THE COFFEE SHOP STALKER
The Perfect Little Daughter
A short story by Jason Youngman – Part 3
Priscilla grew up along the Madawaska River in the south-east area of Ontario, Canada. It’s a beautiful stretch of land that draws thousands of visitors during the summer. Her home was a large log cabin that also served as their local Kingdom Hall for the Jehovah Witnesses. Being the eldest of her siblings her parents put a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. It didn’t help that her Father was the Elder of the congregation and expected her to be the perfect little daughter.
During the final year of high school she got involved with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. After graduation he whisked her away on his motorcycle and they moved to Toronto to live together in a one bedroom apartment. Her Father used to say that his precious little daughter moved to the city to live in sin. And he wasn’t all that far off in his estimate, for she really lived it up by becoming a stripper. Her boyfriend didn’t like the idea that she was making more money than him and continued to put pressure on her to quit her job. So she left him and moved into a fancy hotel suite in the downtown area. Her top client was into the oil business and owned several hotels around the world. In other words she was well connected.
By the age of 24 she had enough money to maintain her independence so she set her mind on a career in psychology. With all her heart she wanted to be a therapist in order to help people who were trapped in religious cults; unbeknownst to herself she was really motivated by a deep need to free her own self from the terrible judgement of Jehovah God. She could not help feeling that her mountain of sins reached into heaven itself. It was only when she started to study psychology at the University of Toronto that she realized that she was suffering from what is known as a religious neurosis. It didn’t take her long to subdue her radical beliefs.
Now back to the coffee shop scene: Jonathan passes her with his best John Wayne look. His stride is even and well calculated. It’s as though his every step was foreseen before acted upon. No guy could do a better cat walk. Her gaze begins at his feet and slowly goes all the ways up to his eyes. If there were spurs on his cowboy boots they would probably jingle. She can’t tell that he’s been masking his yellow teeth with a special whitening toothpaste but she can intuit that he’s a bit weird, most abnormal compared to the city slickers who would indulge her. There was something about this man that was strangely unsettling and yet familiar to her. The curiosity grew as they sat there pretending not to be aware of one another.
Eventually the lady next to the bay window gets ready to leave. Priscilla has been around the block and can read people fairly well. She knows that the ladies mini skirt speaks volumes for her personality and is almost certain that she did her fair share of table dancing in her day. They both leave the coffee shop at the same time. Their high heels beat in sync with one another. So is it true that you are an exotic dancer she asks. How do you know this replies Mini. It takes one to know one retorts Priscilla. Her smile instantly kindles the fire between them and they agree to spend the evening together talking about city life.
(This is the third part of The Coffee Shop Stalker. Next we shall delve into the subconscious of the protagonist so that we might detect the source of his neurosis, and give it colourful expression through mythological & symbolic undertones. The image above was taken in Combermere, Ontario, along the Madawaska River, back in 2008.)