|Mary Sue Fiction|
Notes: You need to see the commercials in question to best appreciate this, but I think it works alone.
"He's crazy, Lili. He's absolutely fucking bonkers."
I can't help smiling. "You have a high threshhold for lunacy, Barb. What did he do to earn his certificate?"
We're having our weekly lunch at a sidewalk cafe. I listen to the murmur of pedestrians passing by on the other side of the rail that divides us from foot traffic, and I try to picture what they're seeing when they look at us. Two young women, their dark sunglasses slightly at odds with their casual business dress. We'll have to start meeting inside, soon. Spring is about to give way to summer heat, and in Utah--you'd better grab whatever central air you can. For now, though, I'm enjoying it.
Barb is telling me about one of her co-workers, and the stunt he pulled yesterday. "I don't know why Lou is working in an accounting office. He should be working on one of those extreme sports show, or maybe... What was that show called where they did all the horrendously dangerous, outrageous stunts for laugh value?"
"He certainly is." I laugh, and she joins me. "Okay, he's a nice guy, other than this, but he ought to take up something safer, like bungee jumping, or paragliding."
I sip my tea, finding the mint sprig I'd asked for, and nipping it, enjoying the refreshing bite. "So tell me!"
"Okay, Monday was a bitch at work--I'll admit it. Everyone was in a hurry to get out, get in their car, get home. Me, as much as anybody. Well, we were a little late getting out, hung over an extra ten minutes or so. By the time we got out on the upper level, the walkway and stairs down to ground level were jammed! I'm talking a river of people. You'd need a shoe horn to get into that flood, never mind making a quick exit."
"I can picture that."
"I'm ready to make my way down, cussing because I know it's going to be a good fifteen minutes before I can get anywhere near my car. Lou, the lucky bastard, is parked, as usual, at the curb out in front..."
"How does he manage that?"
"I think he's giving oral sex to the meter reader."
"Damn! Introduce us."
She laughs. "No luck, hon. It's a meter man, not a meter maid."
I sigh dramatically. "All the good ones are gay these days. Keep going."
"So I'm just starting to be smug, thinking that he's going to be just as frustrated as I am, when I see that the daft bugger has climbed up on the safety wall. Before I can even yell 'don't jump!'--he does."
"Almost did. I run over, just about to scream, leaning over to look down at his poor, broken body, and there's the bastard grinning up at me! He must have knees like deluxe shock absorbers. The next thing I know he's jumped up on the railing between the up and down sides of the outside stairs and just... just kind of surfs down it. He hops down, and it's like he's landed on one of those mini trampolines. He just bounces right up in the air, cuts a flip in mid air, and then drops through his open car window, smack into the driver seat!"
"You're telling me? I was looking around for the stunt co-ordinator. He's got to be suicidal. I mean, anyone who'd do something like that has a death wish, right?"
I smile to myself. I'm thinking about last Saturday, out on the salt flats. My best friend, Dean, had taken me out into the heart of the flats, out where there were no roads, no one and nothing around for miles and miles--just space. Then he let me drive. I remember the feel of the hot, acrid wind whipping through my hair, remember the sound of Dean's delighted laughter as I roared and swerved, my pulse racing with the exultation of speed and freedom. "Not necessarily, Barb. Maybe he's just into adventure."
"Well, it would have been easier on my pantyhose if Lou wasn't. I need to find him a boyfriend. Maybe he'll settle down."
"I know someone he'd get along with. Write down his name, and his phone number."
I take a last bite of salad and reach for my purse as she scratches out the requested information. Behind me the waiter murmurs, "On your tab, Miss Coleridge?"
"Yes, Alex, thanks. Reserve us a table inside for next week."
"Yes, ma'am. Our outside business is going to drop off by then."
Barb presses the paper into my hand, and I slip it into my purse. "Lili, what makes you think that these two will click?"
I stand, and unfold my white cane. Lifting my face once again to the sun I've never seen, I smile. "Trust me."