“Life is a flower of which love is the honey.”
I wish she’d hurry, the wait is killing me. Soon, so soon, and these last few minutes are killing me.
Should be two minutes. Should be, should be. We’re gonna be late. Five minutes, that’s all you’ve got, I need to be pulling out at three o’five or we might as well stay until we rot out the rest of our lives here. How long does it take to say good bye? Just do it let’s go.
I feel like this is the first time she’s ever been late, but she’s late all the time. Maybe this is just the first time I mind. She’s not even really late, yet, technically. Man, if we don’t go soon the streets are going to be roadblocked. All the damn school buses stopping every ten feet. We should have skipped this one, should have just left this morning.
Kerry said one more, she needed to go back once more before we left. Stupid, so stupid, why’d I say yes? I always say yes, that’s why. No, that’s habit, that’s not a reason. I say yes because I don’t like saying no, especially not to her.
Fuck. Ok, now she is technically late. I feel like starting the engine will call attention to me, I don’t want to be even later, have people come up and ask me why I’m here, what I’m doing, why I’m stopped out front. I want the radio, but if I turn it on I’ll just get impatient and turn it off anyway, that’s how being late always feels. You don’t feel good doing anything unless it’s getting you toward where you’re going.
I can do the radio off the battery.
Nothing on anyway. Beginning of rush hour, nothing but fucking commercials. The time when they should be trying to calm everyone down and playing soothing music while everyone’s a lane’s breadth from vehicular murder and they take the increased listener-ship time to blare obnoxious commercials that make side-swiping that grandma in the Dotson seem like a viable idea.
I love those moments when you just stop, when you forget about yourself and you just turn off for a minute. I guess that’s what meditation or sleep is like, but for me it never lasts. As soon as I notice it, all gone. Back to grinding my teeth.
Kids are starting to pile out across the street, school buses are late. Thank fuck for favors, right? Come one, just get your butt out here so we can go. I said fifteen minutes and that was twenty-three minutes ago.
I could threaten to leave with out her but I won’t. Make deals with myself, two more minutes, or at this time, I got, but then I won’t and I’ll just be double pissed, angry at her and angry for breaking a declaration. Plus, who am I threatening? Just myself. She can’t hear me, all I’m doing is making myself angrier. Then she’ll get here whenever she gets here and I’ll be in a shit mood and I’ll take it out on her and then she’ll be shitty toward me and everyone is miserable. What’s the point. Just chill, only thing I can do.
Six months. Seems like longer, I always tell people a year. Man, I’m shit with dates. But it’s May, we first got together at the end of November, right after thanksgiving. That party, where everyone was drunk. 28th of November, friday after thanksgiving. Stupid to have a party on the wrong day, that’s why I remember it. That was out first time. Easy times, holidays are always easier than the rest of the year. Everyone’s happier, no one’s paying attention to you, looking at you sideways, giving you shit or trying to tear you down. Everyone’s just happy.
Ok, this is getting stupid. Half an hour, now. Schools buses parked up the street, kids running around. Little fucker banged on my hood. Shit, kids. We are not going to get out of here. We are going to be stuck here, in this city, on this very block, right in this fucking spot, until the end of time.
Engine’s on. Radio’s off. Seat belt. Clutch is in, brake’s down, I’m already in first. The second she’s out I pop the locks, she gets in, then nothing to stop me from flooring it out of this fucking place, hitting the gas until there’s nothing but sand and palms and no more traffic or exhaust, or cops telling you to slow down.
Bang? Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. She’s out and she’s running, come on, run.
“Go, just fucking go.”
What did you do? What the hell did you do?
In gear, out of the spot, fuck, they’re coming out.
What did you do?
Shit. Hard brake. Fucking kids, get the fuck out of the way.
“He wouldn’t give it up. Old fucking bastard had it half way in my hands and he wouldn’t give it up.”
So you shoot him? Come on, Kerry, this was supposed to be it, this was the last one. God damn it, this isn’t vacation, not with cops running us all the way up the coast. Shit, man, what were you thinking, are you fucking kidding me with this–
“Give it a fucking rest, ok? It’s done. You get your half, just get us out of the city. I did my part, you do–“
Yeah, well I didn’t fuck my part up.
Six months. No banks, no school zones. Last day of an easy partnership just about played out and she shoots a fucking security guard, next to school, during rush hour.
Hell of a start to my retirement.
This week’s fortune revolved around the idea of a relationship being something other than what it immediately appeared. “Life is a flower of which love is the honey.” The flower, in this case, is a life of petty crime, and the honey is the stolen money, or maybe the until now successful partnership between Kerry and the narrator.
I imagine the two started by robbing an office party or a friend’s house. Maybe they each had plans for the same place and ended up leaving together with what they’d stolen. I liked the idea of an intimate relationship between a man and a woman, a partnership in which each relied on the other, but one that was devoid of romanticism. I get tired of fiction always having to pair off the male and female leads, I wanted to explore the idea of two people who were sexually compatible but that didn’t feel the need to follow through on that aspect of their lives. I also like the idea of their being criminals as it makes their attachment both more fragile and demanding of more trust. Any other sort of partnership, law enforcement, or business, wouldn’t have the same sort of raw, earnest, demand for the other, at least not without adding a romantic element. So, instead of cops we end up with a pair of petty thieves.
I was playing with time, trying to build a sense of urgency. I think I was successful. The inclusion of a time stamp seems like a cheat, but it was helpful in breaking up the narrative, which really could have been written stream of consciousness style ina one huge block of text.
I’d hate reading something like that, so, I assume, would others.
I hope you enjoyed reading this week’s Fortune Cookie Friday. I surely enjoyed writing it.