by Randolph O. Mann
Call me Crazy. That is what all of the members of this visually challenged Rodent Guild do. And they are right too; after all, my involvement with this sightless fête is wholly irrational behavior on my part. Put into plain language, nothing about this tainted affair was ever lucid. Even our initial get-together was simply the casualty of a curious moment. Then one assembly became two, two turned into three, and before I knew it I had been sucked in. I was unwittingly integrated into this myopic rat pack as the only sighted card-carrying member. In due course I assumed the post of volunteer ‘Union Secretary’. A thankless post I have manned to this very day.
Here, let me explain; the genesis of this curious assemblage is owed to a shockingly violent cloud burst which encouraged me to seek cover beneath the canopy of a recently suspended 7-Haight bus stop. There, some distance from my office, is where I joined a dog stationed to the left of three blind men linearly assembled upon the bench located inside this latest casualty of yet another municipal budgetary shortfall. I signaled my intention to wait out the storm in the midst of this sightless trio by repeatedly telescoping my umbrella. Stamping my waterlogged Birkenstocks upon the exposed aggregate of the sidewalk too firmly cemented the commitment of my pause as the blind men silently focused their remaining quartet of senses, eager to accrue hints concerning my personal moral fiber. Wordlessly, seconds stretched into minutes while we clumsily shared the only curbside shelter for blocks and blocks. Urban protocol dictated standoffish moderation as the four of us loitered in hushed awkwardness. Nothing was spoken but volumes of unanswered questions danced with the early morning raindrops. It was finally the friendly tail wagging of the canine that vouched for my flaccid character and garnered an off target salutation from the taller of the three.
“Crazy weather for this late into the season.”
I guess I could have ignored that open-ended observation aimed in my direction, and with twenty-twenty hindsight I am sure it was just my intuitive altruistic providence that took over, while ‘They’ on the other hand have since labeled my courteous retort as only a ‘brain-fart’ at my end. After years of squabbling and conjecture we have yet to achieve communal harmony upon the motive for my brashness. In short, we all agree that my brain and my mouth challenged the moment and the mouth won.
“Sure is! And the Weatherman is blaming El Niño.”
Without warning the large dog launched from a placid seated position into a two-legged stance with both forepaws stenciling muddy paw prints all over the front of my long-sleeve white work shirt and understated Jerry Garcia tie and I was forced backward into the side wall of the bus-kiosk and up against the ‘New Moon’ movie placard advertising that yet to be released motion picture, before the plumpest of the marooned trinity offhandedly clarified:
“The dog’s name is Niño.”
A piece of information that I found did precious little to slow the canine’s harassment. I quickly discovered a first name rapport with one’s assailant doesn’t enhance the experience. To the contrary, familiarity only seemed to reinforce the relationship with my new ‘best friend’ as this impromptu liaison progressed onto the next level; ‘Second-base’, where face licking was added to fido’s repulsive arsenal.
“Nice Niño? Nice doggy. Does it bite?”
Fearing that a poorly playing carom or mishandling the complicated relay might turn this off-the-wall, doggie-style, stand-up ‘double’ into an inside-the-park walk-off, I tightened my defense, I picked-up my game and I... No, I screamed like a little girl.
“Help! Call off the dog! PLEASE?”
Opening my month to rally assistance also uncovered a glaring weakness in my defense to a frontal assault as El Niño swiftly filled my mouth with dog-tongue. Gagging at the very thought of the assorted locations this muscular organ has recently visited signaled to all present that fido had just rounded third with a head of steam. So I steeled myself by digging my cleats into the ground around ‘home’ in preparation for a bang-bang play at the plate.
The visually handicapped ‘third-base coach’ had allegorically thrown both hands up to stop his runner. Obediently Niño put on his gregarious brakes and returned to a seated posture. With my nostrils now filled with puppy-breath, my new tie covered in mire, my work shirt smelling of wet pet-hair and my chewing gum now in the tongue-tied custody of El Niño I gathered myself before reaching directly for my holster. I fumbled with the flip-cover until my fingertips could grasp my iPhone and grudgingly I made a belated sick call into work.
“Hey Kid, hang up the phone! I can taste her alarm clock.”
The tall blind guy just reached over snatched my phone from my hand and turned it off before placing it into the side pocket of his coat as all three blind men sat blankly focusing through and beyond the drizzle, riveting their attention upon a weathered tri-level Victorian across the street. My protests were cut short by an ominous growl resonating deep in the throat of El Niño as the dog too gazed into the downpour. Boorishly I joined the silent vigil until lanky ‘Richard’ embarked upon his narrative.
“There it is, I can hear the florescent light shining in the lavatory. If you will concentrate one can taste how the shower water has just started and one can fancy as she scampers off barefoot towards the kitchen wearing a pair of plaid sleep pants and a bulky, long-sleeved USF baseball under-blouse. The chilliness of the occasion is evidenced by dual nipple protuberances panting just below the emerald turtle-neck of her sanitary shirt fully identifying this female’s frosty urgency.”
Suspiciously I looked around for the location of the hidden camera, fully expecting to find a hairless, rotund gentleman walking towards me with an over-sized smile to announce I was the latest victim of some witless Candid Camera clone. But as I hastily surveyed our saturated portion of the Fifth Deanery I found we were singularly abandoned to the elements upon this celebrated ‘flower powered’ thoroughfare and instead of discovering myself as the casualty of an elaborate practical joke I was made witness to sightless lunacy, cubed! I am talking about threefold stupid, too ‘F-en’ dumb to even come in out of the rain. So there I stood sheltered from the deluge in the company of such triple blindness.
“I sense her morning coffee brewing while she dashes back into the warmth of her steam filled loo. A quick pull upon the loose ends of the sleep pant’s drawstring sends them cascading around her ankles. Standing on tippy-toes to expose less of her skin’s surface to the glacial temperature of the cerulean tile floor also establishes muscular definition to the little lady’s calves, thighs and buttocks as she adjusts the water temperature by subtlety twisting of the shower-and-tub valves. Once suitably convinced that an appropriate water temperature has been achieved both of her well manicured hands fall to her curved hips where they grasped the high arcing hem of her nightshirt and pull it up and over her head. Revealed as perfectly nude prior to entering the watery shower spray she is obligated to search among the toiletry bottles selecting shampoo, conditioner, body-wash and her razor with a practiced strategy of completing the intimate responsibilities associated with her personal hygiene.
"Listen as slippery bubbles of foam coat her extraordinary haunches and savor the steel cutting edge as her blade embraces each of her lathered thighs and sudsy calves. That sharp janitorial switchblade also makes obligatory stopovers under each arm before traveling back south to embrace that tender skin of her underbelly. Swipe by prickly swipe the little lady shapes and trims her ‘landing strip’. Her thorny stubble is slowly but surely replaced with silky naked skin. A satiny hairless pelvic knoll now resides where chirpy curls once flourished. Her discarded locks mix with hygienic suds before exiting the couturiers of her body transported upon rivulets of tepid water hauling the bathing froth and recently shorn fuzz from feminine fissures, lady clefts, womanly crevices and girlish cleavages. Sluicing down her willowy neck and splashing over her jutting collar bone the sanitized cascade surge down her mammoth torso eavesdropping amongst the foam-covered droplets, as sudsy runoff courses between pliable mammary bundles and barbed nipples before the soapy flow gently tumbles past her inverted bellybutton intended for the curvature of the lady’s pelvis upon a scenic course towards the drain located in shower flooring beneath her toes...”
“Where? I don’t see that. I can’t see a thing. It’s raining cats and dogs!”
Such a politically insensitive and tactless remarked earned me an immediate snarled reprimand from the ever vigilant El Niño. Outwardly ignoring my canine chastisement, I frantically peered over, around, under and between the falling raindrops. Hoping to catch even a fleeting glimpse of what these blind voyeurs were enjoying. I craned my neck back and forth while joining the illusive lady in my own drenched version of dancing en pointe, but to no avail as I still found myself in the dark, so to speak. As all I could make out was what appeared to me as a derelict residential structure that had seen better days.
“The flavor of the moment ‘bares’ witness, as this would-be morning commuter steps beyond the showering waters and into a terrycloth bath-towel where her body parts mingle with fabric in a libidinous ballet. The delicate feminine appendages flaunting themselves as arms and legs are placed under veiled scrutiny while they slither beneath the cover of the bathing mantle. Deliberately unfettering the nakedness of her limbs in order to enthusiastically massage her delicate surfaces hidden beneath with extra pressure placed upon the secreted alcoves of this saturated little lady as the application of mechanical friction is used to dry her personal areas.
"Smelling the late hour, this procrastinating commuter must throw modesty aside in the interest of alacrity. Draping the bathing-towel upon the handy hook located upon the lavatory door should quicken the employment of makeup and appliance to her hair. Unprotected from our remaining senses we can leisurely take pleasure from her naked facade. The sacrilegious allocation of body lotion and the blasphemous anointment of deodorant are each prearranged to allow her nude society open-air drying before dressing. Drinking in her naked glory as this morning-princess bends forward to wash her face with cold water and oil cleanser, properly suited to her skin. A clean hand cloth is used to dry the facial area then cotton buds apply her toner and oil-free tinted moisturizer mixed with just a little primer is dotted upon the forehead, chin and both cheeks before it is efficiently rubbed into her skin. Inspection of the eyebrows and other personal eye-catching locals for hairs growing out of place that are to be summarily pruned and plucked.”
I just had to see this! So I inched to the desiccated perimeter of our metropolitan shelter where I peered into the torrent. But there wasn’t anything for me to see. I extended my neck without reward. I could not identify even a brief foretaste of these naughty toiletries. Searching high and low my voyeuristic pursuit delivered naught, just a dreary, sopping wet, nineteenth century Victorian building with precious little curb-appeal gawking back at me. Every window on the front façade was shuddered or blinded or draped and I could not see inside, and believe me, I was trying!
“Now it’s time to get dressed. In hurried fashion the naked pixie rifled thru the clothing she had laid out the night before. Hearken to the tension as her shapely legs are provocatively incased within a pair of charcoal colored, control top silk stockings. The snapping sounds of satin gartered suspenders add to the retro effect the little lady was trying to establish. A matching shelf-style demi-cup brassiere balanced the upper portion of the underwear collection. Tasting the urgency of her modesty this aspiring ‘social climber’ must be prepared for all contingencies so side tying tap pants is added to the mouth-watering undergarment assortment. Feeling a bit exposed and needing reassurance the satiny vixen peeks into the full-length mahogany swivel-mirror to assess her devilish preparations. Reflectively placed at ease by how her parts have been invitingly wrapped in satin and lace our lady progresses to the layering process of her cosmetics application prior to slipping on a form-fitted, front-buttoning, shirt-dress as this aromatic lynx sets to work improving upon God’s ‘eye-catching’ creation."
I ain’t catching any of this x-rate version of ‘Where’s Waldo’. So in desperation I tried following their sightless line of surveillance hoping to focus my erroneous explorations, until a light bulb went on; these guys are blind! What was I thinking?
“The flavor of her auburn colored hair is nonchalantly pulled back and held aside with a rubber band while doing makeup. She already had washed her pretty face, so next is a quick swipe of tinted moisturizer mixed with a little primer. Standing before her angelic reflection wearing only satin and lace a dot is placed on the forehead, a dot on the pixy chin and upon both cheeks then rubbed in. Next is the same routine with foundation, using just enough for full coverage but not so much that it takes a half hour to even things out as her time is running short. So a quick dab of concealer is placed under each eye with a pat of pressed powder over the concealer, to blend it in with the foundation. Brown eyeliner goes across the eyelid, right up next to the eyelashes hoping to avoid the need for any mascara and a little smudged under each eye. Then just a little eye-shadow to give modest depth to those lovely bedroom eyes with two brush strokes of pink blush swept across her high cheek bones and then just a quick touch of tinted lip gloss and she is good to go! Still clad in the vestiges of skimpy satin undergarments her blow dryer is exploited when drying and styling the lady’s curls.
"Confident how this morning’s endeavors have obtained that ever elusive ‘good hair day’ our near-naked urchin prances off to the kitchen for a spur-of-the-moment breakfast of bran-nuggets mixed into berry-flavored yogurt and chased with a healthy portion of ‘fair-trade’ full-city roasted coffee.
"After gobbling down her inspired commuter’s breakfast she must brush her teeth well and floss. Requiring this rainy-day, closet exhibitionist to complete her erotic round-trip to her bathroom. Worried about bad breath this clever clock-watcher pops a Listerine pocket packet; ‘for on-the-go breath freshening’. Nippy sprinkles of perfumed body spray are calculated to gild the lily before scampering into the bedroom to collect her understated above the knee-length shirt-dress. Now the lady is ready to rock-and-roll.
"One can taste her naughty thoughts as she approaches her front door, pausing in the foyer to check her makeup and fluff her hair with a quick glance into the well hung mirror with plans to scamper down the stairs to collect her hired car. An impish smile, a tilt of the head and a hearty shoulder shrug, sealed the deal as this officious she-devil sends her hands playfully beneath the hem of her shirtdress where they liberate both of the side knots holding up her tap pants. Unshackled from the quick-release undergarment our naughty girl discards the tyrannical garment blithely among the other forbidden produce in the fruit bowl stationed near at hand before opening her front door and joining the morning commute.”
I watched skeptically as the three blind amigos unfolded their pale-canes and collected the ever vigilant dog. Foul weather gear was adjusted and scarves warped tight. El Niño rose before arching his back in a canine fashion that obscenely transformed into a full body doggy-shiver. Then, as if upon queue, the hammering downpour stopped. Well not completely, because a scattering of tardy rain-droplets continue to fall earthward into the radiance of the morning sunrise that was peeking through a break in the cloud cover. Together first light danced with twice-late moisture flamboyantly constructing a glorious multihued arc above the steeply pitched slate ridge-board of the aged Victorian as the four of them saunter down the side walk.
“No way! You guys just made that up?”
All four paused at the corner to allow the yellow checker-board taxi the right of way as it routinely pulled up in front of the ‘vacant’ Victorian flat and I watched wide-eyed and open-mouthed as she scampered down the slippery granite steps and opened the taxi’s side door. I stared in wonder as her right hand fought to control the windblown backseat hatch with her left hand persistently holding a waterlogged Examiner over head, a maneuver that left her skirt vulnerable to the whims of Good Old Mother Nature. A meddlesome upward-draft was all it took from the elements to authenticate how this female combatant was truly out of uniform, ‘Commando Style’.
“This is BENT! You guys must already know her schedule. Right? Hey, hold-up! You guys can’t pull the wool over my eyes that easy! Hey you guys...wait for me!”