The Mud Test

the scorpion and the frog - the mud testShe was blonde. She was cute. She was sitting alone at the bar. The bartender would come over to her and say, So and so sitting over there wants to buy you a drink. She’d say, Fine by me, and order a nice glass of wine, something just above what she would normally pay for but not too expensive. It was a way to try new labels she might not like.

Within moments of her first sip, so and so from over there would be at her elbow saying something like, It’s not good to drink alone, or, Drinking alone is bad for you, or, I hate drinking alone. She didn’t mind drinking alone. It was better than drinking with someone she didn’t like. She would shoot So and so down, letting them know they didn’t have a chance, and they’d return to somewhere over there. But not the last one.

He pulled out the stool next to her, sat down and said, “My name’s Dick. What’s yours?”

She smiled at him. At least this one was cute. “Well, it’s not Dick, I’ll tell you that much. Thank you for the wine.”

“Oh, it wasn’t me who bought it. I just beat the guy who did to the stool. You can pay for your own hangover, that way you won’t be able to say I got you drunk before I took advantage of you.”

“Is that what you plan to do? Take advantage of me?” She smiled again. She could take care of herself.

“Isn’t that what So and so from over there wanted to do? Isn’t that what the wine is for? Isn’t that what everyone wants to do? Get one over on the next guy? It’s not like you came in here, sat down and said to yourself, Wow, I’m going to meet my soul mate tonight, in this place, sitting alone at the bar accepting drinks from strange, lonely men who came here looking for a woman who’ll let them stick their dick in them.”

She smiled at him for the third time. He fell into the bully category: Guys who tried to get their way through shock and intimidation. They could be exciting at first, but after their newness faded their brash manner simply hid the lost boy who was afraid to get close because of intimacy issues stemming from an overbearing mother. Guys looking for a mommy to rebel against, with the added benefit of make up sex.

“That was quite the tirade.” She sipped her wine. “What else have you got?”

He sighed. “You know you shouldn’t drink alone.”

“Really? I hadn’t heard that. Does alcohol change somehow when consumed alone?”

He turned his charm off. “I was bored sitting by my myself and you’re cute. I thought I’d give it a shot.”

Now it was her turn to have fun. “To get your way?”

“Yeah.” He ran his finger through the ring of sweat his beer bottle left on the bar top.

“To try to stick your dick in me?”

He looked up sheepishly, a flicker of hope in his eyes at the smile on her lips, wet from wine.

“And that stuff about soul mates?”

He looked down at the bar top again, hope gone. “That would be nice, but I’m not sure what it would say about me if I met my soul mate in a bar, half in the bag.”

“Would it say more about you if you met them at Starbucks, jacked up on double tall, sickly sweet, non-fat lattes? Or at a job that made you think suicidal thoughts? How about if you met your soul mate in line at the DMV?”

“Everyone has to stand in line at the DMV.”

“Exactly,” she said and they shared their first pause in their conversation. She sipped her wine. He swigged his beer.

He started it again with, “What do you do?”

She shifted on her stool to re-cross her legs, then smiled into his eyes. “I’m a hydro-colonic therapist.”

She could tell he was repressing a smile and touched his knee. “No, let it out. Laugh. You don’t want to hold it in and get constipated. I had a friend once who didn’t go for days, this was before I was a hydro-colonic therapist, otherwise I could’ve helped her, and she eventually went to the emergency room. The colon is a very sensitive part of your body. It reacts to all of your emotions.”

“And spicy Thai food.”

“That, too.” And they shared their second pause in their conversation, but they were now both smiling, beginning to enjoy themselves.

She began it again with, “Was your mom an overbearing bitch while you were growing up?”

“No. Why?”

“Just checking a theory.” She sipped her wine. “What was she like?”

“She was a great mom. Always there, always helpful. A saint, really.”

The bartender came over and said, “So and so over there would like to buy you each a drink.”

A man in his 50’s raised his wine glass to them and smiled.

They looked at each other. “Eew!”

She leaned over and picked up her bag from in front of her feet. “I think that’s our cue to leave. Let’s leave together, give him something to fantasize about later.”

“I don’t know if you’re being gross or nice.”

“Both. Many gross things are nice. Have you ever had a mud bath?”

*   *   *

The cute blond and Dick lay facing one another covered head to toe in dark, creamy mud the consistency of chocolate syrup. They shared a tub at Portland Mud the size of a twin bed, it even had rubber pillow to prop up their heads and shoulders.

The blond sighed loudly, her hair now filthy. She was enjoying herself, sweating in a vat of wet earth with a cute guy trying to hide his boner in mud not quite deep enough. If he wasn’t already red from the steam and heat, he’d be blushing.

She winked at him. “Looks like someone enjoys playing in the mud.”

He squirmed, trying to push deeper into the tub, but it just made it rise above the surface even more. “I’m sorry, I can’t control it.”

“I don’t mind. I see them all the time at work. Yours is kind of cute. It’s wearing a mud had.”

“Maybe if we don’t talk about it, it’ll go away.”

“That’s what rich people say about the elephant in the room.”

“It was pink elephants in my family.”

“This is so nice.” She inhaled deeply–her breasts appearing momentarily from the mud–and sighed again. “Have you seen any?”

He stared at where her breast had sunk under the mud. “Pink elephants? No.”

“That would be the cue for the pink elephants to enter. Do you go out drinking a lot?”

She could tell he’d had enough of the mud, and his buzz was probably fading. “I’m ready for a shower,” he said and sat up.

He didn’t ask her to join him and soap his back, but she knew he was thinking it. The mud always sorted the men from the boys. Those who didn’t play in it were trying too hard, and the others who played in it too much, slopped it around and flicked it at her, were still boys. She was looking for a man with confidence in his mud.

She’d hoped Dick had been her man, that he might rise to the occasion in more ways than he had, but she’d invited him more for not wanting to be alone than his potential as the one she was looking for. She was tired of searching and losing faith that she would succeed.

The urge to give in was getting stronger and she was afraid she would soon settle for someone like Dick who with time would be a dried out brick and the water that kept him living would always be carried by the women in his life.

She wasn’t going to settle tonight, not for this dick, even if it was cute wearing its mud had. She closed her eyes and sunk deeper in the tub, the mud just touching her lower lip. “You go ahead. I’m going to soak a while longer.”

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