Watch That Last Step Archives
May 17, 2005
Stacy: The Transporter
I drive too fast down the rain-slicked road, smears of street-lights flashing in my water-faceted windshield.
From the trunk I can hear the noise, over the sound of the tires on the wet road, Guns N' Roses in the CD player. Every thump reverberates through the car, creating knots of tension in my spine.
Thump, thump. It’s louder now, against the back of the rear seats. I glance wildly in the rearview, see nothing.
Why had I agreed to this? And why is so much damned noise coming from my car...when Rollo has the rest of the body in his??
May 18, 2005
My blood makes a whirring sound as it rushes past my eardrums. My skin feels like it's being winched tighter and tighter by tiny sadistic machinists.
Colors swirl around the colorless floor, leaving imprints on the interior of my eyelids when I blink, first one eye, then the other.
My body clenches into a fetal position, then relaxes a bit. My earrings begin singing to me in a high, Franki Valli-esque falsetto. 'Bi-iig girls, do-hon't cry-ay-ay-ay...'
The tile is ice cold where it touches my skin, and gradually the effects of the drug wear off.
Never drinking Darth Dew again.
June 7, 2005
"In case you're wondering, I don't spend the entire workday inside my tailor shop."
I glance at the wizened little man behind the counter as I rummage for my wallet. I'm just here for my damned skirt, I don't want to bond, fer crissakes.
"I also have a nice side business," he continues, undeterred.
He peers at me through bottle-thick glasses. "Don't you want to know what else I do?" he creaks.
I hurriedly slap down too much money, grab my skirt and bolt out the door, glad to be away from the smell of blood and the irritating screaming.
June 10, 2005
There wasn't much to do in Boca in those days. Bridge with the girls. Brunch at the club. Dressing up Erma's squirrel in those little silly costumes.
The farmer outfit was bad. The wedding dress worse. The bunny, Santa and leprechaun outfits just embarassing.
What was Erma thinking, taking in that wild animal? Sure, it was just a baby, but there are people who deal with lost animals. Erma was just lonely, I suppose, missing Herman like she did.
Poor Erma, how could she know that squirrel had a cousin who was an arms dealer in Miami? We'll miss her.
June 29, 2005
Stacy: Labor Train
One, two, three...
He always counted the train cars as they went by. She never understood why, stared out the window, waiting for it to pass.
...thirteen, fourteen, fifteen...
She leaned her head against the cool glass, tried to slow her breathing.
...nineteen, twenty, twenty-one...
She gripped the armrest so hard her knuckles turned white, nails digging into the leather, fingers cramping.
…thirty-two, thirty-three, thirty-four…
She screamed as the pain ripped through her in earnest now, and a gush of water hit the floor between her feet.
“Honey, I see the caboose! We’re almost to the hospital, just hang on!”
June 30, 2005
Stacy: Invasive Schminvasive
He hefted the machete, whacked experimentally at some foliage, then, confident of his swing, began chopping in earnest. The pungent fragrance of the cut leaves filled the air around them, making their eyes sting and water.
She followed gingerly behind him, careful to avoid the cut ends and the oozing sap, which could raise blisters on unprotected skin.
He cut a few more feet and they were through, into sudden sunlight. They collapsed on a bench, sweaty and tired, leaves stuck to various spots.
He glared at her, “You’re the one who wanted to plant peppermint in the back yard.”
July 8, 2005
Stacy: Targeted Market
Jenkins, CEO of Big Money Records, led his small audience through the clean room. “This is where the magic happens, people."
He indicated the rows of cubicles, containing hundreds of teenagers wearing headphones, some writing down notes, some just listening.
"We have the most advanced pre-market testing facility in the world. We hire these kids to come in, listen to pre-release music, give us the edge on our competition.”
He looked at around, “So, gentlemen, what kind of pre-market technology do you use?”
The CEO of Baby Baby Baby Records looked down and scuffed his shoe against the floor uncomfortably.
July 14, 2005
Stacy: In MY World
"I'm telling you, Joe, this overtime is bullshit. I can't take much more of it."
Joe sighed, rubbed his temples, wished he'd retired in '08. Ever since the institution of the hourly wage pay scale he'd had a splitting headache. Every single day the guys came into his office, whining about long hours, low pay, and the mandatory overtime.
He looked wearily across the desk. "Look, Jeter, you can play or not. There’s a dozen guys in the farm system, waiting for their chance."
Derek Jeter, former Yankee all-star, kicked over a trash can and flounced out of the room.
July 19, 2005
Stacy: The Past
"Are these crazy people?"
"Yes, son, I'm afraid they are."
"Well, because they drank too much crazy juice one night and thought raiding the fabric and craft section of the local Wal-Mart was a good idea. Little did they know that would lead to more drinking of crazy juice, climbing on top of the local Wendy's, and urinating on a motorcycle cop."
"Nevermind, son. What's important is those guys lived through that experience, learned a little something, and promised Mommy they will never do anything like that again."
“Go to sleep, son.”
October 17, 2005
Stacy: Cover Band
I watched in amusement as he nervously pushed up the sleeves of his zippered naugahyde jacket and straightened his absurdly skinny tie. I hadn't seen a tie like that since high school, 30 years earlier.
He stalked around the store, an overdressed banty rooster, stumbled as he turned too quickly on his high heeled boots. I stifled a snicker, shouldn't laugh at the paying customers.
He stopped suddenly, eyes wide. "The Casio CT-615 Tone Bank Synthesizer," he whispered reverently. "61 full size keys, 10 note polyphonic PCM sound generator, and 210 sound programmable Tone Bank!"
I smiled. "Cash or charge?"