Manhattan Jasmine and The Canyon of Heroes, part 2
by Digitalicat (for those joining us fashionably late, part one immediately precedes this. parts thee and four come over the weekend)
Ed. note: while jasmine is off studying for the bar, she's rounded up some forces to keep the readers happy while she's gone. enjoy!
Jasmine rose before the sun. She was so excited she'd hardly slept at all. She stood in front of her closet and considered what to wear. Her fingers walked from one hanger to the next as judged, and found wanting, each outfit. Finally she settled on a slinky black dress. It wasn't as "wow" as she would have liked, but she thought that an understatement of class and elegance would have a better effect than some of her more revealing "fuck me" outfits.
Her dress selected, she then turned her attention to shoes. She walked down the hallway with a noticeable bounce in her step. Today will be the day. The Golden Mraz will be mine! She entered the shoe room and flipped a switch. Tastefully recessed lights illuminated several motorized racks, each holding several thousand pairs of shoes. Imelda Marcos was an amateur, she snickered. Every time she entered the shoe room, Jasmine thought the same thing. The simple joke still made her smile.
Jasmine closed the door, threw the deadbolt, and switched on the hallway warning light. There was no one else in the apartment, but Jasmine was always a big believer in her safety procedures. She sat on a delicate looking stool and reached for a remote control. She pressed a large red button and the racks all moved in unison, like soldiers snapping to attention. Jasmine began pressing buttons and the racks began to move, serving up shoe after shoe for her selection. She said nothing and did not change her expression, but continued to work the remote control. The racks accelerated until they were nearly a blur. An ordinary human could not possibly have seen every pair of shoe that whizzed past, but Jasmine was no ordinary human, at least not when it came to shoes.
Jasmine stopped pressing buttons and the machines froze in place. A pair of simple black pumps was raised on a small platform before her. Yes, these I think. She took the shoes with her left hand and pressed one last button with her right. The racks returned to their starting positions and were still. She closed down the shoe room and returned to the bedroom. She posed in front of a mirror and wondered if the Golden Mraz would appreciate how well the shoes complimented the dress. Probably not. Straight men never seem to understand that.
She then returned to the closet to select a purse. A stark contrast to her shoe room, her selection of hand bags was surprisingly small. She ran her hands over a few before choosing a silk bag, the size of which could only be described as "what the hell are you going to carry in that tiny thing?" Into this thimble-sized bag, Jasmine managed to fit her cell phone, a credit card, her ID, four twenty dollar bills, her apartment key, and a small mirror.
A quick glance at the clock confirmed that she was ready a few minutes earlier than expected. I'm ahead of schedule. That's a good sign. Once on the street, she hailed taxi for the trip to Rockefeller Center.
The cab ride was quicker than she expected. Jasmine was very hopeful until she saw the size of the crowd. Damn. I wasn't expecting this many people. This is going to make it a lot tougher to get close. She paid the cabbie and went to wait under the lamp post that the three of them had chosen the night before. Pretty and Skinny were both already waiting.
"Can you believe this crowd? I can't believe this many people showed up this early," Skinny grumbled.
"And did you notice that it's almost all women?" Pretty actually looked a bit nervous. "There's so much estrogen here I can actually feel my manhood slipping away."
Jasmine laughed. "Maybe you should hang on to your manhood while you still can."
"Wanna do it for me?" Pretty said with a grin.
"Umm... no. Come on. We'd better get started if we're going to make it to the front without hurting people." Jasmine frowned, preparing herself for what promised to be at least 40 minutes of elbowing.
"Maybe you should just show your boobs? People seem to lose the ability to think when you do that." Pretty was still grinning.
"No way. Have you been keeping track of how many times I've flashed my boobs this week? I seriously need to cut back."
Pretty failed to stifle his disappointment. "It was just a thought," he muttered. "We'd better get started then."
Skinny pushed up her sleeves. "Remember, it's all in how you use your elbows."
After nearly an hour of squeezing, pushing, and pleading, Jasmine and her companions were finally to the front of the crowd. They stood shoulder to shoulder against the metal fence that separated the crowd from the stage. They could just make out the top of Al Rokker's head as he gave the weather report from the other side of the stage. Almost time! Jasmine could barely contain herself. Sound technicians were making last minute adjustments to nearly everything. Soon, very soon.
The technicians quickened their pace as they rushed to clear the stage of anything extraneous. Finally they scurried away and the crowd began to cheer. Jasmine looked everywhere, but couldn't yet see anything worth cheering.
Suddenly the square was bathed in amber light. As bright as the sun, the source of the light was moving toward the stage. There he is! The Golden Mraz! I must have him! Mraz took the stage to the roaring approval of the crowd. Matt Lauer was at the edge of her vision. He was holding a microphone and his lips were moving, but Jasmine heard nothing.
Lauer spoke for only a few seconds, but to Jasmine it felt like hours. Shut your cake hole, Buzz Cut! Let The Mraz do his thing! As if on command, Lauer lowered his microphone and moved to the edge of the square. Mraz stepped up to the microphone and the band began to play a new song, one Jasmine didn't know.
Curses! A new song. This is messing with my mojo! I can't put out my vibes right if I don't know the music. The song was pleasant enough. It might even end up a radio hit. But as she listened, Jasmine felt like she was dying inside. She was losing valuable time, and Mraz hadn't even noticed her yet.
Chin up, Jazz. The second song has to be "Remedy." It has to be. That's his most popular song. That's the reason everyone's here. Of course he'll play it. Jasmine closed her eyes and tried to refocus, trusting in fate that the second song would be one she knew. She was nearly meditating by the end of the first song. The music stopped and the crowd cheered. Eyes still closed tight, Jasmine could almost feel Matt Lauer moving back to the stage to make small talk with her Golden Mraz. She didn't even have him yet, and already she'd begun to think possessively. This almost brought a smile to her face and she had to struggle to maintain her serenity.
Completely unbidden, her subconscious dredged up Seinfeld. "Serenity now!" Jason Alexander yelled in her mind. She lost it then and began giggling. To hell with it. This will have to do, she thought. She opened her eyes to find Lauer again leaving the stage. She'd relaxed more than she'd thought. She thought only a few seconds had passed, but she'd actually spent the entire commercial break with her eyes closed. Mraz was lining up behind the microphone again. The crowd thundered as the band played the first few notes of Remedy.
Yes! This is all going to work out just fine. Jasmine heaved an impossibly large sigh of relief. And then she began to dance. At first she was considerably hampered by the crowd pressing her against the metal fence. But once she began to move, the crush seemed to ease as if by magic. Jasmine focused on the music and gently moved her hips in perfect time with the beat. Her eyes never left Mraz. As soon as he sees me, I'll have him.
A moment later it happened. Just as he was beginning the second chorus, Mraz saw her. He never looked away. He remained remarkably composed when faced with such an onslaught of feminine wiles, but Jasmine still heard a few notes out place. She continued to sway with the music, and her eyes remained locked on his. He's mine, I know it! It's working!
The song ended far too soon, but Jasmine was sure she'd had time enough to work the right amount of voodoo. Lauer again swooped on to the stage and stood right in Jasmine's line of sight. She lost eye contact with Mraz. No! I'm so close! Get out of the way, Lauer! No matter how much she willed him to move, he remained standing in the least convenient spot. After what seemed like a small eternity, the Today Show went to commercial and Lauer again scurried away. The musicians began to leave the stage, but Mraz stayed planted right where he was, again looking at Jasmine.
It worked! He digs me! Lauer didn't screw it up after all. Mraz walked to the front of the stage and gracefully climbed down. He was walking toward her. She shoots, she scores!! Jasmine thought triumphally.
Out of nowhere came a man in an expensive but rumpled suit. He grabbed Mraz by the arm and began to drag him sideways. Jasmine could hear this suited man mumbling something about getting away from the crowd. Mraz feebly protested, never taking his eyes from Jasmine. Caught in her spell a little too much, he was unable to explain to the manager/agent type that he did not want to leave.
Immediately Jasmine shifted into crisis mode.
Pretty was giggling. "Did you see that? He was totally into you!"
"Shut up, Pretty. Pay attention," Jasmine barked. "I'm not letting that bastard steal him away from me."