His Bit of Fluff
By Jane Hyphen
'There's Dave with his bit of fluff,’
The four men all turned their heads towards the entrance, stared for a few seconds, made a few mocking grunts then sipped awkwardly on their pints in silence. A brief fantasy played out in each of their heads, similar but with a few differences, spontaneous scenes, explicit enough to cause a slight rise in pulse but fleeting enough to be forgotten in seconds.
‘Is that even legal?’ said Colin and the tension was released in a collective rumble of restrained laughter.
Dave nodded his head towards his mates but didn’t approach, instead heading towards the bar with his recently acquired lover sashaying next to him on towering heels, clinging to his arm. He was a traditional man and saw it as his duty to look after her. ‘What are you having, Wendy?’ he whispered, ‘your usual little drinkie.’
He ordered something stronger for himself, a pint of Special Brew because Dave was the sort of man who felt like he needed to blur the edges of his reality on a Friday evening in order to have a good time. Wendy was a cheap night out, she was quiet, unassuming, she was the sort to tread lightly through life. Some said she was heartless but she’d never deliberately upset anyone.
The only thing she was fussy about was her appearance but Dave liked that, he liked his women to look groomed, soft and feminine. She was sensitive to the weather, windy days played havoc with her hair. Apart from that she was easy going however, Dave’s mother was suspicious of her and referred to her as flimsy. ‘She won’t last, Dave,’ she’d say, ‘enjoy her while you can.’
Dave got up and went to the jukebox, clutching a fifty pence piece in his sweaty palm. He selected Wendy’s favourite song, ‘Gold Dust Woman’, it began playing immediately, and as he returned to their table, he incorporated a little bop into his walk.
It had taken years for him to find the right woman. All the crushes of his early years, the furtive desires of his teens and early twenties, the failings and false starts of his many relationships. Those girls who didn’t come up to his expectations or who ended it because they were disappointed with the deeper layers of Dave as they emerged. The initial dates usually went well but as more of him was exposed during subsequent meetings, some of the ladies labelled him a weird guy. They disappeared, leaving him in the dust, never to be seen again.
He spent many months alone collecting his thoughts and the detritus of his failures, discarding the worst parts, concentrating on the best pits and spinning them into something which resembled a blueprint for the future. Wendy was his dream woman in full technicolour; partly composed of all the textures of his past with some flexibility for the future, she was malleable, easily manipulated and mostly inoffensive. Although she made him sneeze. Perhaps, despite the obvious attraction, Dave was slightly allergic to Wendy.
Sometimes, getting exactly what you wish for can create physical distortion and make you a bit sick. It's a risk worth taking though.
They found a table and sat mostly in silence. Dave tried to hold her hand but she wriggled it away, she was difficult to pin down and he had to make all the conversation although she enjoyed his dry humour. Most importantly she stuck around and for that he was proud. He got himself another drink and relaxed into the evening. Some of the other punters stared at Wendy but as far as Dave was concerned it was simply because she was so beautiful. And the more drinks he had the more beautiful she became until his fuzzy consciousness filled in all the gaps and she was quite perfect.
At the end of the evening they stared into each other’s eyes and he scooped her up and carried her out of the pub. Her long hair trickled down over, tickling the back of his hand which made him laugh. She was so light, nothing but a strip of wind, as Dave’s mother had referred to her.
They returned to Dave’s home, the place where Wendy had been created. He whisked her through the front door, ignoring his mother who was seated on the sofa watching The Cruise. Ushering her upstairs, he couldn’t help noticing that she’d lost weight and it had come off the parts where he wanted her to be most voluptuous.
He crept downstairs and carefully opened the understairs cupboard. Fortunately Mother had the television turned up very loud and was smiling and tapping the palm of her hand on her lap while listening to Jane MacDonald singing ‘Love on the Rocks’. The vacuum cleaner was the sort that had a little window so you could observe the fluff in its various forms at your leisure. And Mother was an avid vacuumer, spending hours each day filling the device with detritus from every crevice of their home. The house was spotless.
Dave pulled out the dust holder, placed his hand over the top and returned to his room where he set about moulding it onto Wendy’s body. Circling his hands so as to sculpt her outline in the fullness that they both deserved, occasionally glancing at them both in the full length mirror. Once satisfied he laid her out on the bed and lay down next to her, sneezing a couple of times but feeling excited at the changes he had made.
In a giddy state of arousal, he removed his clothing, except for his socks, and switched out the light.