Two. Peggy Paula has a kidney-shaped scar on her lower back from falling out an open window backwards at a disco.
She was there to meet men, but all the men at this disco seemed more interested in each other, though she couldn’t be sure,
she found a place by a window so she could see the men coming and going, moving her feet side to side, the disco just a warehouse with walls of windows and colored lights with roving beams,
a purple lightbeam getting her right in the eyes and Peggy Paula holding her clutch up to her eyes and backing away from it and right out the window,
the music so loud and the lights so frantic that nobody noticed.
She fell into the dumpster, staring up at the dark starless sky, her head nestling perfectly in the butt part of an old baby seat once it became clear she wouldn’t be getting out on her own.
The DJ cycled through Jive Talkin twice before she was finally found, Peggy Paula not being able to help singing along despite her numb toes,
despite the smell of rotten apples and wet cardboard and pee, How is there pee in the dumpster, it seems real inconvenient, Peggy Paula was thinking,
and I swear seconds later, she’d say, seconds later a boy in a sequin robe thing stood on some milk crates so he could pee into the dumpster, his blond head looking up,
and Peggy Paula still singing to herself so instead of screaming Hey or Stop she screamed TRAGEDY, and the boy so startled that his pee shot out and piddled the empty TV box just to the left
and he couldn’t stop, him apologizing Oh God sorry, Oh my God lady, I’m so sorry, my idiot dick I can’t stop, I can’t stop, and Peggy Paula just waiting it out with her eyes closed,
thinking how it smelled like warmed butter, or buttered popcorn, something comforting like that, thinking it was kind of nice, kind of intimate, and suddenly feeling grateful for the whole night
the torturous application of blue eyeshadow, then green, then back to blue; the realization that her new dance move made her arm fat shudder like tapioca in the pot;
the eye contact she made with a mustachioed man who squinted, getting her into focus, then turned away;
the crippling barbed loneliness that drove her out into the night and all the way to this disco—it was all worth it because it boiled down to this lovely private moment with a polite blond boy,
who drove her to the hospital so she could get 14 stitches , and on the drive home told Peggy Paula she had a pretty face, offered her a small white pill that made Peggy Paula long to be naked,
and the blond boy came in and lay on the couch with Peggy Paula watching late night television, moved closer and stroked her jaw, her nape, pet her arms, her thighs,
even gently pulling her knees apart and moving the back of his hand softly, lovingly, between her legs, Peggy Paula thinking I am his pet, thank God I’m his pet, Why are my clothes still on?
and falling asleep during a rerun of Andy Griffith, waking up to find the blond boy gone and her wallet and breath mints missing from her purse and a note that said Thank you I’m sorry Thank you
Peggy Paula loves that kidney-shaped scar.