Lacey Legs

She was whistling “Three Little Birds” in the kitchen, switching into a soft and sweet falsetto whenever she wanted. She wore only the white cotton apron her mother had given her as a housewarming gift when she moved in with Donald 6 months prior. It showed off her tattoos beautifully and God he loved that.
Stepping into the kitchen he said, “What’s cookin good lookin?” His one-liners annoyed her made him endearing all at once.
“I was going to make egg white omelets, but then I remembered what day it was,” glancing slightly to the calendar, “So I said ‘fuck it!’ and made us egg yoke omelets and bagels instead.”
Donnie helped by putting some ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ on the bagels and setting two spots for them at their Craigslisted table in the breakfast nook. He looked around the apartment with a smile on his face sadly wishing for more room or a better feeling of coziness. What he saw instead was their studio and a half. There was one large living room with the giant and ancient CRT television. Halfway into the room was a partition made of hanging beads and a faux Japanese changing screen with swooping skylarks inked on. The bed was barely off the floor; in the Japanese style like the changing screen. The bed clothes, and their clothes lay all around it in a half hidden tangle.
“Hey Lace.” Donnie called.
“Yeah babe?”
“I love you.”
Lacey didn’t answer but instead walked out, pecked Donnie on the cheek and sat his plate down, spinning it towards him.

* *

Lacey and Donald first met at the Sunken Ship. The Ship is a run down bar that bands would play at on the weekends. They had gone to see Nosaj Thing with friends and had bumped into each other at the bar.
Donald had been wearing a periwinkle cardigan and straight legged jeans with a pair of his Dad’s once fancy shoes. And Lacey had been wearing a tight fitting leather jacket with a low cut tank top. This showed off her chest piece nicely and he told her so.
“Beautiful tattoo.”
“Thanks, I love her too. This is my Angeline, the multi-colored maiden.”
“Does it mean something special or…?”
“Yeah, I guess. I got it because the boy peacocks are the ones with the beautiful feathers. So I got Angeline and gave her more color than any of those swinging dicks!”
He laughed out of nervousness and flirtation. not because he thought it was funny. But they exchanged numbers before going back to their friends and Lacey called the next day.
“Hey there Donald.”
“Um...hi Laci, how are you?”
“Good, but do you know what? Your name is so bland...I think I’m gonna call you Donnie.”
“That’s fine, my Mom used to call me that when I was young!” Why did I say that?
“Well Donnie dear I was wondering if you wanted to get together today.”
“Yeah, sure I’d love to!” Over eager?
“Do you know the Twisted Kiss on Mulberry and Rosewood? It’s across the street from the AMC.”
“Yeah I think I know it, what are we gonna do? Do you wanna go see The Matrix at the theatre. I think they have that ‘flashback’ movie thing going right now.”
“Yeah maybe, but I’m getting a piece started on my leg and I need some company. And anyway, you can’t take me on a date yet.”
He must have said something. Everything she said came out so easy and sarcastic. He never enjoyed being playfully berated like this before, and wasn’t sure if he liked it now. He tried to play along.
“Why not? The tattoo place would almost be a date anyway, right?”
“Cool your jets Donald. It’s just a rule I have with men. If you want to take me out you gotta let me henna your hands. You can touch me as long as the henna is on your hands, but once it washes off we’re done. No harm and no foul, but unless I’ve convinced you to get something more permanent by then I just don’t see a relationship working out.”
“Can’t you get sick from henna if it’s done wrong?”
“You better hope I know what I’m doing then.”
She already had all the control and he didn’t mind. He was pretty sure it was just a game to her and he would try and learn how to play. He wanted to see the rest of that peacock.

After meeting up that night and getting his hands wet with that penetrating mud he got to watch Lacey get her tattoo. She was getting a octopus on her left leg. It weaved in between her existing ink and touched one tentacle to her heel. But instead of suction cups it had piano keys. Each tentacle contained a full piano’s worth of keys and Lacey had Tank shade on the first 4 chords of Beethoven's Fifth, apparently she was a musician.
Donnie’s iPhone hardly cast any light in this bright place. It said that “Adaptation” was playing at 8 across the street and they would just make it if they hurried. He didn’t want to go. Or, he did want to go but not right then.
As Lacey got up and used the mirror in her hand in concert with the full length mirror on the wall to look at the keys that stretched from her heel to her buttocks Donnie talked to Tank.
“Ha!” Shook Tank. “Lacey where did you find this guy?”
“We met up at the Ship, why else would I get a octopus?”
Well that sealed it didn’t it. Donnie wanted to give in and had been flirting with the idea but now he spoke with sincerity and dismissiveness at the same time.
“Tank. Can I get some ink here or do I need to go somewhere else?”
“Haha, no small-fry you are in the right place.”
Lacey had a heart shaped locket inked on a fine chain wrapped three times around her waist like a chained belly dancer. Donnie had gotten a peak at it from across the room at the Ship yesterday. Damn, was that just yesterday? Fuck it.
Donnie got a skeleton key on a 3” chain tattooed around his neck with a grinning skull holding that heart in-between its boney teeth.
They fucked that night. Donald had never done that before. He had made love and fooled around and screwed but never fucked. It was nice and made his chest dot with inky blood which got on Lacey’s sheets. She wouldn’t care.

* *

After breakfast, and having tossed their dishes into the sink filled with soapy water and dinner’s dishes Donnie and Lacey got into their Honda Element they had gotten used from Donald’s cousin. They drove to the Twisted kiss and feed the parking meter a dozen quarters.
“Hey Tank. Woah, what’s all this?!”, said Donnie.
“Just a little something me and Trish sat up.”
Tank aka Theodore Renold and Patricia Renold, Tank’s wife, would be their witnesses later at the courthouse. It had been 6 months and after getting the octopus and the skeleton key filled in Lacey and Donnie just kept going. Lacey had gotten a string of pearls on her ankle from the time Donald had taken her to his uncles place in Florida and they had found a clam with a miniature pearl in it. Donnie had gotten “Don’t Panic!” on the pads of his hands and read it often, on paper and skin. And Lacey tried a UV inked tramp stamp for clubbing. It was mostly faded now, but it had been fun at the time.
Today however was their wedding day and even though Donnie only wore a periwinkle cardigan and Lacey wore a tight leather jacket the raw infinity signs on the inside of their ceremony fingers meant the world to them.
As Tank and Trish pulled around the Mini-cooper they had borrowed and decorated for the occasion Lacey said, “Hey Donald, I’m glad you got that key around your neck.”
“Actually I’ve been meaning to ask, why is it so important that I got that piece done that night. Honestly it was a lot more like me to miss my chance and let the henna rub off.”
“Well,” she said, “Now-a-days ink lasts longer on skin than metal does.”


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