The Taste of Magic

Chapter 33

I was dying.

Not from a heart attack, mortal wound or liver failure (although at my current rate of alcohol consumption the shutting down of one of my body’s most vital organs couldn’t be too far off). No, what I was dying from was the excruciating task of listening to a 19yr old girl talk about 19yr old girl things.

From the second I’d met Justine at the cliché Italian restaurant I suggested we go to for our date I’d been the unwitting victim of a non-stop verbal assault that had to do with the likes of high school ex-boyfriends, family drama and the various plots and sub-plots of at least 10 different reality TV shows.

At first I thought this audible diarrhea would subside after its initial outburst but as time wore on it became clear that there was no end in sight to Justine’s raging river of rant.

So I was downing drink after drink in an effort to endure this ongoing earful of agony. Nodding my head and asking questions I had zero interest in knowing the answers to in a desperate attempt to fill in the space between now and when our food would arrive so it would give her mouth something else to do besides talk.

“Wow, you sure can drink a lot.”

“I thought it’d be polite of me to drink for the both of us since you’re (gulp) underage and all.”

“How thoughtful of you. By the way, did you know that I used to be a model?”

“No but something tells me I’m about to hear all about it.”

“Yeah, when I was in junior high I used to model for stores like Macy’s, JC Penny’s and Old Navy. You know, mall fashion.”

“Ahhhh the mall.” I say with a note of nostalgia that takes me back to the days I was in junior high and going there with my girlfriend so we could have sex in the fire escape stairwells. What I wouldn’t do to be doing that right now. Actually to be doing anything other than what I was currently doing, which, as already stated, was dying.

“Yeah, I made a lot of money from those jobs that my mom still has control over but once she gives me that cha-ching I’m getting a fake ID. That way I can have drinks with you at dinner and go to the bars with you and your friends.”

Drinks at dinner AND going to the bars with me and my friends? Only twenty minutes into our first (and probably last) date and Justine was already seeing a lot of her illegally intoxicated self in my future.

I on the other hand was wondering if I’d still be in her future by the time the food came or if I’d have already excused myself to go to the bathroom so I could crawl out its window and flee this conversational crime scene with some semblance of my sanity still intact.

“Yeah there’s nothing I enjoy more than to get a few drinks in me and get fucked doggy-style.”

It takes very little to change a man’s mind about something especially if that something has the words get fucked doggy-style in it.

That being said, within the span of one one-thousandth of a millisecond I found myself paying full, upright attention to what Justine had to say with no desire to go anywhere except further into the conversation she’d just initiated.

“Did you just-“

“I did.” she says in a low, sultry tone as our dinner arrives. “So let’s enjoy dinner and then go back to your place, have some drinks and enjoy whatever magical things might happen.”

“Uhhhh…sounds good.” I tell her as our waiter sifts parmesan over our dishes and gives me a subtle nod as if to say Yeah I bet that sounds good, buddy. Bone appetite.


“How brutal was it? Are you ready to cut and run?” Kaleb asks as we stand out on The Floor twiddling our thumbs because there’s only a handful of clients in for services and they’re all in another Learning Leader’s row.

“We’re going out again next week.”


“Because I think I actually had an ok time with her.”

“You think? Were you drunk?”

“Not so drunk to where I can’t remember anything.”

“I’m listening…because there’s literally nothing else to do right now. What happened?”

“We had dinner then went back to my place and-“

“Did you fuck her?”


“It takes a lot to shock me and right now I’m shocked. Did you guys do anything?”

“Yeah. We had some drinks, watched some stupid TV show-“

“Which one?”

“I don’t know, some reality show where a bunch of women were yelling at each other in a restaurant.”

“Black or white women?”

“The majority were black.”

“That would be the Real housewives of Atlanta.”

“How and why do you know this?”

“Kaylie watches it.”

“Oh does she now? And when she watches it does she do so at your place?”

“Don’t try to Jedi Mind me, young Padawan. We’re talking about you and Justine right now, not about me and Kaylie.”



“So we watched that stupid show, had some drinks and then started making out.”

“Did her breath stink? Was she a good kisser?”

“No, her breath didn’t stink and sure, she was a good kisser.”

“And that’s everything that happened?”

“Why? I already told you we didn’t do it.”

“Which I still find hard to believe given Justine’s reputation.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“People talk, other than myself of course.”

“And what do these people say?”

“They say things like when her and Vin were dating that they’d go out to her car during sex and have lunch.”

“Uhhhh, did you mean to say they’d go out to her car during lunch and have sex?”

“Isn’t that what I said?”

“No. Anyway, who’d you hear this from, Vin? The guy that always had something to say other than the truth itself?”

“No I heard it from Ron.”


“Yeah Captain Ron. You know, the tall black dude over there running Phase 2?” Kaleb says, pointing at the section of stations by the school’s entrance that’s reserved for the crème de la crème of students that’s overseen by Ron or Captain Ron as he was known around school by enemies and friends alike.

“I know who Ron is what I don’t know is how he’d know something like that.”

“You know he smokes cigarettes right?”

“I do because he smells like them the same way you do.”

“I’ll remember that the next time you ask me for one.”

“Just get on with the story, Mongo.”

“Anyway, Ron likes to take walks when he smokes and for whatever reason his walking ground of choice is the parking garage.”

“That’s kinda weird.”

“Yeah I know. It’s almost as weird as going out there to, oh I don’t know, have sex in a car or something preposterous like that.”

“Can you just cut to the chase before we’re both so old that we’re collecting social security?”

“Sure. So on more than once occasion he’d be out there loitering around during the lunch hour and see the same car rocking back and forth.”

“And so one day he walked up to the car and saw Justine and Vin going at it?”

“No. But what he did see was a pair of feet sticking up that were wearing beige Jeffery Campbells and noticed that Justine was wearing those same pair of shoes later on that day. By the way, what was she wearing on her feet last night?”

“Beige Jeffery Campbells.”

“And there you have it.”

“So Ron came back and shared this with everyone?”

“Only the people he knew who would think it was funny which was pretty much myself.”


“So I ask you, anything else happen last night? Blow job, hand job, finger-bang?” he says pointing his hands at me like guns.

“Ok, something else did happen but first you have to tell me what’s going on with you and Kaylie.”

“Are you suggesting a quid pro quo, Agent Starling*?”

“I am. Besides, I know that deep down you’re dying to tell somebody anyway.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Because you’re the type of person that can’t allow any opportunity to brag about himself pass you by. So whatever it is that’s going on with you and Kaylie it’s gotta be eating you up inside by not being able to boast about it to someone else.”

“Wow, you really do know me. I’m touched.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“Fine, we’ve been seeing each other but you’ve gotta-“

“Not say anything to anyone because it could jeopardize your employment and even though you hate your job you’re too lazy to go out and find another one.”

“Spoken like a true scholar.”

“Have you guys gotten naked yet?”

“No! We’ve only been seeing each other for a couple of weeks. We’ve just made out and yes she’s a good kisser and no her breath doesn’t stink. Your turn, what else happened?”

“Ok, so we were making out and then she pulls down her pants and the next thing I know my face is in between her legs and my tongue is inside of her.”

“So you’re saying your tongue had sex with her but your dick didn’t?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying because something happened while I was going down on her.”

“Did she fart? Queef or Throw-up?”

“No her body didn’t expunge any air, gas or liquid.”

“Then what happened?”

“Her fucking mom called and she HAD to answer it and when she did they started fighting and then she started crying.”

“All this while her pants were down?”

“Yep. Her pants down, my dick down, everything down and then she ended up leaving.

“So how was it?”

“Watching her fight with her mom while her cha-cha was staring right at me?”

“Well, her cha-cha, how was that?”

“What do you mean?”

“Like, did it smell?”

“No dude, she’s a clean person, at least on the exterior.”

“Ok and?”

“And what now?”

“How was the terrain?”

“Oh for fuck’s sake. It was waxed and as smooth as…fucking Dreama’s bald-ass head.”

“Dreama? Why would you compare her vadge to his head?”

“Because he’s coming right towards us.”

“Why is the universe always trying to cram on more inch of its cock up inside my ass?”

“Yo, K!”

“It’s Kaleb, Jerome.” he says, turning slowly to face his eternal advesary.

“It’s dead in here.”

“What an astute observation. What do you think should be done about that?”

“I think you need to make some magic happen.”

“Welp, here’s the thing, Jerome, I’m not a magician. However, beings that you’re an actor, director and rapper I’m surprised that doing magic isn’t also included on your extensive entertainment resume.”

“I don’t find your sarcasm entertaining and for your 411 I’m SAG / AFTRA and ASCAP registered. I’m legit.”

“Too legit to quit aren’t you?”

“Get moving.”

“Doing what exactly?”

“Rounding up all the Future Professionals that don’t have clients and teaching a mini class.”

“A mini class on what?”

“Hair, smart guy.”

“I’ve got a better idea. How about I round up all the students-“

“Future professionals.”

“And you freestyle some of your sick-ass rhymes for us. You know, G’s up hoes down, that sorta shit.”

“If anyone wants to hear me rap then they’ll have to buy my album, you especially.”

“Yeah ya see, I don’t think I could afford such a musical masterpiece on my meager salary.”

“And if you’d like to keep that salary then you’ll do what you’re told because I don’t wanna come back here and-“

“Then don’t. I won’t be upset and I won’t feel abandoned, I promise. I won’t even miss you.”

“And see everyone STANDING AROUND.” Dreama crescendos by losing his cool. “Now get to it!” he concludes as he storms off.

“Are you still planning on going out with Mairena on Saturday night?” Kaleb asks while rubbing his chin.

“I am.”

“You plan on kissing her with the same mouth you went down on Justine with?”

“Jesus dude, why do you have to make it sound like that?”

“Because it’s fun.” he says as he scans The Floor. “ But beings that you’re going out with her…Hey, Mairena!”

“Oh! I know her!” Myday yells back from across the room as she talks with two other girls while munching on a bag of Hot Cheetos.

“I need you for a sec.” he hollers then turns to me. “I’ll make her pretty for your guys’ date. Now grab your shears and a cape and follow me.”

I reluctantly do as I’m told both wondering and fearing what Kaleb’s idea of “pretty” is going to be.

“Ok for anyone who doesn’t have a client which is pretty much everyone, I need you to come over to the last station in the first row because I’m about to make some magic happen.” Kaleb shouts.

“Ooooooo I love magic!” Myday screams as she glides over. “It’s a dream of mine to be a magician’s assistant!”

“Well then your dream is about to come true because I’m gonna make your hair disappear.”

“Ok! Wait, WHAT???!!!!”

*Agent Starling is a character from the book and movie Silence of the Lambs. The movie is a warm and endearing coming of age story that centers around a young female student at the FBI academy who’s tasked with the job of interviewing a brilliant psychiatrist named Hanibal Lecter in the hopes that he can help her and The Feds track down the serial killer Buffalo Bill who, when he’s not skinning his victims alive to make a human body suit he’s dancing around his living room with his penis tucked in-between his legs.

Dr. Lecter, who is not only renowned for his superior intellect and charming charisma but also happens to be a violent psychopath, is housed in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane due to the fact that he enjoys dinning on human organs while paring them with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

It’s here where Agent Starling and Dr. Lecter build a rapport. She asks him questions pertaining to Buffalo Bill and he asks her questions pertaining to her childhood in a give and take fashion, otherwise known as a ‘quid-pro quo’. Lecter ultimately garners the intimate details of Starlings life through his subtle ways of extracting information from her the way any good psychiatrist would and in the end helps her come to terms with the tragedies of her past which allow her transition to the woman-warrior she becomes.

The film cleaned up at the 1992 Academy Awards garning both Anthony Hopkins who portrayed Dr. Lecter and Jodie Foster who played the role of Agent Starling as well as winning for Best Picture and Best Director.

The sequel Hannibal as well as it’s prequal Red Dragon, didn’t nearly do as well but they were far better franchise installments than The Fast & The Furious with plenty of audacious violence, snarky dialogue and the continued consumption of body parts for dinner.

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