The Ink Well Prompt: Thongs, Thongs and Leather Shoes
Lionel was a well to do fellow, who liked to consider himself rather conservative. Yet, nothing could have prepared him for the moment when Guido showed up on his doorstep in nothing but a thong.
It was humid afternoon, and the bird life had all stopped chirping, seeking refuge instead in the quiet cool of the eucalypt gums. It was too hot for kids to even ride their bikes through the neighbourhood, and not even the most sadistic mother with a screaming infant on her hip would turn the rest of her brood outside. Lionel, too, felt the heat and he sat in his favourite recliner sweltering, trying to find a vision of himself in a far cooler place than this.
His favourite daydream was to think of his new neighbour in the retirement villa next to his. Her name was Myrtle, and he thought she smelt like lavender. He had always confused the smell of camphor moth balls and lavender, and certainly, Myrtle enjoyed the compliment. Usually he imagined all kinds of scenarios where the pair would have the opportunity to sweat – but today, this fantasy did not appeal.
With a dismissive shake of his head, Lionel leaned forward to strip off his knee length tan socks. With the temperature continuing to nudge up, he was certain decorum in his own loungeroom could be lost. As his toes gasped for air, Lionel sat back in his chair, and prepared to announce his eureka moment. Of course, the room was empty, but with a flair for the theatrical, Lionel did not dare lose the opportunity, “My dear Myrtle,” he began, in his clear baritone, “would you do me the honour of accompanying me to the aquarium? I will organise a guide to show us the sights of the seas”.
Lionel chuckled. Then he stood, and he went over to the phone which hung on his wall, and while squinting at a number he hungrily wrote down the day before, dialed Myrtle. He could hear the phone ringing in the villa one over, and then it stopped, and love breathed, “Hello”. And, following the script he’d just devised, Myrtle accepted the date.
Not one to disappoint, Lionel immediately turned his attention to ‘The Google Machine’ his daughter had purchased him a couple of months back. Lionel had occasionally had reason to use it. Mostly to look up the menu of local Chinese restaurants – but now, with a more specific purpose, he begun to type. Or, at least, held the pretence that this was what he was doing – as he wiggled each finger above the keys searching for each letter, eventually constructing words, and later, much, much later, strings of words without connectives. ‘Aquarium’, ‘Escort’, ‘Hot, ‘Date’.
Lionel clicked the first site that appeared, and he noted a smiling gentleman that would be his guide. The notes in the resume section of the site offered that he had many thongs, and of course – while Lionel would wear his own laced up patent leather shoes, he felt it was not his place to question the footwear of another, particularly given the heat. Lionel put his credit card details in, and was pleased to be able to find a drop down option for the time for Guido to attend his home.
Lionel was delighted, and he went off to dress for the occasion. His conservative nature had to be matched with conservative attire, despite his otherwise intentions for Myrtle. He did struggle, however, in choosing his necktie. Of course he felt red signified a certain passion, though he was concerned with the way it might clash with the blue of the aquarium, and ultimately, he settled on a sensible navy. He put his tie pin through, and sprayed a puff from an old bottle of cologne. He’d never called himself a dandy out loud, but he liked to think others might think he a snappy dresser. He began to practise his smile in the small mirror on his side table; but could not finish his routine, as he was interrupted by the doorbell.
And that’s when the horror began. He opened the door to a gyrating young Adonis, who was wearing nothing but a thong. Lionel was shocked and did not know where to look – yet, the young man kept bouncing and shaking and bulging and revolving and the vigorous movements kept coming closer to Lionel.
Horror fell on the old man’s face, and he looked aghast as he looked to the left. And there stood Myrtle shaking her head. She turned as quickly as her hip would allow her and retreated back inside. Lionel took a step backwards and hurriedly closed the door in a huff. He gasped, and looked through his peephole. He was pleased to see the young man had stopped his suggestive movements, but he couldn’t help notice his face fall. Guido had been looking forward to being Lionel’s escort, afterall, he'd never visited the aquarium before.