Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Let Me Tell You A Story


Rory rolls her shoulders to ease the tension.  Shit, this traffic sucks.  A common thought during her daily commute to and from the office.  24.4 miles each way.  Or 25.4, depending on the route she takes.  This is a superfluous detail.  She's full of them.  

6.8 miles left.  Bruce Springsteen croons out a song via her cell phone.  Brian.  She lets him go to voicemail.

Her hair is neither blonde nor brown, neither short nor long and is often stuck in a ponytail, if it's not worn down.  She never took the time to figure out how to do more than a ponytail, bun or braid.  Much to her regret, she does not live next to a fabulous neighbor who happens to be a stylist.  Apparently life is not a rom-com full of convenient characters and plots.  

Rory stares at her reflection in the mirror and notes that her eyes are darker than usual, reflecting her mood.  Her eyes are blue, darker than her mother's, with less of a light and more of a swirl of blues and greens.  She admits to liking them.  They soften when she is happy, but are otherwise like the onset of a storm when clouds darken.  She studies them while she waits at a red light on the corner of you don't care and neither do I.  Time for a change, she thinks.  She needs to shift her focus from one to the other.  A new job, a new man, a new haircut.  Something more than that.  But what? 

Green means go. 

Her relationship with Brian has lasted for a few months, but it's too vanilla for her.  It's not his fault.  He's nice enough.  Midwestern, with all of the wholesome suburban qualities the term implies.  This is the problem.  At thirty plus a year, nice enough is not cutting it anymore.  

Fingers tap against the sides of the steering wheel.  The September sky is perfect tonight.  She loves a good sunset.  The moon is hungry tonight; bright orange and huge.  Is it more like a blood red?  Rory blinks and rubs her eyes, deciding they must be dry and tired. 

At a second light, she inches forward and squints, concentrating on the pigments of the harvest moon.  Red.  Too bad the camera's in the trunk.  Maybe the moon will wait for her to get home before it fully rises and changes colors again.  She hasn't seen a red moon since last year when Henry died.  The thought distracts her until the blue Audi behind her reminds Rory of where she is.  The man gestures in a rude manner like an Italian as he passes her.  "From New York," she notes aloud to herself, "Figures."  She waves back at him.  Kill them with kindness, she reminds herself and smiles casually at him as she drives alongside his car.  The Audi guy looks like a fat George Clooney.  Rory pictures him sidling up to a bar in the Gold Coast, preying on hot young blondes.  At the next light his eyes linger on her and he studies her breasts.  Fat Clooney winks at Rory.  She ignores him and rolls the windows up with a decisive tap of her finger.  

Rory shifts in her seat and scrolls aloud through the laundry list of tasks to complete before climbing into bed.  I won't bore you with it but it does include both laundry and dishes.

Rory is a mostly good person.  Typically good-natured.  Usually friendly.  Feisty, witty, intelligent, funny.  Lately on edge and numbed by boredom.  Too sedated and unchallenged.  That's going to change in about 3.6 miles.  She has no clue what's going to happen to her, but I do.  She'll say later that everything that happened was my fault.  I say I was the best thing to happen to her.  That's humans for you.  Complain, complain, com - right, better pay attention here, it's not easy to hold on to a moving car and it's hard for me to focus with these eyes.  Although I can tell you that Fat Clooney has good taste in breasts.  She has a great ass too, especially for a short white gal.

Ouch!  Quick kicking me, lady.  I'm just saying.

2.4 miles and her mood starts to improve as she passes Victorians and Colonials.  Pajamas!  Dinner!  Modern Family!  She's thinking about the weekend ahead of her.  Dump Brian, schedule drinks with Alex and Georgia for sympathy and reassurance, cut hair, bike 50 miles.   Maybe take Monday off to shop for new clothes and revamp that old profile on

Shit!  She just kicked me.  You're lucky I have six of those, lady.

I should get to the point.

Rory lives in the suburbs of Chicago.  It's got houses, Protestant churches, schools, shops to buy overpriced art and vases, a few restaurants, and two bars.  Whatever, it's got stuff.  Do you really care about these details?  It's actually pretty enough, I guess.  The town she lives in is idyllic for parents but teenagers call it Borington.  Unless you're popping out babies there's not much for you to do here.  Still, it's where she grew up, so she bought a house once she had enough money saved.  Apparently you need to kill trees to turn them into paper to buy a home.  This world kills everything, even plants.  You people need to work out your aggression.  Anyways, her family is gone now, but she decided to stay.

Finally!  She pulls up to her house.  Two stories with a garage and a neat yard that she pays a landscaping crew to mow.  One of them is teaching her Spanish.  She's not picking up on it very fast.  She just added a fence for a future dog.  It's light blue.  The house, not the fence.  Not that this matters. 

She opens her garage and pulls into it, parks the car, turns it off, and emits a happy sigh.  She cracks her neck twice, lugs her briefcase and purse over her shoulder, and slips one foot out of the car but stops when she hears a sound.  A soft whimper, like an animal.  Or a small child.  She's not sure.  It sounds like the it's coming from under her car.  Another sound.  No, it's coming from above.  Her eyes widen as she looks up and says, "What the fuck?" 

Get ready for it, this is where I enter.  Now it gets good. 

Glass breaks.