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Garlic Bread Before Bed
The serial killer had pale, smooth skin: a porcelain complexion, as they say; straight black hair, dyed, cut in a bob with fashionably short bangs, and one blue eye and one green. He wore a long black leather coat and black leather boots. He was androgynously handsome; could have been a rockstar – but he wasn’t.
He lived in my dream: a dream so real, so crystal clear that it could hardly be called a dream. It was a dream that did not follow dream logic; it was more like watching a movie that I was in; me, and the serial killer.
I had watched Titus and Inglorious Basterds the nights previous and eaten a lot of garlic bread just before going to sleep. Has anyone noticed that? If you eat garlic bread just before sleeping, you will have vivid dreams? Oh, this only happens to me? Huh.
Anyway, there I was, terrified, but only in the way one is terrified when watching a movie, not in the way one would feel if really running from a serial killer, in an old industrial lot, lots of steel gurders, ibeams and thick wooden floors; me and about ten other people who I don’t know, recognize or have any real interest in knowing or recognizing, trying to escape the serial killer.
He’s got us corralled at the end of a 2nd or 3rd floor, on a balcony type area that’s mostly encased with fencing wire: you know, like chicken wire only 10 times the size and thickness; chicken wire for humans is exactly what fencing is, isn’t it?
There we are, stuck at the end of the overhang, having been escaping from the evil serial killer whom we are not really afraid of, even though we understand his plans, as we hear him approaching, stepping over gerders and ibeams, weaving through thick wooden posts, holes in the floor and large industrial debris. He’s approaching. He has us trapped. He will soon kill us all.
I look around and see that I can jump off the edge of the platform; or rather, I can climb off the edge and drop to the ground with not even a body’s length of space to drop through. “Good odds” I think, as in, “I won’t do any damage to my self with such a shortish drop – why is everyone pretending we are stuck, and too high up to scramble off this strange industrial cattle pen/balcony?"
(Oh, that’s right; we are all acting…)
So I let myself down, and drop, trying to avoid the junk below me that could cause a twisted ankle when I land. Success! I am back on earth, in the yard behind and around the old warehouse or whatever it is – I’m on earth, in the weird industrial lot in which this story-dream is taking place. I feel clever and this makes me sad: am I really that intelligent, observant, compared to the people above me? Is it really true that not one of them could see that the jump was short and would not lead to certain death – that it would not even lead to injury? I’m not a world leader – not even a politician or lawyer! I’m not rich! I am in fact, poor, by Western standards. I’m a fucking graphic designer, for fuck’s sake! Female, old! I am so ignoble, it’s laughable, yet none of these social insiders can see that the jump to immediate safety is without risk; certainly safer than facing the ferocious, handsome, lithely confident and suave serial killer who will wipe them all out with a flick of his – wait – how is he killing so many people when there is one of him and hundreds – thousands – of others? Why can’t the ten plus people on the balcony/platform kill him?
Do we lack viciousness? Cruelty? Bravery?
It’s true that he’s like weasel in his ferociousness and agility. It’s true that he has the strength of Satan, if you believe in such a thing and that his eyes are mesmorizing; hypnotic, even, and probably capable of transfixing many people in fear; me, not so much because I grew up with a crazy Catholic mother which inoculated me against rhetoric, bullying and psychological manipulation. So yah, as scared as I was of the serial killer, I was not frozen nor mentally scrambled.
So much sadness and so little time to care - I’m safe – safe in the immediate sense – now I have to escape this junkyard. I pick my way through the stuff: boxes, wood, large industrial engines and scrap metal, weaving my way from the dark shadow of the building into the blue-grey landscape: my skin glows silver-grey as if it’s coated with special effects make-up as do the highlights on the trash, but it’s not make-up, this scene has been filtered in post.
I duck inside the building: it’s open all on this side for loading/unloading freight, because I want to remain out of sight, in the shadows. I don’t really know where to go.
I could try to get to a vehicle but where will I find the keys? We are miles from civilization, as if that would help, since the serial killer seems to wander around at will anyway, killing whom he chooses. Still, there would be safety in the city. It’s not me in particular that he wants to kill.
But it’s too late. He saw me leave the platform and left the others for me. They would not leave the platform in their fear and he is a perfectionist. No one must survive...
I will try to continue this story, but if I don't, the one thing I want to point out is the serial killer's one perfect blue eye and one perfect green eye. I'm not sure where that came from but it keeps reminding me of 3D glasses. I wonder if it makes him see the world differently than the rest of us; if it makes him distanced from us and other objects in his vision, if he doesn’t feel because of the two perfectly clear but different eyes that make everything hyper real, and thus, not?
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