by K. Medeiros
The erotic tale of a cart pusher and a cashier. The beginning - no graphic scenes wrote
|A line of sweat trickled down my spine as I entered the store. Taking my hat off with my only free hand, I used my thumb two wipe the sweat from my eyes. I replaced the hat, positioning the bill down the back of my scalp. Scanning the rows of carts, I nodded, approving of the last row being, finally, complete. Pivoting, I reached and pulled the rolling door shut behind me before pacing to the vestibule entrance. I paused to let a family of four customers take two carts, grumbled under my breath at the foiled perfection of my work, and stepped through the automatic doors leading into the store. A breeze caught me mid-stride. Something about the line between the vestibule and the sales floor always seems to create a sense of ease, of victory. I might be the chance to breathe after such a hard rush that causes the feeling. Probably, it's the rush of air that chills every line of sweat as I pass through it. In either case, I always find myself pausing halfway through the doors. Finally crossing the threshold, I made my way through the crowd. I slipped past rushing people and spun around the suddenly jutting cart in a seeming automated waltz across the front of the store. I call to each cashier, by name, as I pass them – my voice bright and energetic despite the weight of my given job. The men holler in return. It's become custom, like fellow warriors in a tribe. The women, however, give a subtle hint of things unspoken.
People grow up with stories, whether told with voice word or moving picture. They tell us how to act, and they teach us who to look for – the warriors; the nobility; the damsels. Some roles we seek out. Some we grow into. There are some, though, that are inherent to the world. Take the stable boy, meek and downtrodden. Little girls read of them in their fairy tales, and grow up dreaming of them in their romantic fantasies. What most don't realize is that there's always a stable boy nearby. Be it the repair man, rough and greasy; the silent janitor with large, strong hands; the cart pusher dripping with sweat and grime. Every stifled sneer from the older women and batted eye from the young ones reminds me of this. Even if they don't recognize the fantasy, their bodies react to it like the whispered taste of a drug lost in time. As I cross the line of registers, I see the glaze of subconscious fantasy and I consider the visual candy the cashier plays. Motherly women bag every item as it should be, giving customers a feeling of stability and unassuming safety. Girls barely out of school chatter with the men, letting their charismatic youth distract from obvious inexperience. The female customers are happy to have a stable cashier. The males linger on a vision of times and lusts gone by. I love to toy with cashiers as much as they love teasing the men at their tills. Most of the time it's all lighthearted teasing – a wiggled brow and a jab at the ribs. The sexual tension, however, rises with the humidity. From halfway along the row of registers, I saw today's choice bit of candy. Alice stood in a half lean against the side of her machine. Products slipped from one hand across the scanner and fell into its plastic bag with the help of her other hand. For having only just turned 19, she ran her cash register like she'd been working retail for a decade. The machine beeped with a concurring rhythm, keeping beat to the chipper conversation that smoothed each customer along their way. I smirked at the irony of it – one of the best cashiers being one of the easiest to tease and fluster. A cart grazed my hip as my dance had fallen out of sync. I called a brief apology to the customer as they huffed by, and I skipped along the store front. The edge of her khaki skirt brushed against the back of her cocked knee as she half leaned into every word of small talk. My eyes traced the line of skin peeking out from a side slit in the khaki fabric, and I knew the man she faced was fighting to keep his eyes out of her C-cup cleavage.
“Carl!” Keith's voice jarred me from my own daze, sending me almost headlong into a passing cluster of customers. “Could ya help this customer out to their car?” His voice was deep, yet somehow Keith managed to keep it happy and personable. With a jutted thumb he gestured to an old man with an oxygen tank in his cart. Bags of cans and jars were stacked and heaped around the metal canister. Whitening knuckled hands gripped the cart handle as he shuffled away from the register. Smiling with a silent nod, I looked the man in the eyes and said “It'd be my pleasure, sir. Which way are we headed?” He took a long breath through the oxygen hose, wheezing as he pointed away from Alice. “Those doors, I think.” Forcing a smile against the disappointment, I stepped into the current of foot traffic, and gave the man room to push his cart into the aisle. We made our way to the sliding doors, each step taking an agonizing minute to reach its mark. As we crossed back through the rush of cold air, I could feel goosebumps spread across my body. Then we were passing through the vestibule and beyond to the sun beaten parking lot. The man stopped his cart just beyond the doors to scan the nearby parking spaces for his vehicle. I mumbled a hushed thank you and drew a breath in as people pushed and squeezed past the cart my customer had parked firmly in the middle of the pathway. “No,” he sucked in another long , nasal stream of air, “it has to be at the other end.” The cart turned with his body, missing a small child by inches, and we were stepping out from the shade and into the street. With my wrapped hand, I flipped the bill of my hat around, and smacked a metal hook lightly in the temple. It was a nice distraction from the numbing task of escorting the nearly dead to their car. We stopped at the head of each row so the customer could check for his car. By the time we reached the opposite doors he was muttering something about having to check the other end again, when a silver sedan pulled up and stopped just in front of us.
A woman in her late thirties stepped out of the driver's seat, and rushed over to the old man. “Alright, Mr. Lawrence. This boy and I are goin' ta load the groceries up while you get yerself settled.” She drew the canister from amid the pile of bags, and helped the man into his seat. Watching them, I could only reflect on how she called me “boy” - just another stable worker, pitiable despite my physical strength. We loaded the bags into the trunk of the car without a word, and I walked the cart into the store. The smell of old cola and beer lingered in the expanse of this other vestibule, wafting in from the adjacent row of grinding machines. I watched the small group of people with their bags of trash, putting used bottles and cans through the holes like coins in a slot machine. Eventually the house always pays out. We just happen to pay in nickels. Closing my eyes, I shut out the pitch of a can whining and screeching as it turned sideways in the crushing gears. Spinning the cart backwards, I locked it into the front of the nearest row and walked back to the sales floor. From the change in angle, I could watch Alice's eyes as she worked. Stepping away from the coming and going people, I took in all of Alice's front. Her face, pale and primped, did everything to accentuate the blue of her aquamarine eyes. Her cheeks rose to dimples as she spoke, teasing a hidden laughter that made everyone she talked to want to giggle along with her. Waves of auburn hair hung along the sides of her face, pulled over her ears and back into a ponytail. The woman she was helping stomped an angry foot as the words “spoken down to by a little squat like this” rose sharp in the air. Breaking through the line of customers, I trotted across the entryway stopping just behind the customer. “Would you like help with your bags, ma'am?” A quick glance revealed a flushing red on Alice's cheeks. Turning my full attention to the customer, I met her eyes and smiled as if nothing in the world could break my spirits. She matched my height, and let all sixty pounds she had over me burn in her stare as our eyes locked. Her left arm trembled as she searched for the words to complain with. My smile remained, stoic and bright. After a long moment she only shook her head, snatching the receipt from Alice's hand. As the woman trudged through the doors, I saw a lone bag sitting on the spindle.
I gave Alice a quick wiggle of my eyebrows and ran after the woman with the bag, calling out “Ma'am? You forgot a, ma'am!” She spun, frothing at the corners of her mouth. I handed her the plastic bag, sagging heavy with small tins of cat food. Her fury melted away, revealing gratefulness in its wake. “Thank you.” The words came out forced, as if they were dry heaved from the pit of her stomach. Smirking, I gave a slight bow with a hint of flair in one hand. If the woman had turned back to raging, my mind was already removed, set back on Alice and her firm breasts threatening to force their way out of her already thin blouse. I stepped back to the sliding doors and watched as she finished the last customer in her line. Gazing, my vision pierced to her own eyes until the weight of it forced her to look up in mid scan. The tube of toothpaste, letting it hit the floor before she realized what had happened. I smirked as she let a short gasp out and rushed to pick the tube up from the floor, and cleared it from my face by the time her eyes met mine again. Instead, she found my head lowered, eyes focused on some unseen spot in the concrete tiles. My shoulders sagged in dramatic despair as I turned and sulked my way to the bottle room door.
--WC :: 1808--