Frank was walking down the street when he saw a topless mannequin in a shop window. Its perfectly shaped plastic breasts with no nipples shone in the morning light.
Frank stepped inside, it was a small shop with too many clothes crammed into a small space. A forty-something woman was sitting behind the counter looking bored. She was attractive, with just some slight wrinkles but perhaps a little too much suntan.
“Hey,” Frank said, “I saw your mannequin. Does that mean you wanna—?”
“Yeah, I already got it,” she said, but she did not seem too happy, “Sorry, I was about to cover it, you were just faster than me.” She got up, walked past him, put a blouse on the mannequin and started buttoning it up before Frank spoke.
“Are you sure? I mean, you don’t sound too happy. It would be my pleasure to help you out.”
She did not respond until she was done buttoning it up. “Nah, I already kind of came. It would be hard for me to get to that level again. Besides, I think it was a bad idea.”
“I don’t want to impose,” said Frank, “I can leave you alone if you want.”
She looked him up and down. He seemed a sincere guy, kind of sweet. His hair was a little out of fashion, but that somehow made him cute. “Would you go down on me?” she asked, “I’m clean, I have papers. Besides, I’m shaved down there, so you would be able to see for yourself.”
“Sure,” he said slowly, “Why not. And you don’t have to go down on me if you don’t want to. I’m happy to please,” he smiled and blushed.
“Maybe I can do it to you with my hand,” she said, “We will see.”
She locked the door and pulled down the blinds. In the dim light, she looked younger. They sat down on the carpet. It was quiet for a second, except for the fan.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Nice to meet you, Frank,” they shook hands.
She lifted her skirt, leaned back, pulled her panties down. He leaned forward, she focused on his forehead, his outdated hairstyle. “Wait,” she said.
“What is it?”
“Uhm, I don’t usually have sex with strangers. I think this might be a bad idea.”
“Oh,” he said.
“No, it’s not you,” she said, “I’m sure you’re a great guy. It’s just it might be difficult for me. I need intimacy with the man. I need to feel something, feel cozy at least. That makes it easier.”
“I know what you mean,” said Frank, “I sometimes have a hard time coming when I am— I was with a girl once, and she was real unpleasant. She was mean to me. Said I was not a real man. Wanted me to get into fights because somebody looked at her. Wanted me to yell at the waiter. Yell at the hotel manager. I could almost never come. Sometimes I couldn’t even get it up for her.”
“Did she break up with you?”
“No. I broke up with her.”
“I guess she could not spare you,” said Nicole, “She probably found it hard to get a guy who would stick with her. Like a serious relationship.”
“I don’t know,” said Frank. “Can I ask you something?”
“Why did you do it? Why did you put up the topless mannequin?”
“I wanted to relax. I am sexually frustrated and lonely. Plus I get really horny recently. It’s like a phase in a woman’s sex life. I know, this sounds stupid, but I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. The shop is not doing so well. It’s unfinished clothes. You know, sometimes some seams are apart, sometimes they are missing buttons. There is a real scene for these back where I am from, but not around here. People don’t get what they are all about.”
“I’ve never heard of that,” said Frank. “Do people wear them unfinished? Shirts that fly open, sleeves that hang down from your shoulders?”
“Sometimes. Sometimes they finish then however they see fit. Sometimes they combine them. I once saw a boy and a girl wearing sweatshirts that were sown together.”
“Neat,” he said. “So somebody came in here before me?”
“Yes, this guy. He was a real animal, but he showed me his penis and it was impressive. He just came in here and pulled it out. I thought, hey, maybe it will work. He smelled like booze, and it’s only 10 a.m. He fucked me like a stinking beast, but I kind of came with him. I think. It was all really brutal. It was not good. He wiped his forehead with my skirt and left. I had to change. The skirt— I threw it away. I know I could have just washed it, but I don’t know. I just didn’t want to see it again, I would always see his beastly face.”
“Did he—? Would you say he raped you?”
“No. I mean, I wanted it to happen. I was ready. I was wet. It was just bad sex.”
“Wow, sounds pretty bad.”
“I don’t think I want to do anything after all,” she said and she put her panties back on. “I got you excited for nothing. Let me do it for you, okay? Will my hand be okay?”
“No, that’s alright. You don’t need to do anything.”
“Are you sure? Aren’t you going to be in pain?”
“Nah, I’m fine. I’m on my way home anyway, I can take care of myself. I work from home, you see. I was just out for breakfast.”
She did not follow up on that. They sat in silence for a minute, then he got up. “Well, it was really nice talking,” he said, “I hope the shop picks up some good business. I’ll tell my friends about it. Maybe I can post about it on my blog.”
“Thanks, that would be nice.”
She let him out. He looked back as he was walking away. The sign above the shop said WASTED BEGINNINGS. He made a mental note of that as well as the location for future reference.