I didn’t have much else to do, so I tailed me. I wasn’t a difficult tail until I sensed the hairy guerrilla breathing down my neck. From that point on it was like someone had stabbed or tickled my buried STEALTH button, and I disappeared around the corner –
– slipping over the border to the Czech Republic and into the parking lot of a puff or bordello named LOVE STORY. There I lost total track of me.
I didn’t have much else to do, so I entered LOVE STORY under the pretense that I was seeking that very extra-special certain somebody. (Our mothers, legend has it, often bathed us together.)
LOVE STORY possessed the original Denny’s aroma you can’t possibly fake. Like a chamber of commerce flapjack breakfast promoting lemon-fragrance urinal balls. The skinhead behind the bar closely eyed a mirrored shelf of shot glasses. He was alone in the establishment, not counting me, plus the three no one could see performing on the loud dance floor.
I pulled the plug on the rocketry of Ornette Coleman playing like meth on steroids on wings, and a silence domesticated the place like a steady dopamine intravenous drip. (I grew up in a single parent environment, the perpetual reminder of my mother’s sexual amnesia.) The three of us no one could see exited without explanation. I assumed a stool at the bar, saw dots, saw fireworks, and signaled the skinhead for a medic and oxygen tent. (If some day someone ever pops me, I too wish to be buried in a freshly waxed stretch———–limo.)
The short-sighted bartender slapped down a Czech Bud before me. He introduced himself as Finn, confessed that he was a kite boarder’s kite boarder from Canada, and then regaled me with his turbulent life saga. I took in the melody of Finn’s narrative as I attempted to decide which had been my most, most, most, favorite, favorite, favorite, dog, cat, and gerbil. A subtle earthquake heaved or heavy truck rolled past rousing a cricket behind the baseboard. (Wrong is perhaps the Falsch word for it, but to me the Czech Bud tasted wrong.) I decided on Tobias (beating out Queenie) for the dog, Lottie (beating out Scout) for the cat, and Contessa (no contest) for the gerbil.
Tens of minutes, like a series of Iranian centrifuges programmed by the Mossad, spiraled past all too quickly, and suddenly – just as Finn’s epic life history crash-landed exactly at the point where he was standing and I was sitting – daybreak assaulted. (When I asked but was too little to know, my mother told me that, feet first, I had come from her mouth.) Finn summed up by saying, »A story like that you can only make up. My old lady thought magic had brought us together. Fiction is no stranger to life.«
»You can say that again.«
On the house, the kite boarder’s kite boarder replaced my empty Budvar Bud with a Bud from Anheuser-Busch. »What about you?« he said. »What brings you here?«