Tamborine girl

March 24, 2001

i can’t keep my eyes off her, and i know that’s what she wants. i am trying to focus on the band, but my eyes keep roving to left of stage, where she and her guido boyfriend can’t stand still. she’s wearing a black tank top, a studded belt, tight jeans and stilettos. he’s in a plaid jacket circa the ’80s. she’s gyrating, and her blonde wisps swing back and forth to the beat. he is standing behind her, tapping her exposed stomach like a tamborine.

it’s not like i haven’t seen girls like her before, but see the thing is this isn’t a club. this isn’t even a bar with a good jukebox. this is a coffeehouse in orange county and the crowd is well underage. sure, the band is rockin’, but for the most part it’s good, clean fun, and she and guido belong somewhere else.

i look around the patio to see if anyone else is as appalled and annoyed as i am, and nobody seems to be. this makes me even more uncomfortable, and i start to wonder why she bothers me so much. is it because she is showing off a body i will never have? is it because she is more bold and carefree than i will ever be? or is it because i am giving her the attention that she clearly wants–and needs?

i tell myself that under all the lip gloss and rhinestones she really is just a scared little girl like the rest of us, but it doesn’t really help. and then i envision her rushing up to the stage after the show and tripping on her stiletto heel, falling flat on her face and letting out a squeaky scream, and it makes me feel a lot better.


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