Henry Lee and Mary stayed in the hall watching Bill. From their point of view, he stood over the egg wash an insufferable amount of time doing nothing but staring into the eggs. Henry Lee swore all they’d done was smoke weed and drink bourbon. Mary sensed Bill was on something else and she was hell-bent on finding out what.
In all, she let an hour go by. Bill had still not touched one piece of fish and had not even wet his hands. When she could bear it no longer, Mary finally addressed him.
“Boy, how long you gonna stare into those eggs?” she asked.
“As long as the dancing girls dance,” Bill said.
“What does that mean?”
“It means I’m watching a show. When did you get your tattoos?”
“What you been smoking boy?”
“I popped acid.”
“That explains it,” Mary said. “Here. I’ll get you started.” She stepped next to Bill and did the first piece of fish.”
“Wow,” Bill said. “I could do that.”
“Yeah. You’re supposed to be doing it.”
“See the rainbow?” Bill asked. He pointed into the egg wash.
“Yeah, I see it,” Mary said mockingly, shaking her head. “White boys,” she said aloud but to herself.
“White boys what?” Bill asked. He kissed Mary on the back of her neck then used the opportunity of her occupied hands to reach unfettered up her kitchen dress from behind. He kissed her neck more as he took intimate liberties inside there.
“Boy, I’m gonna kill you when my hands get clean.”
“Screw it,” Bill said. He found her spot. He knew he found her spot when she stopped squealing and started squirming. “Got you, don’t I?” he said. He kissed from her neck over to hear ear, sucked gently on her earlobe, then kissed around her on her cheek until he found her lips. “Now you’re the dancing girl,” he said. But even as he fondled her, fiddled with her and kissed her, the non-existent tattoos on her arms danced and the images in the egg wash, now somewhat distorted by the waves Mary created from dunking flour-coated fish, shone brightly. “Wow,” he said. “Really trippy eggs.”
When Mary had finished all the pieces of fish on the tray and had laid them out breaded on the other tray, she did not move. She did not say anything and she did stop Bill from touching her and kissing her. She prayed Bea did not come around from her station and see them. She prayed Tommy did not come into the kitchen to see that everything was getting readied for the dinner. She hoped Henry Lee did not come up from downstairs and see her with Bill’s hand up her dress, with her now leaning into his hand and moving with his fingers.
“Don’t stop now,” she whispered to Bill amidst the kissing. Bill kept his fingers working, saw Mary with one hand in the flour and the other in the breadcrumbs kneading the materials almost like a cat. She was moving with his fingers, kissing him with her tongue. “Keep going,” she said. “Keep going.”
Bill closed his eyes. Inside the darkness were the billions of teeny-tiny dots of all colors. He could feel Mary. She was a plethora of textures to his fingers. He knew she had no tattoos but they still danced on her arms. He could feel himself, half speeding, completely buzzed and fully aroused. He pressed on her from behind. “God, I want you,” he whispered while he kissed her.
“Crazy white boy,” Mary said.
First thing when it was over, Mary put the tray of breaded fish into the freezer. Then she washed her hands and straightened her clothes. Then she took Bill by the hand and led him into the side dining room. She sat him in a booth, not that he couldn’t have done it himself, and brought him some black coffee. They sat together for about fifteen minutes during which time she told him about Yulie.