I said, "Ooo-oo-oo-wee"
She said, "All right!"
I said, "Love me, love me, love me..."
- Alan O'Day, Undercover Angel
By Patrick Alcatraz
FORT WORTH, Texas - I have maybe two good friends. Okay, three, perhaps four. Seven when I'm in New Mexico. Ten or so in Colorado. Many in Dallas. But the only friend who still wonders why it is I do some of the things I do is my college running buddy Paul Salvatore Infante, who as it so happens is originally from Brownsville down south, where I am at present. We talk, mainly about college, although he, like me, hates the Rio Grande Valley. "Get outta there!" he said again this morning, when he threw the name of Barbara Betts at me.
Barbara was a student in the U.T.-Arlington Broadcast Journalism Department who also dated the teaching assistant, a clown named Gary. She had this rather high back and wasn't all that attractive, at least not in the same league as our other class galpals Sarah Ramsbottom or Leigh Ann Hill. Those two were lookers. I played racquetball on campus with leggy Sarah and dreamed of dating Leigh Ann - a quiet, unassuming chick who perhaps knew she was frickin' beautiful. Pretty women know how to wear their beauty. It's not like in the RGV, where beauty is relegated to pictures in national magazines or some drag-ass woman asking me if I think her birth mark is sexy. Leigh Ann Hill put up with some tough, silly shit from us in class. Paul would sit in class waiting on his moment and then throw out, out of the frickin' blue, "Aw, if I could just climb that hill..." She would hear that and other juvenile inanities and always shake her head. I loved her handwriting, always attractive and in place - the opposite of mine.
Anyway, Paul was asking if I remembered the time he'd sicced Gary on me, when Gary had stopped by Paul's place to ask if Barbara had been by to see him. "Here, I'll tell you exactly where she is," he told Gary, scribbling the address to my off-campus apartment. I think I was watching my hair grow when the door knock rousted me from my boredom. I walked over to the door, opened it, and saw Gary standing in the rain. "Barbara here?" he asked and I, surprised as all Hell, said nope. He asked if he could come in and I said sure. Gary, who was something of an electronic equipment geek known to fix stuff for the campus radio and television studios, walked in, sniffed a bit and said, "Paul said she was over..."
"Not today," I said and he made a face.
The next day's laugh came from Paul. He confessed to sending Gary over to my place, adding, "I told him to sniff while he walked around your apartment after I explained that a guy has to know his chick's smell." I laughed, knowing that my place at the time usually smelled of fried catfish, mainly because my then-girlfriend Marcy worked at a seafood restaurant and would often bring me a plate of four or five filets after work. I still like the whiff of catfish when fucking, although that's a hard one for anyone in the RGV. Here, every chick usually smells like a pound of day-old beef fajitas, which conjures up different sexual enjoyment.
We don't know what became of Barbara Betts.
All I know is that there was that one after-bar-closings night on the toll road from Fort Worth to Arlington, when my mophead rested nicely, facedown, on Barbara's crotch while she motored my ass home. She would moan while shifting the car's standard transmission and later would tell me it was a quirky thing with her. I smiled at Barb in the halls and pretty much everytime I'd see her, forever remembering the smell of fish fondly...
- 30 -