That morning I had my usual breakfast: a bowl of pimples soaked in apple cider vinegar. However, this morning the pimples were inflamed. Each pimple had a little demon erupting from its infected head and each demon was bending over and showing me its hairy ass.
The meter lady came to the door and wanted to read my tonsils. I said “I don’t have tonsils anymore. They were removed when I was five.” She said, “Exactly” and made an angry hash mark on her little clipboard beside my name. I threw a symbolic kitten at her back as she clomped down the path to her armored dune buggy and roared away.
My life was like a lot of people’s lives except it had my name on it.
My boyfriend looked up from his laptop and asked me, “how many people do you suppose you have kill to be technically considered a serial killer? Is three the minimum or will only two do?”
When I asked him why he wanted to know he ran off into the living room and peered out coyly from the cactus farm I’d planted there.
My life was like a suitcase a stranger thrust into my hand at the train station, running off before I could object.
I’m left standing here on the platform waiting for a train with the rest of the hyenas. I didn’t see the point of going any further but the policeman said, “Well you sure as hell can’t stay here” and shoved me through the closing doors.
I took the only seat still available, beside a morbidly obese man already taking up most of the seat beside him. I asked him, “Do you happen to know where this train is headed?”
He said, “No. But wherever it’s going I hope they serve hamburgers there.”
This seemed to me a singularly significant and wise response under the circumstances. My respect for him climbed a millimeter. So I asked him, “Do you think I’m the type of girl a serial killer would mind killing?”
He said, “It just so happens that the first thing I thought when you entered the train was ‘that’s the kind of girl a serial killer wouldn’t mind killing.’”
“Thanks,” I said. “That’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day.”
“Don’t mention it,” he said.
We both seemed to intuit the conversation could only go downhill from there and so neither of us risked the exchange of a single additional word. The scenery flew past us in the windows like the contents of a blender mixing up a rat smoothie.
I must have dozed. When I woke up I was still alive. The train had stopped in the middle of nowhere. My throat had not been cut. I was not disemboweled. In other words, I had no excuse for remaining on the train. I would have to disembark. I said goodbye to the morbidly obese man on the platform. I picked up my suitcase and headed for the taxi stand.
My life was like a bomb that a stranger had foisted on me and warned me not to tell anyone about or else.
I slid into the first available taxi. The driver looked into the rearview mirror. “Where to ma’am?”
I closed my eyes. “Five-four-three-two-one,” I said.
I opened my eyes. Everything was still there.
The driver said, “Five-four-three-two-one where, ma’am?”
“Never mind. Just take me to wherever you have polar bears in this town. I think seeing some polar bears is just the thing I need right now. If you don’t have polar bears, then I guess anywhere you can get a decent plate of pancakes.”
The cab pulled away from the curb.
“Five-four-three-two-one,” I muttered under my breath.
I opened my eyes.
Everything was still there.