Buy Two, Get the Third One Free

…or “Don’t Blink”
First posted 06/27/10

Something happened… but it’s gone.

Blink.

I can’t smell anything but I know the place stinks. It’s too small and too many cats live there. I’m staying in a bedroom just big enough for a bed with my two cats, so far I’ve kept them away from the other cats but I decide they shouldn’t be kept caged like this anymore but allowed to freely roam the area. After all, the cats who live here are all very old. Surely they can’t harm my cats.

I head to the bathroom and take one cat with me. In the bathroom three other cats are sleeping, one in a trash bin and the other two in some wadded up towels on the floor. My cat is frightened. I put her on the back of the toilet while I use it, both of us watch to see if the other three cats will wake up. My cat meows and the cats in the towels wake up.

One is so old that her paw is deformed. The claws were damaged while showing and now they cannot retract. They’re twisted and yellowed like someone who has let there nails grow a few feet too long. Only hers are to scale, so they’re about seven inches long. Both are black and white spotted, and for some reason so is my cat. They get angry, but they move too slow. I can pick my cat up and leave so I do.

Blink.

It’s dark. I convince myself I’ve turned over and fall back to sleep.

Blink.

We’re preparing a concert. Everyone is very excited but I’m apathetic to the idea. There’s going to be someone famous there, and it’s going to be a small concert. Only one to two hundred people. Everyone who helps with the set up is invited so there are more people working then are needed. I’m handling damage control, fixing something put out of place by an over eager fan.

The concert is happening in one of those bits of road that is a dead end. Where two roads meet, but one doesn’t get very far from the intersection before there’s a metal barrier and an empty lot or two. The performers will be on the street, the audience on the other side of the metal barrier. We remove the barrier and put some sort of netting there instead and string it with lights and balloons. It’ll be dark and we only have Christmas lights to keep things lit. We have a lot.

The music’s in full swing and I’m having fun now, all that hard work paid off. I’m not in the front row but I’m only about three rows back. I can see everything clearly and I am seen. The lead singer has wild brown hair and leather pants. I really want to watch the bass player so I can see how he plays and if I want to emulate him. Everyone but the lead singer is in shadows though, huddled together on a house porch lit dimly with a blue light. It looks like seeing them through a TV screen during an old movie. Grainy. Blurry.

Someone unexpected comes, a famous person who is a friend of the band. No one knew he was coming and the audience erupts in excitement and passion. He’s a musician/comedian and does more than just songs. He does this strange monologue accompanied with throwing paint out at the audience. I get brown paint all over my T-shirt, but it’s alright because I was wearing one that had my grade school logo on it. The shirt wasn’t the right color anyway, it should have been red and white but was yellow and green. Now it’s also brown. I glance up and the performer looks at me apologetically. I imagine he’s sorry that some of the paint got on my skin and in my hair.

When he’s done he goes out in to the crown to watch his friend’s band finish the concert. He stays in one place for a little while and then moves on. The audience around him wherever he stops is torn between watching the band and fawning over him. Eventually he stands beside me. He looks familiar, but I can’t quite place him.

“Sorry about your T-shirt.”

“It’s no big deal.”

“If it’s alright, I’d like to call you sometime.”

But it’s not alright, I’m married. I say nothing, neither yes nor no. He shrugs and moves on in the crowd. It’s when the performance is leaving that (even though there was no evidence of this) I realize he wasn’t asking me out. He just wanted our groups to jam together, write songs, sing, have fun. I get one a card out of my pocket and put my number on the back and find the performer.

“It’s alright with me.”

I finish our conversation where it had left off, I know he’ll remember what was said. He takes the card and smiles. I have to go back and finish taking everything down, I was part of the set up crew and now I’m part of the clean up crew. Everyone with paint on their shirts say they’re going to wear them to every concert hereafter in the hopes that the performer will show up and put more paint on them. I see some people have already done this multiple times, they have different colors of paint on their shirt from different performances. It’s some kind of contest to get a dozen colors. I agree to wear my shirt to every concert as well. My shirt is somehow less impressive though, the brown covers nearly all of it instead of being a smaller, artistic splash like on every one else. Mine looks like I was just standing under a full bucket that was dumped over my head. That was what he apologized for, the inartistic way paint had gotten on my shirt.

My teeth start falling apart. First it’s just one in the back which silently shatters, but then pieces come off the front have of a top tooth very near to those seen while smiling. My mouth is filling with tooth pieces. I head to a potted plant in someone’s yard and pretend to throw up in it so that no one watches me. There was a lot of alcohol and people throwing up in the plants has gotten common place. Just as soon as I spit them all out, my mouth is full again. I pretend to throw up again. It works in not drawing the attention of random passers-by, but my friends are worried about me and come to check on me. I send them away, afraid I’ll spit out teeth pieces again. But the second time was the last time.

Blink.

It’s not as dark and my teeth are whole. I have to roll over 360 degrees before I can fall asleep again.

Blink.

It’s a movie and I’m already part way in. There are people trying to cover the world with evil, but there’s a group of misfits in their way.

There’s a teacher. She’s also a mother with a 12 year old daughter who was born at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. She doesn’t tell anyone this. The evil man who has befriended her is searching for such a 12 year old girl, he has to molest her at midnight on her birthday just as she’s turning 13 in order to make her evil. But he doesn’t know this teacher’s daughter is the one. Not yet.

They’re in a classroom setting up a quiz. The teacher has special needs students, even though they are high school aged she is setting up a quiz where you must circle three colors in a row amid a grid of many colors. She tells her daughter who is helping not to make the grids too hard. It’s the last quiz before winter break and she doesn’t want to send anyone home sad that they failed the quiz. Earlier that day the evil man got the teacher’s credit card number but no one watching the movie is sure why.

Elsewhere is a crippled grandmother (she looks like my husband’s aunt) and her baby granddaughter. They’ve been trapped by an evil woman, she has the grandmother and granddaughter trapped in a car with the windows rolled up. The baby will die in the heat unless the grandmother submits to something. I must have gotten up to go to the bathroom because I missed exactly how the grandmother escapes.

Now the grandmother and the evil woman are inside and are wrapped in brass instruments. The grandmother is not as crippled as she pretended to be and is quite strong, she built this suit of brass instruments in order to fight. On her arms are saxophones, over her head is the large end of a tuba, the slides of a trombone hold her withered legs in place as she scoots around using only her hips. She was able to disable to evil woman so they are on equal footing. They fight each other in these suits of brass, it is difficult to tell who will win. Another granddaughter, older but mentally handicapped, keeps getting too close to the fight because she does not understand the danger. It’s funny when the grandmother uses the spit valve as a weapon, spraying spit in the evil woman’s eyes.

In the background I am using funny shaped tiddly-winks to make a matching game. The tiddly-winks have been put back in their box in order by color so I am very frustrated while trying to make a random configuration. I start mixing the tiddly-winks like one would toss a salad. Some spill and land among much larger tiddly-winks. One of my friends from the concert is also making a matching game and gets upset that my small tiddly-winks have mixed in with hers. The evil man watches and is upset that neither me nor my friend are 12 years old. But we’re getting younger all the time.

Through the classroom door is by bedroom, seen from my bed.

Blink.

It’s over as sudden as it began.

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