Mystic Writer

Peeking out to see if there is a real world out there...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Rain falling

The agent paused as he saw the alarm in my face. Thoughts of my rubber checks were racing through my head and I had a momentary image of a life in prison. 'Hey, maybe I'll finally have a good relationship' I thought and then snapped back as the agent cleared his throat.

"I was just biking into the parking lot when I saw a tan Ford leave the vicinity of your vehicle. It accelerated a little too quickly which made me suspicious so I checked out your car. It looks like the only damage is the window. Did you have anything valuable in the vehicle sir?"

I thought about that for a moment, still not sure why a treasury agent was handling my car break in "No, I think I had a couple CD's and that was about it. This is the second time I've been broken into and I learned from the first one...".

"Well, that's good." he replied. "I'm staying with my mom while I'm on vacation and then I'm heading back east. I wrote down a description of the car and some numbers where the police can reach me. I'm going to run before the storm hits - you should get going too". He nodded toward the broken window and handed me a page torn from a road atlas. I could see neat block letters and I thanked him.

As he hurried away I opened the door and gingerly swept the glass off the seat. I plopped down and removed my rollerblades then raced to the nearest hardware store. The wind was gusting fiercely now and the clouds were close. The air had a breath of the winter to come.

The storm broke before I got there and I was instantly drenched. I ran inside, grabbed some duct tape and a roll of plastic and ran back to my car. I started to unroll the plastic but the wind kept whipping it around, so I threw the roll in my car and started home. 'My windows!' I remembered. I'd left them open in my flight from the house.

The roads were flooding as I pulled into my driveway. I ran into the house and slammed the windows closed. The curtains hung heavy with water and the carpet was soaked halfway across the living room. I ran back outside to tape up the broken car window then back inside to deal with the water damage.

Hours later I sat in my chair and looked at my living room. It no longer comforted. Thoughts of mildew and floor damage and dealing with the police tore at my mind. The answering machine light blinked and blinked. I wanted to call Elsa and talk about my day. I wanted to call her and scream but I didn't know what to say. Why were we together at all? She was the fourth woman to respond to the personal ad I'd placed last spring and our first meeting was for lunch at a hip little bistro.

I had arrived early and was looking the place over. Elsa entered in the middle of a group of people but somehow I instantly knew she was who I was waiting for. I walked over and murmured "Elsa?". "Hi" she smiled and her hand floated up and lightly touched my chest. Later I would ask her about that, and she said she knew when she saw me she had to touch me. I could feel the touch for hours afterward.

The lunch was awkward - we'd try a topic and then it would falter. We didn't have many common interests and we differed on the few we shared. As we finished our meal I decided this could never work and I prepared to leave. She differed with me on that too and reached for my hand as she asked if she could see me again.

After our third date we still were faltering and when we said goodnight I could tell the awkwardness was getting to her too. I wasn't at all surprised when several weeks went by without hearing from her - I was pretty sure I'd never hear from her again. Elsa, of course, had different ideas...

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