By Gayle Carline

     I later found out her name was Bar­bara LeFang. I met her last week in, well you know, one of those bars. Busi­ness had been great and I wanted to cel­e­brate. Hon­est, I had only a cou­ple drinks when she walked by my table. Lit­tle did I know she wasn’t like any other woman I’d ever met in one of “those” bars.

     Although alco­hol has been known to enhance someone’s looks, this gal didn’t need any help from my martini-colored glasses. Long-legged and cur­va­ceous, her pic­ture belonged in the dic­tio­nary, next to the word volup­tuous. Ink-black hair hung in loose, messy curls, as if she’d just risen from bed, prob­a­bly a bed of silk sheets and rose petals. She fixed her large blue eyes on me as she passed my table, and then did the most amaz­ing thing.

     She stopped.

     For an aver­age Joe like me, it was like hav­ing Ed McMa­hon show up at my house with a check for ten mil­lion dollars.

     “Eddie?” she asked, in a deep, husky voice that made me want to cry thank you, Jesus.

     Too bad my name wasn’t Eddie.

     “Eddie Singer?”

     God, I wanted to be Eddie Singer, but I hadn’t had enough alco­hol to trade my hon­esty for a beau­ti­ful woman — yet.

     “No, sorry,” I told her. “I’m Kevin.”

     She smiled, her full, pink lips part­ing to reveal a slight over­bite that made her even sex­ier. “Oh, you look like a guy I went to high school with. Do you mind if I sit down?”

     Did I mind? Was she crazy? “No, please do.”

     “My name is Babs,” she said, and sat down in my booth, on my side — on my freakin’ side!

     “What would you like to drink?” I asked as the wait­ress came over.

     “J.D. on the rocks,” she told the girl. “And give Kevin another — dirty martini?”

     I nodded.

     “My treat,” she said, flash­ing that smile at me again, “for shar­ing your booth with me.”

     We spent the next two hours drink­ing and talk­ing, although after all of the mar­ti­nis I had, I’m not really sure what we dis­cussed. I remem­ber some­thing about the Boston Red Sox, and Weird Al Yankovic, but the rest is a blur.

     Mostly, I remem­ber her hand caress­ing my arm when I said some­thing funny, and appar­ently, I was a freakin’ comic. And the way her body slowly leaned into mine as the evening pro­gressed, until her toes were mas­sag­ing my legs and I was one step away from tak­ing her in that booth, right there, in front of God and everybody.

     After she had me good and hot, and I mean microwaved through and through, she told me that she needed to use the lit­tle girl’s room and did I mind? With a smile and the ten­der­est of kisses on my cheek, she got up and disappeared.

     I was imag­in­ing how the evening would end, when two police­men entered the bar. They looked around the room, looked at me, at each other, and then came over to my booth.

     “Could you stand, please?” the taller one asked me.

     Being an agree­able drunk, I did as I was told. They turned me around and placed my hands on the table, then a pair of hands pat­ted me in some most pri­vate places. I saw them place a big stack of money on the table, and a big gun.

     “Wow!” I said. “Where’d you get those?”

     “From your pocket, Eddie,” the short, fat offi­cer said. “If you’re gonna rob a bank, three blocks is prob­a­bly not far enough for a getaway.”

     “No, no,” I cor­rected them. “I’m not Eddie. It’s an hon­est mis­take. I look just like him.”

     “Yeah, right,” they said, and hand­cuffed me.

     I woke up in jail the next morn­ing, called my buddy who’s a pub­lic defender and finally con­vinced the police that I wasn’t Eddie Singer. We went out for cof­fee and that’s when I saw it on the news: Eddie Singer and his part­ner, an attrac­tive grifter named Bar­bara LeFang, had ripped off the local branch of the Bank of Amer­ica, and were still at large, as they say. I had been Barbara’s stooge, her red her­ring to ensure Eddie’s escape.

     As I thought about the evening, the smell of her per­fume and touch of her hands, fol­lowed by my night on a cold, hard cot, I tried to feel angry and used.

     Too bad I couldn’t.


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