It was the strangest summer of my life. It started with a wedding invitation that required me to leave my comfortable, quiet hills for a week in the noisy, stinky and crowded city.
The first incident happened when my designated chauffeur, a guy from overseas called Bartholomew, affectionately dubbed Barth the Moo for his quirky character, arrived at the airport in aunt Crozella’s ancient van – the one she used to pick us from the school’s playground when my parents were out of town.
Climbing into the passenger’s seat, I noted the pack of carefree panty liner, sitting open above the dashboard at once. If Barth found it strange, he didn’t say anything as he climbed into the driver’s seat and thumped the door shut with so much force, the van rocked for a few seconds.
“Ac ain’t workin’ so we gotta leave the windows down,” he said as he started the ignition. The old van farted, burped and finally roared to life, the sound like of those old western trains chugging along the railroad. And god, just as loud. I could just see myself dying in half an hour from a headache, or a heat stroke (temps were over three digits!), maybe even an accident when the old metal can exploded with us inside.
I saw it then, how could I miss it? Barth had a panty liner stuck to his right palm. He grabbed the steering wheel with both hands – the thing looked like it needed a sailor to navigate – unaware that he had something glued to his hand.
I recalled Cousin Deloris talking about Barth’s prostheses, but I was pretty sure it was the left leg, not the right arm. And then I saw the second panty liner, stuck to the headrest of the driver’s seat. And when I pulled away, there it was, another one on the headrest of the passenger’s seat.
“Uh, Barth?” I said, unsure how to say this. How did you tell a guy he had a female sanitary napkin stuck to his hand?
Barth noted my flushed face, gave me a reassuring smile that showcased white, crooked teeth, swiped his right palm over his face, patted the sweat from his neck.
“You’re hot?” he asked, reaching for the carefree box and offering it to me. “It’s great absorbent,” he dropped the box on my lap. “It’s perfumed as well, so you don’ smell sour either.”
I stared at the box in horror, and all I could think was that I had an entire week ahead.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a ‘sanitizing napkin’ ad. The first thing that came to mind was something that killed germs and bacteria. The previous line started with ‘highly absorbent’, so my mind produced the image of hands rubbing a tissue between sweaty palms. It was only when I read the entire paragraph and the word ‘female’ and ‘pantyliner’ came up that I realized what I was reading.
This is just a piece my muse spat out amidst the edits – I know, we need a break!
Hope you had fun!