The dark grey letters read ‘EASU’ vertically, top-down, across the pale white skin. It was clearly a partial of a longer word tattooed in the older Times New Roman font (I had to look it up). I was standing at the counter inside Wal-Mart waiting for my turn to checkout my items- two cartons of eggs and a carton of Vitamin D Organic Milk, but I found it hard to avert my eyes off those words and the lateral midsection the tattoo was laid on. The brunette looked like she was in her early thirties, big circular earrings, sunglasses propped and balanced on her forehead, and her hair was done in that asymmetrical way where a crop of front hair is piled at the top of the head and the rest is pulled back to a pony tail. On a normal looking person, I would say it would look funny, but she made it appealing with some carefully chosen set of accessories.
The visible section of the tattoo was to the left side of her body. The starting point of the tattoo hid behind the upper portion of her attire, hidden, and the visible string of letters ran down the side of her ribs, down the exposed side of her petite abdomen, before disappearing under her jeans shorts. The clothes Vs exposed skin ratio was lopsided towards her upper third of her body – her full sleeves dark top started right at the middle of her neck, covering entirely, and came down until it stopped abruptly at the place where her breasts would have ended and the only thing covering her body from there on down was her heavily beaded jean shorts, that lived up to its title as a ‘short’ and a thin pink flip-flop. She was one of those people whose midsection was disproportionately shorter compared to their lower body, so it looked as if she ran out of money for clothes after covering the top section of her upper body. Under the soft white lights of this Walmart Superstore, the tattooed portion of her skin along with the rest of her midsection was glistening in red, blue, purple and pink, with glitter. I can honestly say that, outside of Las Vegas, I have never seen glitter on someone’s stomach and lower back, and for someone who goes off on tangents pretty easily, I found them unexpected and alluring.
Although I wasn’t paying attention, there was also a white guy who looked a little younger than her, with carefully sculpted messy hair, and low hanging jeans – low enough for trying to be hip but not low enough to show confidence. The tattooed words ‘EASU’ and the viscerally impressive brunette where standing right in front of me while I only recall this dude in a grey blurry haze standing to her right side. They already had their items on the checkout carrousel – bread, cereals, cilantro, toilet paper, gallon of milk, a couple sticks of Burt’s bees wax for lips and some other items that I failed to notice, as my attention kept popping back to those words needled across the side of her hips. I tried to guess what the word was. I kept running through the possible list of words that have ‘EASU’ in them, that are long enough to run down an average sized woman’s body but not long enough to go past upper thighs. Of course, my vocabulary is not the most comprehensive, by any measure, and even if we only considered the limited set of words that an average person would choose to have as a tattoo, I was coming up pretty short.
One quick look around, I could see that every man within visible range of this woman was either blatantly or discretely looking at her, the difference arising from the practical constraint of whether they had a woman accompanying them at the instance. Some men were glazing vertically across her figure with their eyes lights up, like the new advanced scanners you find in the offices these days, while the others fixated their sight at a narrow set of anatomical zones. It is programmed into us and we are literally powerless against this sort of response, at least temporarily. And these types of women, and I use the phrase ‘types of women’ in a descriptive sense, take full advantage of it. They understand, or at least are clearly aware or, the fact that men are sub-consciously attracted to the typical female physique and they up the ante with attention grabbing accessories - lipstick and the glitter and an extreme shortage of clothes.
I was twisting my brain to guess what that word on her tattoo was, and all I got so far was the word ‘Easu’ from an unknown language that presumably used english letters. I was getting restless at this point, swaying back and forth, not too dissimilar to those religious man at the wailing wall. I started rationalizing that it was her sexually arousing figure that was impeding my capacity to think straight. Had the letters EASU was written on a piece of paper or some metal billboard partially out of view, I would have guessed the whole word with ease, I thought. The beeping sound of the checkout machine was hindering my focus and I became aware of the impending reality that the cashier was almost done with the couple’s items. I was running out of time.
Just as I was beginning to give up, the hairy hand of the guy who was standing in the blurry haze next to her travelled across her body, caressing her back slightly, wrapping around her curved hips and hanging itself by her side by hooking on to her shorts with its thumb dragging the shorts down by about three inches. As much as my attention leaped to see the edge of the bright pink clothing beneath the shorts, I was, strangely, pleased to see the letter ‘R’ revealed. A bread crumb; another clue; ‘EASUR’ – I can work with that.
As often is the case, when under rapt attention, I focus my sight, with extreme intent, at the object which is grabbing my attention, which in this case was, unfortunately, an area of the human body that is not supposed to be intently gazed upon, at any public space, not the least at the checkout counter inside a Walmart. But, in my defense, from a functional stand point, it helps me to think well, and in this particular instance, it quickly triggered two possible answers to my seemingly existential question: plEASURe and mEASURe. If TV, movies and Internet have taught us anything about stereotyping personalities, it is that tattoes worn by women, with 70 percent of their body exposed and have glitter on them, are about sex or at least a reference to sex. With that quick logic, I concluded with sufficient confidence that the word tatooed across this woman’s body must be ‘Pleasure’.
There was a long pause in the beeping of the checkout machine, indicating that they were almost done and as she turned, facing me sideways to use her credit card, I noticed that there were letters tattoed to the right side of her body as well. I could see the ink along the visible edges of those letters but could not make out the actual letters themselves. Oh dear God, there is more to this painful puzzle and she is almost done signing the digital panel. Quick, back to the intent gazing.
Ok, the answer has two words, she is dressed like a hooker, has glitter on her body, eyelashes are bright peacock blue and has tatoos running down to her private parts..
Pleasure , Ecstasy
Pleasure , Fantasy
Pleasure Available (I realize now that this one actually stupid)
“Excuse me! Are you looking at my Ass?”
“Oh, uh, sorry….I mean…no… I wasn’t..uh, sorry…”
She had this grossed out look on her face, and suddenly her boyfriend, with his red face and six foot body came into full focus. I was wrapped with tunnel vision at this point, but I could sense that everyone else in that Walmart was looking at me the same way they would look at an offender in Law & Order SVU. Time had stopped so nothing moved in the Universe. I thought was I was going to explode with pressure. Thankfully, she spoke, making time move again.
“Yes, you were. You were looking at my ass.” – she had a slight, feeling-sorry-for-you smile.
“Uh, no..I mean…I wasn’t looking at your, umm….” – I am pretty sure my face was a bloodless, pale white.
“You don’t have to lie!”
“No really, I was just looking at your tattoo” – I was relieved that I unfroze enough to produce real words.
“Yeah, really. I was just wondering what your tattoo said”
She quickly did this elegant ballad-like twirl of her body showing both sides of her hourglass figure, saying
“Oh, it’s TREASURE ISLAND; it’s my favorite book”.
[Post: 311 of 365] [Days Missed: do we really need these anymore]
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