A Thousand Dollar Wedding from The Legend of Sky Diamond
Boy, the smell of chicken frieds was overwhelming. We’d all pile up at the Figaro’s bar between shifts at the Dollhouse. It was famous for Addison happy hours. Figaros was a weird joint. I can still smell it as if it was yesterday. The place served Italian food and had cheese shakers on all the tables, so you never could tell the difference between parmesan and dirty stripper panties. The chicken fried smells came from the waitstaff at the Black-Eyed Pea in the same shopping strip right there on Montfort and Beltline.
There was a huge disco floor with strobe lights. People rarely danced in the afternoon unless they were lit up like the lucent dance floor. I still can’t hear “Sweet Dreams Are Made of These” and not smell fried meat and cheese. The scent fills up your olfactory until it’s consumed with decaying animal fat. It smelled even worse off the clothing. We’d be sitting at the Figaro’s bar throwing back a few after our shift, or between them. Everybody at the Dollhouse worked doubles. The lunch tips were shit and you needed evening money to make ends meet. And those Figaro’s bar tabs went through afternoon money real quick.
We were gathered there that day to discuss Holly's wedding. She was marrying Mike, the Dollhouse manager. Everybody knew he was only marrying her to get his citizenship. He’d been bitching for months about his visa lapsing. Boy, he had some bad teeth. What they said about the English was true. What was it with the teeth? Mike’s were gnarled like toenails on bad feet. Holly was no looker by a long shot, but I never got how she could kiss him. And she’d go in long, that one. Like she couldn’t get enough. Mike had an extra eyetooth and it was the first thing you saw when he opened his mouth. The English and their teeth, huh?
All three of those sisters worked at the Dollhouse. The oldest was Garland who took her name from the town they came from, Garland. She was visibly pregnant and mainly worked lunch and Sunday nights. She already had one kid and couldn’t tell you who the father was. She was a avid General Hospital fan. She’d named her other kid after Robert Scorpio whose real name was Tristan, but she’d gotten it wrong and named him ‘Trinstan.’ She was so homely, the other girls called her Mr. Roper behind her back. Even her sisters called her that. Holly was the middle sister. Long brown hair and on the plump side. She had bad skin and was always nursing a spray of whiteheads, even on her tits.
The youngest was cute, Bambi, and looked like she came from another family. She’d almost made the drill team cut at Garland High School, the Dashing Debs, but dropped out of school and went to work at the Hooter’s. She was dumb as a stick and always telling anybody who’d listen how they did things at Hooter’s.
So, we’re sitting there at Figaro’s that afternoon with Phil Collins singing ‘I Don’t Care Anymore.’ The three sisters, Mandy Rose, Puddin’ and myself. In our stripper get ups. Puddin’ had her six-shooters laid up on the bar. She wore a Western-themed outfit with a white fringe vest and short skirt. She had a history with Mike from back in their England days, but nobody ever mentioned it.
“I’m not wearing Leg O’ Mutton sleeves,” Puddin’ said, blowing out a long puff of smoke. She shook her long black curls. “No way, man.” She always laid on the thick English accent like you never heard before. Even in pirate movies.
I was a little nauseous from the heavy odors and took a drink of my vodka and soda. The lime seemed to help. Holly’s colors were deep maroon and gray. She’d picked out deep red suits for the groom and groomsmen and these long and hideous gowns for the bridesmaids. She’d gotten a good deal on the whole mess from a cancelled North Dallas wedding. The dresses were made from cheap velvet, the kind you saw under Christmas trees that held lint.
“It’ll be stunning,” Holly snapped at her. “You’ll see.” Her eyes veered off like she was dreaming. “Like Luke and Laura’s.” It was kind of funny that Holly’s name was the same as the new General Hospital star, Holly Sutton. The three sisters loved the show and were always comparing their own sad lives to those of the characters.
“No way am I wearing that shit” Puddin’ added, a big sneer on her lips.
Holly tried to change the subject. “I just wish I could have the horse drawn white carriage.”
Bambi said, “Robert Scorpio is so dreamy. He looks like Jimmy, our manager at Hooter’s.”
Mandy Rose started laughing. “Hooter’s again. Why don’t you go back there if you like it so much? God.” Mandy was so beautiful with that long gypsy shag of hers. She could always get away with saying most anything. She had that New York sass.
Holly wasn’t giving up easy. “No, it’s gonna be beautiful. All the girls in maroon velvet. Like Christmas.” She turned to face us. “Holly’s in the bouquet.”
A trickle of liquid ran down Garland’s lip from her nose. She was kind of pitiful, that one.
“You’d fuck the barback,” Mandy Rose said to no one.
Holly rose up and glared at Mandy Rose. “We all have dreams, bitch.” Her eyes weren’t the eyes of a joyous bride that day.
One thing was for sure. I wasn’t about to miss this wedding for the world. It was doomed from the get go.