FETTUCCINE ON A STICK WITH MINDY
by Matthew Sanborn Smith
We got fettuccine on a stick from a new street vendor. They were frightening things back then; Literally, pounds of fettuccine wrapped around a stick that nearly snapped under the load, scalding cheese sauce dripping from all around it. If you tried to tilt it away from your arm, the whole carefully balanced mess would be on the cobblestones before your change got warm in your pocket. We bought them every day.
On this day, though, Mindy was more interested with getting out of her marriage than with eating.
"See, he moved here from Ohio just a couple of months before we hooked up," she said, "And it's illegal to marry a twelve year old there. My lawyer figures he can do something with that because seventy percent of him is legally still a piece of that state. Atomically speaking."
"So you want him to go to prison?"
"I don't care. Why not? He probably deserves it for something." She peeled her food away noodle by noodle and dropped each strand into her mouth. The amateur method disappointed me.
"Why did you marry him in the first place?"
"Cuz my parents wouldn't let me eat fizzbombs."
"You married a stranger for candy."
It took a minute to make my offer, because there comes a delicate point in the fettuccine on a stick eating process, where a large knot of it will fall right off the stick if you're not alert and you've got to gobble it like a fiend to preserve the integrity of the mass. But finally I got the words out, even through an overfull mouth.
"I can have candy," I said. "Marry me."
"Minors can't marry each other, stupid. Besides, I'm a cunt, in case you haven't been paying attention."
A herd of rumbots rolled by and sprayed the air till our noses burned and I got a buzz just from breathing.
I said, "My uncle's Governor of something. I can get a special dispensation. You do something to me, Mindy."
"You're not in love, are you?"
"Then what is it?"
"Gimme your stick and look up." She did. Most of her lunch was still there and it had cooled off some. I held it over her head and with a twist, dumped the whole thing on her face. She began eating by reflex. Blood-red security eyes materialized in the open market to watch and couldn't bring themselves to look away. It took her a few minutes, but she put the whole thing down and belched at me from a greasy face.
"That's what I'm talking about, right there," I said. "I want more of that, whatever it is. I want to have sex with you while you eat fettuccine off of your own face."
"That turns you on?" she asked.
"No. No, it disgusts me. But it fascinates me more. I've got to have that, Mindy." I handed her some napkins and she got that far away look in her eye as she linked up to her lawyer. I heard her say:
"I don't want to screw around anymore, Flip. Just gimme a divorce, straight up. I think I'm in love."