Video Store Valentine
Click on image to enlarge.
by Goeffrey Knight
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Gay Fiction
Description: Cal Nichols' idea of the perfect Valentine's Day is to spend it aloneā?"until he finds himself in the middle of an armed robbery and locked inside his local video store with hunky store clerk Taylor. Now being in the wrong place at the wrong time has never been so right!
eBook Publisher: MLR Press, LLC/MLR Press, LLC,
eBookwise Release Date: March 2012
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [38 KB]
Reading time: 17-24 min.
It was here... again!
The one day of the year when lucky lovers get even luckier and hopeless romantics become just that little bit more hopeless.
"Wow, you're a real downer," the stranger sitting next to me on the subway train said.
"Shit," I cursed myself and moved seats.
This happened several times a week. Not the moving seats part, but the part where I turn my own internal monologue into an external monologue and vocalize whatever's in my head without even realizing it. The doctor gave me some pills once but they knocked me out completely. Have you seen My Own Private Idaho? I'm pretty sure they were narcolepsy pills that doctor gave me. I woke up three days later to find myself sitting on Coney Island's Wonder Wheel with my face in a bag of sugar-coated peanuts and a brand new yin and yang tattoo on my right forearm. Random, I know. Needless to say I threw the pills away and decided to manage my condition drug-free. I found that writing things down often helped. It was a way of getting things out of my head via pen and paper rather than via tonsils and tongue.
Back on the subway I made my way past the commuters with their once-a-year bouquets and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates clutched proudly in their hands, and found myself another seat on the train. I pulled my notebook from my pocket. On the cover I had written This notebook belongs to Cal Nichols as though I were a third-grader, but I figured if I ever featured in another episode of A Zombie at Coney Island, perhaps next time someone might rescue me from the Wonder Wheel and discover my notebook and return me home safely. In my mind that someone looks like Ryan Gosling. And if the good Lord above in all his infinite wisdom (and trust me, this'd be a wise move, Lord) would guarantee that Ryan Gosling was indeed my savior--swinging in front of me from a Ferris wheel, begging for my love--then by God I'll start praying right now!
But in the meantime...
I flipped open my own notebook to today's entry: my list of things that would make Valentine's Day bearable.
DVDs (nothing romantic!)
Chocolate (with nuts)
Chips (anything but salt & vinegar)
Slushie (Blue Lagoon flavor)
Pizza (supremo, no anchovies, extra cheese)
Pint of Ben & Jerry's (Chunky Monkey)
The plan was to phone up for the pizza once I returned from the video store with everything else on my list, which was why I was on the subway. I used to be able to walk to my closest video store, but in the last two years video stores started dying out faster than the dinosaurs. I know the world will always change, but sometimes it makes my heart sink a little.
I now had to take the subway to my nearest store and endure being called a 'downer' by perfect strangers. The truth is I'm actually quite an 'upper'. It may be all that sugar, but the buzz food helps keep my brain ticking when I have to get creative with my film-school assignments. Vampires and werewolves don't survive on salads, and neither do I.
I was thinking about my latest project--the story of a man who falls in love with a woman who's actually been transformed into an evil robot by a mad scientist, inspired by Fritz Lang's 1927 German expressionistic masterpiece Metropolis--as I left the subway and walked the block to Movie Mania.
When I walked through the door to the video store I was fully expecting to see the assistant manager Roger--who wore his geekdom with so much pride he had even written Ramjet under his name on his name badge--putting returns on the shelf. But as I looked up I was suddenly struck with fear.
Roger was nowhere in sight, and as if some mad scientist was up to some diabolical trickery, the person stacking the shelves with returns was--
--the hunky part-timer named Taylor!
Instantly I began backing out of the store, but before I could reach the door, Taylor looked up at me and smiled, his teeth so perfect and white I was certain there was a robot underneath his human facade.
"Hey, how you doin'?" he asked merrily, his entire persona nothing short of charming.
"G-g-good," I stammered, my getaway gone. "Thanks so much for asking."
Thanks so much for asking?
Desperately wishing that Roger Ramjet had been working the night shift instead of Prince Charming, I hurriedly turned and took refuge in the classics section.
The store was empty but for me, Taylor and a leggy young blonde holding hands with her college-jock boyfriend in the new release aisle. Oh, and Bette Davis. I only now realized that Taylor was playing All About Eve on the in-store monitors.
Goddammit! The bastard just went from perfect to demi-god!
Well, that was my opinion anyway.
The leggy blonde didn't seem to see any kudos in Taylor's choice to play a Bette Davis movie.
"What's this crap?" she whined to her boyfriend, squinting up at the screen above her head, like a mosquito trying to figure out God! "Is that an old Meg Ryan movie?"
"Concentrate, cookie-crumbs," her boyfriend said in between trying to suck the lips off her face. "Let's not spend all night here. I'm horny."
Suddenly the blonde spotted something shiny on the shelf and jumped up and out. "Oh muffin-hunk, what about this one?" she asked in a high-pitched baby voice that almost made me gag on the spot. "I looooooove this movie. It's soooooo romantic."
"Oh, pookie-buns, we saw that one twice at the cinema, remember?" the jock tried to reason. "Besides, we've already got a Kate Hudson movie."
"No, that's not Kate Hudson. That's Katherine Heigl. Oh pleeeeaaaase, muscle-cakes. It's Valentine's Day!" Suddenly her baby voice turned into a stripper voice in one very unnerving moment. "If you watch them with me I'll let you make a movie of your own. Starring me."
The boyfriend grabbed the DVDs, hurried to the counter and emptied the entire contents of his wallet looking desperately for his membership card and some cash. "We're in a bit of a hurry," he told Taylor who found the guy's card and started scanning the DVDs.
"Having a cozy night in for Valentine's, I see."
"I don't sit through rom-coms to get cozy," the jock whispered to Taylor, a suggestive smirk on his face.
Suddenly the blonde draped herself over her boyfriend's shoulder and smiled at Taylor. "We're gonna cuddle on the couch with popcorn."
"But not too much popcorn, right peach-pie?" said her boyfriend with a kiss, shoving everything back into his wallet and tossing Taylor a ten dollar bill without a second glance. "You wanna look good for the camera, don't you?"
"Oh, I love it when he tells me what to do," the blonde said to Taylor, pinching her nose to make a cute squirrel face. Suddenly she noticed Taylor's name badge. "Say, you've got the same name as that Twilight guy... although he's much cuter than you. Oh, no offense. It's just he's a movie star and all, you know what I mean."
"I know what you mean," Taylor shrugged good-naturedly, but the blonde was already back to begging in her baby voice.
"Oh snookie-balls, can we please get Full Eclipse too... or Breaking Moon... or whatever the hell the new Twilight movie's called?"
"No, booboo-boobs, we can't. We gotta go. Sailor Sam just ran the flag up the mast."
The blonde jumped up and down excitedly. "Oooh, seamen ahoy!"
With that, she and her boyfriend snatched their DVDs and raced out of the store.
As for me, after that I needed a fuckin' slushie!
I wasn't even certain that Blue Lagoon would be strong enough. At that point I was willing to take a chance on the strongest color preservative I could get my hands on! Anything to get me through this Valentine's Day!
I cut a beeline to the slushie machine, all too aware that it was only me and Taylor in the store now.
Breathing the same air.
Listening to Bette Davis elegantly bite and claw her way through All About Eve.
Getting older together by the second...which was kinda romantic in a weird way.