Oct 11, 2008
The wind had picked up but I braved the falling temperature to get out on the stoop to watch the moon go by through the scraps of tattered clouds that were the last of the vanguard still slipping past.
She came out without the blanket and suggested that we take a walk on the shimmering sidewalks to kick up the puddles and watch the gamboling reflection of the street lights mirrored countless times in the concentric circles our steps would send out in the remnants of last night’s rain.
I slid off my perch and we set out.
We moved down the sidewalk to the sibilant squeaks and squelches of my sneakers as the rubber met the road, so to speak. I grew fearful of how soggy they might be before we made it back.
I stopped and leaned down to tighten my laces against the moisture and she stopped beside me. I looked up to see her smiling down at me.
She reached down and pulled up the hem of her right pant leg so I could see the sleek Magnum blade strapped above her ankle.
“Protection,” she said evenly and let the leg drop back to conceal it again and she walked on. I stayed there, kneeling and watched her move away from me.
Then, I could almost hear it; a subtle little slide and scrape with every step she took announcing, almost inaudibly, imperceptibly the presence of that keen edge resting against her skin. I closed my eyes and thought about the cool of the steel against her and I watched as she walked; her gait loose and her stride perfectly measured, her hips swinging in a vaguely suggestive way with the rise and fall of each step and the ubiquitous skin that she wantonly exposed, even in the chill of the evening, just above her waist. I stood up and followed her.
I thought back to a dream she had told me about earlier:
“I dreamt I had this boil on my leg,” she said.
“You mean like a pimple?” I asked.
“No,” she told me. “A Boil. I mean this thing was huge.”
“What did you do about it?” I asked.
“Well,” she said, “I squeezed it and squeezed it but nothing would happen so I got a knife and I cut at it…just carving into my leg until I finally got it open so it could drain.”
“Did it?” I asked.
“It was the weirdest thing,” she said. “There was no blood or pus, just all these little, tiny men in red jumpsuits came out.”
“No shit,” I said.
“Yeah. And they all had tiny horns and they were carrying little pitchforks. A thousand of them must’ve come out and they just kept coming too. It was really scary.”
“What happened then?”
“Nothing.” She turned and looked at me. “I just woke up.”
I recalled all of that as I followed her down the street, contemplating her bizarre proclivity for keeping concealed weapons on her person and wondering why it made me want to tackle her and drag her back to the lab where I could really conduct all manner of licentious experiments on her.
I walked on behind her and began to grow more and more paranoid that perhaps she was some kind of highly-trained, weapons-specialist-type of secret agent for a shadowy power combine made up solely of women who were working to keep men weak, confused and subjugated.
I sped up as the thought took shape in my mind.
I, like most men, was born with a natural distrust for women. They are, after all, a devious lot, bent upon treachery and deception. I could just imagine that she slipped away, late at night, to secret meetings where they discussed their program and all agreed that breasts were little more than a tactical diversion and that they should be used at every opportunity; that breast-feeding was just a means to poison male offspring; that they had to keep the myth of the Multiple Orgasm alive so that men would continue to feel inadequate; to change the location of the much-vaunted “G” spot at least twice a month to keep all the men guessing and confused.
Yes. I could see it all and I sped up, prepared to grab her and make my accusations.
What could she do now that I had finally realized the Truth?
Maybe she would leap up and spirit herself away from me through one of the thousands of trap-doors that they had strategically placed for just such occasions. Then…then she would hop aboard their underground monorail system that connected all of their secret meeting places where they met and spoke in codes and signs that all men were forbidden to know about under pain of death only to speed back to Headquarters and report to the High Command that I, alone, had solved the riddle. I would have to be Eliminated.
Yes. It was all True. I could see it now.
I raced up to her and grabbed her hand, panting, and spun her around. She turned and smiled at me.
I realized then that I simply didn’t understand women and probably never would.
“Why don’t we walk on into town and maybe catch a drink?” I stammered, finally.
She smiled at me. “You read my mind.”