Kenneth Weene’s Melody still lingers on

(The van is waiting outside the Night Cafe when you’ve gotta gogh)

Good Morning, Literati!

Our contest “A Dozen Roses from a Single Thorn: A Valentine’s Day Love Story” continues.  Your chance to say it with flowers! The editor-in-love–oops!–in-chief will send a dozen long stemmed roses to the object (or preferably, a person) of your desire on Valentine’s Day.  AND you win other stuff just for you!  Here are the rules:

And here is Kenneth Weene recalling a melody from his past:

A Kiss At Doc’s
by Kenneth Weene
We hardly kissed; one quick peck as she was leaving — so short I could barely taste the waxy orange of her lips. Then she was gone. I’ll never know where. That’s how it is when you fall in love at Doc’s All-Night-Cafe.
Two kids, Melody on her way home from college and me just off work at the Cake Barn Bakery. Four in the morning: no time for thinking — clear or otherwise.
A couple of cops on break. A guy arguing politics with himself. Trish, the waitress, who knew I wanted apple pie with a slice of cheddar and a cup of joe before I walked in the door. The cook, Doc, whose real name I never knew.  And her, Melody, one sweet-looking girl.
I wanted her then; and now — thirty years past — I still do. Maybe it was the way she giggled as she read that book. Poetry it turns out, which I don’t get, but then she’s the one who was going to school.
Maybe the way she tossed her head. Her red-brown hair danced like there was sun splashing it instead of those grease-covered fluorescents.
Maybe the way her tits suspended in air. No bra, but wow, what a pair! What a dare!

Maybe it was just my being lonely, horny, totally clueless; a year out of high school and with not a plan or possibility. The gang at the Cake Barn talked about me and Clair, but it was only a rumor — the kind of light custard that fills bored nights.

And there she was. I sat down without permission and asked, “What are you reading?”
Next thing we’re talking about life and what we want and what makes us laugh or cry or just smile and feel good. We’re talking about babies: she loves them and me, I get scared around kids — scared I’ll start screaming like my old man.
Trish brings my pie, and Melody asks for more tea. I offer her a bite. She says no, but takes that slice of cheddar — picks it up with her fingers and eats the whole thing with nibbly bites and both of us laughing.
She wants to be a teacher or a nurse or maybe a photographer. I say that’s great and asks if maybe she’d marry me instead.
Melody laughed, tossed her hair one last time, grazed my lips with hers, and left. My eyes followed her into the night and, well, just about forever.  A brief kiss, a peck — still Melody lingers on.
As Johnny Cash once said: “Because you’re mine, I S.W.A.L.K. the line!”

7 thoughts on “Kenneth Weene’s Melody still lingers on

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    What I find in “A Kiss at Doc’s” is a well defined scene, characters with connection to each other when the mysterious woman captures the man’s heart not by her own design, but by her will to remain a brief encounter. Here is a love at first meeting which must be the last as well. There are both masculine and feminine measurings with balance which I appreciate in any story along with the sense of plausibility which easily placed me in that diner as a voyeur to the story. Thank you for a very sweet story of several human emotions which belong logically and hang together well.

  2. Michael Stang says:

    The breath of this noir plot swept me away to Doc’s instantly. I was waiting for someone to light a cigarette. The beauty here whether factual or otherwise is that the story happened. Anyone who has ever been grazed on the lips by a butterfly, can I have an amen. If you win,Ken, we will all have to pull together and find her.

  3. Diane Cresswell says:

    Ooooh I could read this forever. A walk down memory lane, nostalgia for the one that still holds a tight fist in our memory banks, homeyness of a diner…ah yes…what a delight. Sigh….

  4. Glclark says:

    This is Bogart leaning on the piano telling Sam about his OTHER love he left behind in Paris. Great story and Noir. I’m a huge noir fan and I would really like to find this story as the first chapters of the novel that’s trying to get out of your head. You have a real gift for the Bogart voice and do us all a favor – Finish this novel.

  5. Janet White says:

    I loved your original metaphors – especially the custard, to which I’m particularly partial
    . The ending was timeless and beautiful. Great short story!

  6. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    Just the briefest dream of love. How many of these moments do we miss when we wax poetic over wind swept cliffs and rushing waves of water underneath? You don’t have to be in college to be able to fall in love over poetry. This was so sweet <3 I loved it <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.