You must avoid falling into the holes that this story contains. It won’t be easy. If you’re thinking of putting this story down now without proceeding–and who could blame you–give me a second to explain. Who would want to enter a dangerous story? One that I’ve already told you might lead to you falling in a hole? I hope you do.
It is a dark story, too. I mean literally dark. Only slight glimmers of unknown origin reflecting on moist pockets in the rocks. It takes several pages before your eyes adjust and you can see them. And it has the sort of musty odor that will stick in your pores, so you’ll catch whiffs of it long after you’re done with it. If you survive.
If this were a fairy tale, your journey would lead to great treasure. One undertakes a quest filled with trials so that one can be rewarded at the end. This isn’t a fairy tale, though. This story is like life. Avoiding one set of holes might lead you to another, and getting through alive results on in still being alive. Maybe I’m not selling you on this.
Aimee All Alone
The story of a young woman asked by both parents to live with them after high school on the condition that she attends the local college near their home. She refuses, telling each she decided to move in with the other. The adventure begins. The mother in the story lives through her daughter and tries to be friends with her friends. Her hairstyle is similar to Aimee’s, she dresses “young,” tries to use hip expressions (unlike the word “hip”), and envisions a lifelong partnership with her daughter–shopping, vacationing together, maybe marrying brothers, leaving them, sipping cocktails and flirting on a Caribbean beach after their joint divorces, then driving off a cliff together ala Thelma and Louise. The father is perpetually distraught, broke, and broken. If someone bought him a t-shirt, which no one would, it would have a picture of Eeyore on it. And it would be tight. He holds out hope for his daughter moving in with him so they can “re-connect.” It will give his life meaning. Having her not choose her mother will also give his life meaning.
Aimee recognizes the drams and the problems so-called adults have. She wants out. Eighteen and jaded. She knows college is a sham. She doesn’t know what isn’t a sham, though. So she takes off on a road trip to nowhere in her Ford Focus. It is blue.
They call him Horton. Not-They call him Sam I Am. He drives an old Crown Vic that he bought at an auction (just mention his car and he’ll tell you what a deal he got at the auction)–no hub caps, rust eating at the edges like the gray hairs beginning to consume his head at the temples. It has 5 antennas swooping over the top of the car, starting at various positions, all of different lengths, and a hand directional light, the sort that police and deer spotters use, bolted in front of the driver’s window. He’s 5’5” both ways, built like a car washing sponge or your grandma’s counsole TV. He’s the size of box you get every so often from Amazon stuffed with paper and inflated plastic to protect the pack of crayons you bought. Every day he dresses the same. Like a cartoon character. Blue Dickie’s pants, glasses with safety sides, dirty flannel (the kind that’s dusty looking fresh out of the washer). His walk is filled with confidence, like the strut of the guy who leaves the bathroom after getting lucky with the prettiest girl in Ninth Grade. He knows that he alone in this sad town has the frequency.
My Corpse is Bored
Zah looked at her from across the restaurant table while he fidgeted with his fork. “I’m alive and kicking. That’s all that matters, isn’t it?”
“That depends on who you’re kicking,” Emma said.
After she died, Emma thought about this little snippet from her life and countless other snippets. All of them left her bored. Death was boring. Her memories were boring.
The slowness of her car’s right-hand turn indicated she was making a major life decision. I continued to tail her to find out. Following people has become so much easier since the advent of cell phones and the spread of self-absorption throughout the population. I haven’t been noticed in at least two years.