Today was a haunting day. I was at the Park-N-Shop in the frozen vegetable aisle-doesn't that sound like an excerpt from a Cosmopolitan article? "How to use the appeal of frozen peas and carrots to meet Mr. Right!" And while I'm talking about Cosmo, let me get this off my chest-I believe it teaches women to mold themselves to fit into a man's world. I say mold the man to fit MY world (literally, heheh.) Being good, being sweet and being nice will never make a woman's life sing. Being honest is always more respected than being agreeable. A good article for Cosmo would be: "Compliance with the thought that women must agree with whatever anyone wishes causes excessive facial hair; therefore don't do it under any circumstances!" To be ourselves may cause us to be exiled by many people... but to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves. The choice is pretty clear to me, I'm going to choose to be myself-screw everyone else. Regardless of what Cosmo preaches, I'm not here to try to figure out what men want. I could give a shit if they are from Mars, Venus or Pluto. As long as they are breathing, have a good tongue, have good hands and some fierce determination--ok, it takes more than that to survive in my world-but bottom line, what I want is paramount. Everything (especially men) is here for MY pleasure and enjoyment. Maybe I should write some moneymaking, woman-enlightening pamphlets or host my own talk show. I could make tons of money illuminating and educating women. On second thought, feminine power scares the shit out of men... the saddest thing is, it scares most women even more. Why would I want to share my power and strength anyway? It's my world and I'm greedy-I don't want to share.
I digress! It's exceedingly obvious I am in a philosophical mood tonight. Ok-I was in the frozen food aisle and into my peripheral vision wandered a man with striking resemblance's to Ed. I spun around, a bag of tater tots (yummy, mind-boggling treats) slipping from my hand to the floor with a brittle clatter, in time to see him round the corner towards paper products. Threads of recognition tightened around me like unforgiving steel bands. My heart leapt, my lungs courageously tried to expand. It was either pursue that man or cease to exist, he was the light and I was the moth. Only one thought drove me-catch that man, at all costs catch that man. My feet were a determined, staccato pulse as I pushed my cart down the aisle at a walk/run. I guess the cart bumped an overweight woman bent over the Sara Lee selections because she began to howl and turned to face me. She started squawking something about "rude people watching where they are going," the fat on her upper arm jiggling in waves down to her elbow as she emphasized each syllable with a stabbing gesture towards me. I half-listened, half-glanced at her, mumbling under my breath-well, it may have been "Sorry," but just as easily may have sounded a bit more like "Fuck you." All I wanted was to catch the man, catch the man-and here was this vociferous dimwit blocking my path. In any case, apparently the woman heard "fuck you" because her overly faux-jeweled hand curled around the side of my shopping cart completely stopping my forward motion. Oops. If she hadn't done that one little thing, she might still be alive. She chose to detain me when I didn't want to be detained-and her reward was my full attention.
I turned on her, I was a snarling a she-wolf prepared to attack. She was still screeching-she had a high-pitched, whiny, nasally voice that somehow matched the platinum hair, blue eye-shadow and hot pink lips, cheeks and nails-the combination of which dragged a cheese grater over my nerve. (That isn't a typo-I only had one nerve.) Mid-screech there must have been something on my face or in my eyes that silenced her. There was a heartbeat of silence between us broken only by a barely audible electrical crackling. The fat folds in her face pulled into a grimace as the first waves of my rage and frustration tickled her. She made a long "oooooooommmmmppppffff"-like a beach ball being quickly deflated-as she compacted in on herself. My blind rage at her for stopping me, for keeping me from what I wanted, assaulted her mercilessly. Her hand was still locked on the cart as she shrank, her face a contorted mask of pain, awe and realization, to a mere 3". Her bloated body hung off my cart by her hand like a dead fish in a trophy picture. She didn't kick and she didn't fight for the second and a half it took for her weight to overcome her and send her plummeting to the floor. She landed with a moist PLOP, it sounded like a hard-boiled egg being dropped. My emotions were tightly pulled strings being strummed on an out-of-tune guitar by an inebriated Jimmy Buffet (does he play the guitar? Or is that just the Coral Reefers?) I didn't feel the wave of contentment that usually softens my face. I ached for only one thing-catch the man who looked like Ed. Nothing else mattered, no one else mattered. I glanced up and down the aisle... thankfully we were alone, nobody seemed to have noticed what transpired. I looked down at the woman. She'd landed with one leg bent under her, a splinter of thigh bone poked out and a small puddle of blood spread around the open fracture. I didn't see any other injuries and I couldn't tell if she was still alive. I swept my head left and right again, making sure we were still alone, and made a snap decision-she was in my way and had to be eliminated. I stepped up to her damaged body and without hesitating, lifted my foot over her and brought it crashing swiftly and with finality down on her helpless form. Despite my anger, frustration and driving need to hurry, as I ground her into a greasy smear on the white linoleum I wondered what it would have felt like to feel her bones snap like toothpicks under my bare foot, her head popping like a small ping-pong ball, her grease and gore oozing all around the ball of my foot and up through my toes. Ahhh--the absolute power of it. I quickly twisted the toe of my shoe back and forth, stomping her out like a discarded cigarette.
I lifted my foot and looked down at her-to an unknowing person it looked like a large spider had been crushed. And who would really think that an obese, Marilyn Monroe wannabe had been shrunk and then squished? Just in case, I snatched a handful of napkins out of my purse, turned my right foot and rested it on my left knee, and wiped at the gore trapped in the treads of my favorite Kenneth Cole mules. It was difficult but I cleaned as much out of the treads as possible, hopefully enough so they won't start smelling. I'd kill her again if I have to lose a pair of Kenneth Coles. I squatted down and swiped at the gore on the floor. I managed to wipe some up, but I left behind a smeared mess of swirled colors-my own style of abstract art. I'm good at anatomy, have to be for my job, but I wondered what was green in the body? I stood and held the soggy handful of napkins, at a loss as to how to discard it. I gingerly placed the wad in the front pocket of my purse, lamenting the loss of the lovely Nine West. (This fat bitch was beginning to get expensive.)
I rushed down the aisle. Although it had taken me less than thirty seconds to completely end and then clean up a human life, when I reached the end of the aisle the man was gone. Find him, find him-each word thought in tempo with my pounding feet. I looked everywhere, I was the John Walsh of Park-N-Shop and that man was Desiderata's Most Wanted. He had disappeared. Or maybe he never was. Whichever, he wasn't in the grocery store now, of that I was certain.
I was shaking when I crawled behind the wheel of my Jeep. Tears of frustration threatened to escape my eyes. I took several deep breaths, attempting to calm my hurricane of emotions. Images of Ed played through my mind, a reminiscent menagerie of microfiche being dragged through the viewing machine of my thoughts. My angst melted into an ironic conglomeration of feelings-settling, thrilling, serene, exciting-it made me feel like I was on an express elevator shooting to the penthouse only to plunge right back down to the basement. It was like I could feel Ed inside me, his thoughts were my thoughts. Interspersed in the slide show, without rhyme or reason, were my memories and his memories. I felt the depth of his reverence for me, his desires, even the trepidation he occasionally suffered. I experienced again how it felt to catch a glimpse of him across a room, the secret smile we shared, the ultimate joy when he treated me with delicate tenderness and the unmistakable shiver that started at the tips of my toes when he kneeled in front of me and gently, gently brushed them with his lips as if mere pressure would make me crumble. The strongest and saddest image was of that shiver becoming a flame that ignited wildfire in my core when he whispered "My Goddess."
The images finally came to an abrupt end, sort of like Ed did. I opened my eyes, looked unseeingly out of the windshield. A bittersweet acceptance wrapped itself around me and teased my lips into a smile. Ed was with me forever. He dropped into my life out of nowhere, we created a short screenplay rivaling any Greek tragedy. I am stronger, more powerful, more confident and more enlightened now. All the characteristics that drew me to him are now a part of me. My smile grew into a grin. I considered Keith, I compared him to Ed. It seems that I am attracted to strong, courageous men-but not so strong or courageous that they can resist my charm (spell, whatever!) I wondered how fast my charm was working on Keith. Patience is not a virtue of mine. I don't know if I can do this slow shrinking thing. I sighed and pulled out of the parking lot.