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I dreamed that I was walking down the beach with the Goddess. And I looked back and saw footprints in the sand.
But sometimes there were two pairs of footprints, and sometimes there was only one. And the times when there was only one pair of footprints, those were my times of greatest trouble.
So I asked the Goddess, "Why, in my greatest need, did you abandon me?"
She replied, "I never left you. Those were the times when we both hopped on one foot." And lo, I was really embarassed for bothering Her with such a stupid question.
Once upon a midnight dreary;
While I pr0n surfed, weak and weary;
Ov'r many a strange and spurious site of ' hot XXX galore'.
While I clicked my fav'rite bookmark, suddenly there came a warning;
And my heart was filled with mourning;
Mourning for my dear amour;
"'Tis not possible!", I muttered, "Give me back my free hardcore!"
Quoth the server, 404.
The City. Cold, grey, full of angles jutting at odd, predictable angles. A place where anarchy lies just a gunshot away from the uneasy order that has slowly taken over. Gee, I miss the suburbs.
It was a grey morning, as I groggily lifted my head from my desk. I vaguely wondered who had cracked open my brain pan & replaced it with charcoal in mid-burn, when I noticed the bottle next to me, a half-inch of amber liquid left. Right. Another night of self-pity, in the City that doesn‚Äôt care. Coming fully into painful consciousness, I grabbed the bottle & poured the rest of the cheap scotch into last night‚Äôs glass, fighting the nausea of a new day.
I leaned back in my chair, and looked out the window, at the concrete prison of Ideas that is the City. There was little traffic this morning, as most people only come to the City when they have to. Government, Inc. had proclaimed today to be a holiday for tax purposes, so the worker bees stayed in their hives, fearing to tread in the unpredictable streets.
Hearing the outer door open, I ran my fingers through my hair. Graying already, my temples turning the color of the pavement. The knock came as I straightened my tie, trying to make it look like I didn‚Äôt spend the night passed out in an alcoholic haze.
When She walked in, it was like a Krakatoa sunrise. Short red hair trained to hold the curves of her skull like it was the president of the Clara Bow fan club, and a dress to match. Legs that went for miles, all standing unsteadily on a pair of heels that could be used as weapons. What the fuck was she doing here, in this room, in this building, in this City? She was the kind of woman who threw the unfeeling vastness of the City into pure focus, just by standing there, radiating life.
‚ÄúAre you LMNO?‚Äù
‚ÄúSome call me that, yeah.‚Äù
‚ÄúI hear you‚Äôre a dick. I need someone to be a dick for me.‚Äù
‚ÄúDid I mention I‚Äôm a fan of double entendres, as well?‚Äù
She smiled, a quick, no-teeth smile of condescension, but I could tell from her eyes she was holding something back. It took a lot to stand the City. We all have our armor, some of us just hide it better. ‚ÄúWhat can I do for you,‚Äù I asked.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs this,‚Äù she said, tossing a playing card on my desk. I picked it up, and noticed it wasn‚Äôt a playing card, but a Tarot card. The Tower, to be exact.
She looked worried, and in that moment, it seemed like the entire Universe wanted to protect her, reassure her. ‚ÄúWhat is it?‚Äù she asked.
‚ÄúAre you trying to tell me something? Dames like you don‚Äôt just walk in here and throw Tarot at me. I usually leave that to the Gypsies.‚Äù
‚ÄúSomeone slipped this into my box last night.‚Äù
‚ÄúWhat did I tell you about entendres?‚Äù
‚ÄúLook, LMNO‚ÄîWhat kind of name is that, anyway?‚Äù
‚ÄúMy parents were librarians. They liked keeping everything lined up.‚Äù
‚ÄúI‚Ä¶ See.‚Äù She gave me a look like she wasn‚Äôt sure whether to believe me. ‚ÄúWell, I‚Äôve been getting mysterious phone calls over the past few weeks, and now this. I‚Äôm frightened.‚Äù
‚ÄúWhat kind of phone calls?‚Äù
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs embarrassing. I won‚Äôt tell you, unless you want to take the case.‚Äù
I thought about next month‚Äôs rent, and the dwindling case of scotch in the closet. What the hell, I thought, at least it‚Äôll be interesting‚Ä¶ ‚ÄúSure, dollface, I‚Äôll work with you. Now why don‚Äôt you tell me about it from the beginning‚Ä¶‚Äù