East Side Public Library

East Side Public Library
The Ruins of Detroit

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cigarette Dispenser

This was an assignment where we were allowed to pick an object from a show and write about it. In an episode of some "junk" show there were two cigarette dispensers and this is what came of it.

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     She brushed a curl out of her hair as she pranced her way onto the floor. The smell of lipstick clung to her nose, unfamiliar to her just like the fake eyelashes interfering ever so slightly with her peripheral vision. She was quickly whisked away, hand in hand and another on her hip, and a lit up smile that could outshine the sun spread across her face. The beat of the drums crashed through her body, the big band trumpets gave a chill up her spine and the sultry sound of those saxophones put her hairs on end. This is exactly why she crept out at night. This is exactly why she risked it all for a few nights of freedom to just dance the night away.
     The smokey room was dense with laughter, a noise never heard above ground. Ciggy’s were seen in the clasps of  every hand and the gin mill was overflowing with hooch and it was evident that the spirits were indeed flying, in more ways than one. Couple’s weren’t closing bank’s and they were sure cashing in for underground no one had to snub their crushes. This sure wasn’t the only juice joint around, they were being busted left and right but this was definitely the best kept secret. Rita knew that the man she ran into wasn’t any ole’ drugstore cowboy looking for some dolled up dame, he was a real classy guy who looked quite darb and looked like he was going places, the big cheese.
     The first number was over and Rita bid farewell to her first dancing partner and strolled across the floor over to the bar where some bell bottoms stood, looking fine in their uniforms. She wasn’t a bug-eyed Betty but it was the first night on the job, all she cared about was the dance. Rita made her way around the men and moved to the side of the bar where a cigarette dispenser stood, it was something never really seen apart from these hidden speakeasies and she had a craving to blend in with the crowd. 
     Her heels clicked against the wooden floor but it couldn’t be heard above all the chatter, everyone was beating their gums. As she approached the machine she felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning around there was a man smiling at her, a keen fella with probably enough dough to be a sugar-daddy. 
     “Hey there little lady, mind if I take the tab on that hope chest?” She stepped aside and made room for the man to reach over and slide some coins through the slot, push the button and lean over to grab the pack of cigarettes. She could smell the fragarance of spirits and pricy  cologne as he brushed by but it was a faint smell, easily over powered by all of the other smells in the small dingy parlour.
     With an underlying charm he handed her the pack and eyed her up. She wasn’t too interested in any one night stand, she was offered a job as a dancer to ring in more customers and sell more bootleg, not to have a fling and forever have the reputation of being a dumb Dora. Women weren’t supposed to act like her, they weren’t supposed to have colored lips, short hair, and even shorter dresses. It was in the house they belonged, good religious mothers forever bound by society’s want and need of regulators as the men go drink their troubles away. Rita wouldn’t have that, she escapes the invisible shakles of that thought and is breaking the rules, cursing prohibition indirectly and defying everyone’s thought of “Good Rita.”
     She looked at the pack of cigarettes and smiled, not taking them though but led him to the bar with smoldering eyes. This was the true test though, she knew she could make him buy some hooch, she knew she had the curves to tempt any man to do any bidding and this was exactly what she was hired for.

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