Sunday, July 02, 2006

Part Two

When I drive I go into a trance. Nothing matters but me and the car, on the road. Weaving through traffic, stopping, speeding, turning. It’s so simple and graceful that I forget everything else. Driving is my Zen.
When I come out of it, the neighborhood I’m in isn’t familiar. There are no recognizable street names, to landmarks. Where is the freeway? If I could find the freeway I could get home. The ‘hood is shabby, shady, run-down. I worry a little bit. I reach into my pocket for my cell phone. Natalie will know where I am. This used to be where her old boyfriend lived, I think. My cell phone is gone. I remember Horace. That must have been my cell phone, not his. Shit. I’m lost in my own goddamn city.
I slip back into my driving trance, and when I come out of it, I’m at home, pulling into my driveway. I look at the gas gauge, and its hovering below E. I sigh and turn off the engine, sitting in the driveway, eyes closed, head back. I reach up to loosen my tie, and find it’s gone. It’s on the passenger seat. Good. I like that tie.
I honk the horn once, twice, thrice. Natalie comes out in a bathrobe, with wet hair. It’s ten o’clock. I’m five hours late getting home, I haven’t called, and Nat’s taking a bath. Nothing phases her.
When she gets to the window I stare at her dumbly through the dirty glass, and then I open the door. The leans in and kisses me on the forehead.
“Out with the mistress again, eh?” She asks. Her voice is a little shaky. I look her over. She is nervous. Why?
“No. I got lost. I would have called, but the cell broke when I dropped it. I got in a fight today.”
“You hurt?”
“You care?”
“Not really.” She answers. I look over her shoulder, at the back gate. Was movement there?
“You were with someone.” I said, looking her in the eye. “When I honked. Why would you be with someone when I was five hours late?” I look back over her shoulder. Sure enough, a half-dressed man hops over, and glances around.
“I…” She starts talking so I stop listening, and push her out of my way.
“Hey!” I call after him.
“HEY!” I call.
He turns, looks me over, and runs a little more, to a huge truck. Just as bad as the goddamn SUV’s. And he was ball deep in my fiancée a few minutes ago. Today was a bad day.
I’m running now, and as he tries to pull away from the curb I make a mighty leap and land on his hood. He brakes suddenly, sending me to the ground. I stand, and he is in full reverse, looking over his shoulder as he plows down the dark street.
I walk home, and glance at Nat as I open the door. She shrugs and walks up to me. “I wanted to get caught. I want out. I feel trapped, and doing this was the way I felt…” I stop listening. It’s all bullshit anyway. Nat is a moron. Most women are morons. I remember the car door might still be open, but I’m too apathetic to go check it out. Nat might have closed it, then again, maybe not. Oh well.
“… you think?” Nat finishes, waiting for my reply.
“I think you know that if you wanted out I would have let you go. I think you were turned on by the thought of getting it on with Joe Blow when I could have come in at any moment. How many times did you take it from him? Ten, eleven? It was five hours. That’s a lot of time to fuck. You say you want out? Then go. There’s the fucking door.”
“Don’t talk to me like…”
“Shut-up, woman. I’m tired of you anyway. Take the fucking car, go to Joe’s house, and let him finish. Poor guy was probably only a few minutes from coming in your hair, right?”
“Fuck you, you have no right…”
“To talk to you like this? ‘I just got caught cheating on my fiancée and now he is implying I’m a cheap whore!’ Call Oprah. She’ll take your side, I’m sure. Get the fuck out of my face. I’m getting some bourbon, then I’m hitting the sack, and if you’re in that bed when I get up in the morning, I’m going to push it out the goddamn window.”
I grab the bourbon and stomp up the stairs. Nat follows a distance behind me, and creeps in the door.
“My only question,” I say, before she has the chance to speak, “Is why did you decide to abort your little mission when I honked?”
“I panicked. Things weren’t going as planned.”
“Whatever.” I turn on the TV. It’s Sienfeld. Good. I like that show.
Nat steps in front of the TV.
“No. We need to figure this out!”
“Fuck. What is there to figure? Take your shit, get in my car, and get the fuck out of my house, woman. I'm tired of you. There are no legal forms to sign and nothing to divide. Luckily I was smart enough to wait to combine bank accounts and such.”
“Nothing. If you come across something and you can’t decide whom it belongs to, take it. I don’t want a lot of shit lying around here reminding me of you.”
I unscrew the cap to the bourbon. 1/3 of a bottle left. Enough to get a nice little buzz going. I smile and take a hearty swig.
“It’s not that simple…” Nat is really pissing me off now. I tell her that.
“I don’t care, we need…”
“Woman, you get the FUCK out of this HOUSE!”
She shrinks. I notice her robe is open. I see her trimmed patch of hair. I used to make her shave that, but she got lazy and I gave up caring.
“Edwin…” She starts. I throw the remote at the mirror behind her. It shatters. She screams. She grabs a pair of sweatpants off of the dresser, and throws on a shirt.
“I’ll come back.” She promises.
“Your shit will be in boxes when you do.”
She storms off. I hear the car engine rev, and then rubber is peeled as she heads off. Probably to her mothers. Whatever. I take another swig of bourbon. This is some tough shit that happened today. Lost my job, my woman, and maybe even my car. I never liked them, anyway.
A few more gulps and the booze is gone. I throw the bottle into the broken mirror, and it shatters, mixing its broken pieces with the glass already in the stained shag carpet. I smile at this thought, and close my eyes.


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