by Allen McGill

"He seemed really cool," Judy exclaimed Her long legs curled under her on her chair as she turned her back to the computer. "But all he wants to talk about is sex. And I want this to develop into a relationship with deeper feelings, something long lasting and significant."

Dark-haired, bosomy Seana looked at her friend with an exasperated sidelong glance. "Well, if that's the kind of guy you want to meet, you really shouldn't be hanging out in a chat-room called The Sleaze Parlor."

"Well, I didn't know what it was," Judy said. In a huff, she rose from the chair and crossed the bedroom to her dresser. Opening her jewelry box, she chose a selection of rings and silver necklaces. "I thought it said that it was a boy-meets-girl site. Turns out it's a boy-beats-girl- then-girl-beats-boy site. I think they're just kidding, though. Nobody really does those things...do they?"

"You don't want to know," Seana said, stifling a grin. "I guess you're right, though. There's just no telling who you're gonna run up against in one of those rooms.  You can't trust any of them, so be careful."

Judy continued dressing for work as they talked, stepping into a short, black leather skirt, buttoning her halter top and slipping her rings into place.  Seana said, "What you should do is go back to that nice church-oriented chat-room, the one where you met that nice seminarian."

"Oh, didn't I tell you about him?" Judy asked. "He seemed nice at first, but later all he wanted to talk about was him baptizing me in the bathtub, both of us naked, surrounded by candles, burning incense and playing The Grateful Dead albums. No, I don't think I want to go back there any more, thank you, those people are too weird."

"Well, you did get your job through a chat room," Seana offered. "Cocktail waitress jobs in decent places aren't easy to come by. Good pay, you don't have to work too hard and the tips more than pay the rent, if you work them right."

Judy sighed as she pulled on her high boots. "Yeah, after I had to send them a 'boob-shot' photo.  But, you're right, I shouldn't complain. But the thing is, I just can't meet anyone there to even have a serious conversation with. They're all so juvenile." She stood up, spread her arms, said: "How do I look?"  Slowly she turned full around.

"Well, let's see," Seana said, eyeing her with care. "Your tattoos are pinched to make them bright. All your earrings are in, and your eyebrow, nose and lip rings...oh, you forgot some, the three in your belly button."

"Oh, thank God you caught that," Judy laughed.  "It'd be,  like, going out naked, ya know? Those weirdos would just love that."

Originally from NYC, Allen lives, writes, acts and directs theatre in Mexico. His published fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, photos, etc., have appeared in print as well as on line: NY Times, The Writer, Newsday, Literary Potpourri, Flashquake, Poetry Midwest, Poetic Voices, Herons Nest, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, World Haiku Review, many others. He is haibun editor for Simply Haiku.
Contact Allen.