June 21, 2010
Hello and Happy New Year! First, I must apologize for placing this letter on your conveyor belt and then disappearing into the soup and rice aisle. I hope these words have successfully made their three-foot journey into your delicate fingers, and I hope that you have the time to read this letter in its entirety before scanning another item for another customer. I purposefully picked a slow time at the store for this. There are so many things I’ve wanted to say to you over the past ten months I’ve been shopping at this grocery store, and I hope you can soon understand why I am approaching you in the form of a letter.
You should probably know who this is from before I go any further: I’m Brian with the tiny silver globe on his key chain. You mentioned that you liked it once, back in October, when you asked for my preferred shopping card that was attached to my key chain. If that doesn’t jog your memory at all, I am 43, tall, in good shape, part my brown hair down the right side, wear a black blazer quite often over a white button down, and I always buy a Sun-Times. Twice I’ve told you that your hair looked great. Once I blessed you after you sneezed, and you said that you didn’t hear that enough. If none of that is familiar, then you will surely remember the three-week span where I bought nothing but bananas and cigarette lighters.
Yes, it’s “that guy.” Ha ha. It was a strange time for me, but I’m better now. By the time you have gotten to this paragraph, I will have already driven away from the curb, headed home to berate myself for pulling such an immature stunt. Please believe me that I’ve never written a love note to a woman before. I don’t write notes, or letters, at all, so please bear with the bluntness of what I am about to say.
I think about you. I think about you in a way that causes my heart to pound in my temples. I think about how you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever been in contact with, and in my line of work as an insurance claims examiner, I tend to meet a lot of women. Clumsy and accident-prone women, yes, but women all the same. I think about your smile, Francine, and about your eyes, and about that time last week when I saw the slightest bit of tanned skin between the bottom of your shirt and your jeans when you reached into the register for my change.
Yes, I think a lot about your body, Francine. About your breasts that pull hard at the buttons running down the middle of your shirt. About your rear end that can hardly breathe in your blue jeans. About your adorable feet. Your tight neck. Your clavicle. Your navel. I think about it all. Please, please, please see these as compliments. Please do not feel uncomfortable. Please read on.
When I think about all those things, Francine, I think of having one perfect night with you. What I want, what I really want, is to lay you down on your conveyor belt – right in the middle of the Sunday evening rush – and have some of the most sensual sex we’ve both ever had. I know, I know. That’s impossible; you would be fired, and I would most likely be identified by any number of clients of mine who shop at your particular Jewel-Osco. All bad for business.
However, I do have a plan. This is what I am suggesting: On this coming Thursday, when you normally work late (if I have my calendar in order like I believe I do), I want you to hide before closing. I don’t care where, but I might suggest the stock room or in the southwest wine corner behind that new, half-circle cabernet display. There’s always the bathroom stall where you could do the lifting-of-the-feet trick, or you could consider ducking under the honey wagon at the end of Aisle 4. Judging by your nice biceps, I bet you could climb to the very top of a shelf and just lie flat for a spell.
Because, if I am not mistaken, you want me as much as I want you. I have seen the signs, Francine. The way you look me up and down. The way you lick your lips and fix your hair when you see me two-deep in your line. The way your voice quivers when asking me if I’ve heard of the day’s special offer. Do. Not. Be. Embarrassed. There is nothing wrong with the thundering cloud of sexual tension that hovers over our heads, but I for one can’t take it any longer.
So, this is what I want you to do. When the last light has been shut off and your manager has locked the final lock on Thursday, I want you to wait fifteen minutes before letting me in the back door. Do not speak when you see me. I will quickly lead you back to your check-out counter where you will stand there with your scanner in your hands, and I am going to get in line with my Sun-Times like it’s any other day. When you ask me if I’ve found everything alright, I will lean over the counter and lick your lips for you. I will fix your hair with a brush that I’ve grabbed on our way through the cosmetic aisle. And when we can’t take it anymore – when our saliva is running down each other’s chins and our breaths are in a heavy sync – I will pull you onto the front of the conveyor belt and remove your jeans. I will turn on the belt, and your shirt won’t stay on past the Reader’s Digest. And by the time you slide toward the plastic and paper bags, you will be naked and perfectly lined up for me to take you in. And then you will steady yourself by grabbing a hold of those metal bars that the plastic bags reside in. Here, I’ve actually drawn a picture:
I hope you don’t find that crude. Now let’s be honest. You are at the point in this letter, Francine, where you will either crumple it up, report this plan to a sister or a boyfriend or your manager or the police, or you will read on because you are on board with this, with me. Please keep reading.
To continue: After I satisfy you at your counter, we will run to the produce section where I will toss you onto the oranges (because I think they’ll be the softest fruit that will create the least amount of mess), and I will hum my head between your thighs like a man trying to get to the last drop of water on Earth. And when you orgasm you will shoot your arms out wide and pull dozens of oranges back over your body and onto my head. The oranges will bounce on the floor in slow motion. I will shout your name. I will point to the cucumbers and you will tell me yes or no.
And just when you think you can’t take any more, just when you think it couldn’t get any hotter, we’ll sprint to the dairy section for whip cream and sprint to the condiment aisle for sprinkles and then sprint to kitchen hardware for bendy straws. And at the base of the Kellogg cereal pyramid, we’ll spray and lick and crotch snorkel and eat and fuck and play a game with the sprinkles I call the “ant attack.”
If the answer to all this and more is yes, if you’re reading this and your buttocks are clenched and your neck is sweaty and you’re already deciding what type of underwear to wear, then please give me the sign and wear a red blouse to work on Thursday. I will walk by the front window to learn my fate. Please, Francine, meet with me. I will be gentle when you need me to be gentle, and I will be rough when you need that too.
Trust me. Trust yourself.
When I walked past the window Thursday evening and saw you in that red blouse, I just melted. I melted like Klondike Bars left in a car trunk. My heart stopped and then went twice as fast. The stars were aligned, Francine! I was the happiest man in the world. The fruit tables and the dairy section and the plastic bag metal things were to be ours, Francine. The following hours waiting at the coffee shop down the street were both torturous and glorious, and I confess the smile on my face caused quite a few to stare.
The nurse said that she would deliver you this letter and my (second) box of flowers after your three o’clock exam, and so I hope that they both brighten your day. If I were permitted to visit you myself, I would be at your side with a Reader’s Digest and sorbet. I would be there in five minutes. Judges, as you obviously know, work awfully fast.
My initial plans had their faults, yes. When I said to hide among the bottles of Cabernet, I made a mistake and meant the Sauvignon Blanc. I can understand why there was a tub of metal corkscrews back there, but I am very upset about the plastic toothpick trees just lying around behind the Cabernet display. I have already written two letters to the manager and one to the chamber of commerce. I’m so sorry, Francine. I’m so so so so so sorry. And I’m even more sorry you took the “don’t speak to me when you open the back door for me” so literally when you were in such pain.
Let’s be honest, though, the role playing was steaming hot. When you asked me if I had found everything okay and I said that I hadn’t, it was like we were in an Oscar-nominated movie. It was like Twilight meets Aladdin meets The Sixth Sense. And when I lifted you onto the front of the conveyor belt and you pressed the button, the vision of you coming toward me with your legs open was like looking at a naked angel I drew a year ago in the back of my daily planner. YOU KNOW, Francine, you must must must know that if I had foreseen the pinching hazard that your bottom was floating slowly toward, I would have thrown you to the floor and ravaged you there. Instead, you were pinched for those eleven or twelve seconds and we both screamed some things that I wouldn’t tell a priest.
But you were such a sport, Francine. You wanted me. You wanted us. You weren’t going to let a little 24-inch bleeding cut stop what we had. When you suggested that I carry you to the fruit section on my back so that I could pleasure you among the oranges, I never loved you more. And then things got better. Things got hot again. We got electric. You squirmed and screamed while I licked between your legs for that last drop of water on Earth. I keep going over it in my head, Francine. If only I would have pinned your hands. If only I would have picked the lemons. If only I wasn’t such a good lover. But we continued and you shot your arms up one too many times and now you’re planning surgeries and printing off my headshot to hang in the elevators and on the ER doors.
Oh, Francine. A little risk always accompanies a little nibbling. We can both agree on that, right? Right? When I had your pearl between my teeth, we both should have thought of the risks. We both should have been more careful. But no matter what, Francine, I don’t think I could have ever prepared myself and my jaw for the grapefruit avalanche that beaned off my head like sack of softballs.
I hope you continue to get your rest and that you recover fast. Let’s try to look at the positives as I end this letter: I didn’t swallow it, your manager showed up at the right time and had his car running, and this hospital has a great reputation.
I’ll give you the space you asked for (in writing), and will continue to apologize in any way I can. Please recover soon, Francine. My shopping experience hasn’t been the same since you’ve been gone.
A different version of this piece first appeared in the erotica collection, “39… And Still Holding.”