Starring Cissy

The club is a deli counter,
Everything on sale.
Tight wrapped, pre-packaged packages.
Yum, yum, want some!
Yum, yum, gimme some!
Two pounds of you, you too!

“KATY, TURN DOWN THAT MUSIC.”

“WHAAAT?”

“TURN THAT DOWN.”

“WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” I turned the music down fractionally to listen for more but didn’t hear any. I turned it back up.

Dad burst through my door like some kind of wild animal. “Turn that noise OFF.”

I turned the dial to about half, “It’s not noise.”

Yum, yum, want some!
Yum, yum, gimme some!
Two pounds of you, you too!

“What is this garbage?” He stopped to actually listen. My face started to heat up and I scrambled to turn it off, but I just made it louder.

Touch them, touch them,
They’re yours, just take one,
They’re just made of meat.

Dad’s face turned red, too, but for very different reasons. “Give me the CD. Give it to me, now.”

I found Eject and pulled it out while it was still spinning. “I’ve never heard that song before,” I said quickly.

“You were singing along.”

“To the first song! That’s the single, the one they play on the radio.” This one was going to hit the air on Friday, but he didn’t need to know that. Not yet.

He turned the CD around to read the title. His eyes just about bugged out at the imprint of Cissy — no last name, just Cissy — wearing a tiny little dress that barely made it from bust to crotch. “Where the hell did you get this?”

“Wal-Mart?”

“It’s going in the trash.”

“Daddy!” My heart lurched. I had saved up to be able to get the two-disc set with the concert DVD. “Please, no! Please, please, Daddy!”

“You’re too young to be looking up to–to women like her.”

“She’s only two years older than me! She’s sixteen!”

Oh, that had been the wrong thing to say. Daddy’s face turned purple. “Do you homework.”

How could I do my homework? I threw myself face down on my bed and tried to work up a good batch of hot tears. All I got was pink and puffy. My CD was gone.

Two weeks later, Deli Counter was all over the place. It was on TV, on the radio, playing in the stores but I wasn’t allowed to watch or listen. Grounded for my big fat mouth at dinner the night he took my CD away. I was still sulking around Dad, making my point. The pharmacy was playing some boring ballad from the 70s and Dad was humming along. My ears pricked up as it segued into Cissy. I stood stock still in the middle of the aisle, trying to soak up every note.

“Come on, Katy.” Daddy turned into the next aisle. He was still humming.

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