Into The Great Wide Open
Somewhere in the American West, that big dry patch between the Mississippi and Colorado rivers to be precise, I was driving a stolen Cadillac into the sunset. If I kept heading South, I could probably make Flagstaff by nightfall, North; Salt Lake by tomorrow afternoon.
Sprawled across the front seat, with her head in my lap and feet dangling out of the passenger window was an Irish girl, who didn’t care if she was too pale for the Arizona sun. A rhinestone ring on her toe sparkled in the dying light, as she swayed to the rhythm from The Atari’s cover of “The Boy’s of Summer”. She was clad in a black leather miniskirt, white tank top and hair dyed so lavender it looked plastic. A sweetly scented pink bubble would rise halfway to my chin, only to deflate on the verge of exploding. She had skill in the realm of bubble-gum physics, at this vicinity I was grateful.
We were about a half hour outside of Amarillo when she assumed this reclined position, cutting off the circulation to my right leg. I wanted her to move, but she enjoyed watching me squirm, seeing me torn between doing the gentlemanly thing, and the wish to have a functioning appendage. She must have grown bored with this, because in the review mirror, a flock of a hundred or so murderous Pterodactyls were closing in from the East.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… She could have just laid down in the back, making us both more comfortable. However, this girl has a fascination with me that I can’t quite comprehend, and I don’t believe she does either. To her, I’m a mystery, a puzzle she can’t solve, a nut she can’t crack. This fact simultaneously fascinates, and irritates the hell out of her. Thus she tends to reciprocate much frustration, typically ranging somewhere between a grade school love tap, to a full fledge psychic onslaught.
I first saw her on the metro platform in Dublin, three weeks ago. I remember, because even under four layers of obscuring protection from the frigid North Sea, it’s just hard to forget a girl with purple hair.
One morning while exiting the tram, I witnessed her in action. She would casually walk up to strangers, and through some sort of witchcraft, blatantly reach into their pockets, remove their billfold, extract any large bills she found, then replace the wallet, all without her target or any bystanders ever noticing.
Quite possibly the perfect crime. A string of wallet theft would have brought investigators to the station. She could probably use her voodoo on the police, but not the security cameras catching her on film. However if your latest ATM withdrall mysteriously disappeared out of your wallet, you would suspect the people in your own house before considering that a pick-pocket was to blame.
The flying dinosaurs swarmed around the interstate like a gaggle of harpies. I barely paid attention. I had seen too many monsters from her bag of tricks in the past week to even give the illusion of being concerned. Also, I hopped my apathy would really piss her off. Just another one of those games that healthy couples play in an attempt to infuriate each other… I love you baby…
While I was busy ignoring the scaly beast, the other motorist were of a different opinion. Compacts, SUV’s, German luxury cars, all began to escape safari style through the desert, fleeing the ravenous creatures. Evidently no one noticed that they had yet to attack anyone or anything, and that any physical damage the people encountered was by their own off-road expeditions.
Ahead in the center median, three State Trooper squad cars formed into a makeshift fort, with all officers brandishing 12-gage riot guns in an attempt to repel the flying hoard. Shots were fired in furious succession, all to no avail. This was getting out of hand; I’d have to say something.
“Dammit girl, we’re suppose to keep a low profile, the pigeons of the apocalypse out there are not helping.”
She looked up and smiled content as the preverbal cat that ate the canary. I may have held my own for several hours, but in the end she won the game, and gets to claim the invisible prize of relationship superior. Maybe tomorrow I can win... (If I actually believe that, there’s probably a little rubber room waiting for me.)
“Fine, I’m done anyway”
As she said that she smiled, and arched her back to stretch, a subtle hint that there were spoils for the loser in our game. She planted her glitter painted claws into the collar of my shirt to raise herself, then wrapped her arms around my neck, pressing her cheek against mine. (A less subtle hint) This was followed by one of those elaborate kisses where her metal tongue stud danced across my teeth, with the scent of bubble gum becoming very intoxicating. (Subtlety just went out the window) All of this action should have been more dangerous, as we were still flying down the highway at 90 MPH… Thank you, cruise control…
She first noticed me about a week after I noticed her, which coincidently was about a week before everything went crazy, which un-coincidently was last week.
Having performed the wallet snatching routine since I had first spotted her, she was quickly running out of fresh faces in the terminal to harvest. Every morning I had been positioning myself on the opposite sides of the station. I feared her magic or charm, or what ever it was would overcome my senses, leaving me a few dollars lighter.
Yet one morning, like a puma, she snuck up behind me. Her hand was halfway into my Levi’s, before I noticed and grabbed it. This surprised her more than anything else, apparently no one had ever been able to see thru her spell. Unknowing of how to handle this development, she screamed like a Banshee, and dashed for the exit.
Somehow, everyone between me and the stairs saw an adorable 12 year-old, Catholic school girl run away crying about being raped. Three huge Irish blokes approached, all wearing patriotic green football jerseys. “You got a thing for the little girls, mate?” said the largest one. As he spoke, continuing to look large and menacing, he punched a massive fist into his other hand. It was the sound of a car door being slammed. Needless to say, I didn’t stick around to explain myself.
A few days latter on my new route to work, I found my path being shadowed by a familiar phantom with the violet mane. I wanted to confront her, but every time I even considered turning around, she somehow vanished. I thought I’d never catch her. Until the next day, when she caught me.
After work, and a pint at the pub (Not the healthiest habit I picked up while over seas, but a damn fun one) I came back to my apartment for an emergency sofa crash landing. I was in the beginning stages of what was sure to be a decent nap, when the Katana blade on my TV began to hover eerily. The sword was a souvenir from my trip to Japan. It was hand forged steel, razor sharp, and until that moment had been totally incapable of levitation.
It is amazing how fast one can dash from a flat position, seems it only takes the proper motivation. What happened next isn’t exactly clear to me, probably the combination of alcohol and sudden Olympic maneuvers.
Somehow I was now trapped in my kitchen, held hostage by the unmanned sword. It hovered about 5 feet over the faded linoleum floor. I pressed my back against my avocado colored fridge, unsure of how to react. If someone tries to attack you with a weapon you can usually fight back or negotiate, but what do you do in this situation?
Before I could come up with a solution the sword darted thru the air, into my chest, pinning me to the fridge like an entomologist favorite specimen. Lots of thoughts flash thru your brain, like “I hope I haven’t wasted my life” and other useless junk that fills the time until death.
However the most prevalent thought, the one I just couldn’t shake from my head, was “Shouldn’t this hurt more?”
I tried to pull the katana out by the hilt, only to find that my fingers passed through it like air. The sword wasn’t stabbing me, it never had, my own surprise had flung me backward, paralyzed. The instant I fully realized this, the sword vanished. I looked across the room, it still sat in its mahogany display rack covered in dust, un-moved.
From outside my front door, came one word in a frustrated female voice.
Before I checked the peephole, I already had a good idea of who was waiting on the other side. A pail, purple haired pixy, distorted by the fish bowl lens, stared back at me.
I stepped back, reasoning that the last time I met her, some big guys tried to do a demolition job on me, maybe opening the door isn’t the wisest thing I should do.
My skull collided with the door, as if an invisible gorilla suddenly thrust it. Dazed, and more than just a little hurt, I heard the voice from the other side of the door again.
“Let me in”
Before I could respond, the gorilla returned.
I tasted blood now. Had the door been made of metal, it would have had a sizeable dent. The voice came again, puncturing the ringing in my ears.
“I can keep this up all day”
Then with patient emphasis on pronunciation.
“Let. Me. In.”
I didn’t even feel that one coming. A small patch of red on the door marked the spot of impact. I dropped to the ground, good a place as any to collect my thoughts.
If I keep her out there, she’ll just keep playing crash test dummy with my cranium. I let her in, I could be entering a whole new world of pain. I winced at her voice, maybe a Pablonian response was developing in me.
“This is actually kinda fun. I think I’ll just bash your door down”
I quickly sat up and unlocked the dead bolt, then unable to stand straight, returned to my seat on the entry rug. The knob turned and clicked, the door glided open.
Alabaster columns, wrapped in fish-net stalkings, approached me. They were connected to a black leather miniskirt, held together in places with safety pins. The rest of her was bundled in a disproportionably oversized winter coat, the only sensible article she had on, as far as I could tell. She was maybe five foot, with the help of a pair of ridiculously high lifts. She threw a spaghetti strapped vinyl purse on my end table, knocking off mementos I could care less about at that particular moment.
We stared at each other in complete silence, for what in reality was only a half minute, but somehow seemed infinitely longer.
Looking up at her small figure, framed in the doorway by an aura of florescent street lamps, a halo and wings would not have looked totally out of place.
This is a girl who simultaneously intrigues, and scares the hell out of me. This is a girl I could see myself falling madly for. This is a girl I could see myself hiding all of my credit cards and PIN numbers from. This is a girl I could see myself giving a ring to. This is a girl I could see myself having to take a loaded gun away from.
I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew that my life was never going to be the same.
She closed the door and latched the deadbolt. Smiling, she turned to me and said “You really should lock your doors, you never know who’s going to wander in.”
My life was definitely never going to be the same.