireplace, the low hubbub of group in a private room. Static Cling was the barmaid and she stood next to Paul shifting from one foot to another, waiting for the bartender. After a minute a stocky man in a Hawaiian shirt appeared wearing an awful long black wig and started in on her order. She took the two white wines over to the elderly couple. Then the waitress showed up and Paul gasped when she bent over the table to lower the food. She was wearing a German dress and her cleavage was practically in his face when she set down the plates.
She stood up and looked at Paul.
“Let me guess,” he said, and noticed the glasses of white wine, “You’re the St. Pauli Girl.”
“Yes!” She said, and then sidled up next to Paul, in the spot where Static Cling had vacated – she seemed to have disappeared.
“You won’t believe what that old geezer just said to me.”
“I left his food and he said, ‘The way you’re dressed, that’s not the only thing you’re peddling tonight.’”
“That’s terrible, you’re the St. Paulie Girl, what could be better than that.”
“Yeah, well, you know.”
“Yeah, I know.”
That’s how Paul met St. Paulie Girl and Static Cling.
St. Paulie Girl was so tall, open and outgoing, plus her costume was breathtaking. Those long legs shooting out from that bouffant skirt – the Teutonic cleavage, that bouncing hair. But Static Cling… petite, short hair, had an air of sullen rebellion. Paul found that aggressive attitude of unattainable aloofness sexy and irresistible. Static Cling was so focused – watching her carry drinks – something so simple – was like watching Dimaggio at the plate.
St. Paulie Girl’s most alluring aspect, was, to Paul, the fact that she didn’t light the brightest light – a transparent simple bumbling innocence.
“This blind date,” she told Paul as he ate his salad, “he excused himself, stood up and walked outside. When he didn’t come back I checked and he was passed out – flat on his face.”
Paul couldn’t figure out why she picked this story out of what must have been many breathless and lurid tales out of St. Paulie Girl’s unknown and undoubtedly colorful past. He felt sorry for the blind date – to have to live a life knowing you had a shot at St. Paulie Girl and blew it – couldn’t even maintain sobriety or consciousness in the face of such potential passion. How could the loser look at himself in the mirror every morning? If the guy used a straight razor he’d have to cut his throat… No, a shadow of a man like that would never own steel and a strop. He’d settle for cheap plastic disposables – or maybe one with five blades and a battery – one that quivers piteously when you drag it across your face.
Paul allowed himself a little smile.