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So here I am, stranded on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere. Again. This time is was over goldfish. Well, not really goldfish. We were using them as a metaphor; goldfish were children. We were arguing over the care and maintenance of goldfish (children), coming up with some pretty preposterous scenarios. I mean, who stays up at night wondering if their goldfish has wrecked the car? Goldfish lack the opposable thumbs to drive - they don't even have hands for cryin' out loud! She kicked me out of the car when I mentioned that I once ate a live goldfish in college and didn't mind the taste, like sushi without the rice and seaweed. She screamed something about "issues", my parentage and told me to get out of the car.

At least she slowed down to twenty miles an hour, first.

It took me a while to realize that I shouldn't have made that remark about eating the goldfish because it probably wasn't true. Now that I think about it, it was my college roommate who ate the fish, I just offered him ketchup. Maybe mentioning food might have been a bad idea; she might have been hungry, for all I know (women and their "weight" problem... sheesh). I'm not certain, really, what set her off, but I can at least admit that I was wrong about who ate the fish.

I'm getting ahead of myself here, I think. The point is, she dumped me, literally, on the side of the road. Geez, I hope she comes back. A weekend get-away in a bed-and-breakfast all alone can be boring- especially since I have the directions in my back pocket. She'll go a few miles down the road, realize she doesn't know where she's going and she'll come back to pick me up. "All right," she'll ask, "how do I get there?"

"Let me go with you and I'll show you," I'll say.

"Sure," she'll say back.

And I'll produce the directions from under my butt after I've seated myself and say, "Ta-dah!"

And she will laugh good-naturedly, call me her cute clown and all would be forgiven. I might even suggest a sushi bar at the next exit. That's The Plan.

It's been four hours and she hasn't come back yet. Maybe I should have filled her in on The Plan before I got out- dove out, really. She doesn't know about The Plan. Otherwise, she'd be back by now.

I'm hungry. All that talk about eating goldfish got me hungry. Okay, so it definitely was my college roommate, Frank, who ate it, but I'm still hungry. Do they have a Captain D's in the desert? Maybe a Red Lobster, that's all I ask.

 

It all started last Saturday, when I went on a drinking binge, found myself in a high-stakes poker game and lost her life's savings to a guy named "Stu." I figured that since it wasn't my money, there was no way I could lose it. Besides, Stu seemed really nice. When I told Sally about my adventursome poker game, still recouperating from my hangover, she was not nice. As a matter of fact, she was really rude. Screamed a lot and threw things at me, which sucked because my reflexes weren't too sharp from all that drinking and I got hit a few times. She cried a lot and said some more unsavory things about my parentage. Funny, I thought she liked my parents. I might eat goldfish, but I'd never do the things she described with my mother. Imagine! Somewhere deep down in the dark places of her soul, I think Sally is very, very ill. She might need help.

But I love her and I wanted to make it up to her, so I suggested a weekend to get away from it all (and Stu's goons... he's nice, but they're mean folks). She suggested a detox clinic, but I hate the hallucinations I get there, the holding of hands in a circle while we all bitch about life and those stupid counselors who say they've been right where I am, but decline to admit if they've ever been drunk. If they know "right where I am", how come they keep surrounding themselves with drunks? Maybe they want to get drunk, deep down, and they think they can get that way by being around us. Alcoholism by osmosis or something. I say, give 'em a fifth of Jack and be done with it. Join the party and stop pointing fingers at us.

But I digress.

I told Sally that I wouldn't go to "any fucking clinic even if it was at fucking gun-point and it was burning with a hundred nuns inside." I said this while waving my gun around, for effect, to illustrate my feelings. She suddenly agreed that a bed-and-breakfast was a great idea. God, I love that girl. She really knows how to make a snap decision with grace.

We left town the following Thursday, three days ago. She kicked me out of the car four times since we left, which is a pretty good average. After all, I threatened to choke her to death only three times, so she shows a clear advantage. Maybe when she comes back to pick me up, and she will, I'll threaten her life just once more to make us equal.

The first time she kicked me out, it was over marbles. She was certain I'd lost mine and I kept asserting that they were right where I left them: between my legs. I offered to prove it, but she seemed upset by the idea and told me to get out. I thought she'd appreciate the kink- I thought wrong. She left me standing there for all of thirty seconds and then came back. As well she should have- the next bullet was aimed for her head instead of the already-shattered back windshield (why shoot at something when it's already gone?). Like I said, she's a graceful decision-maker.

The second and third times were on Friday. She was complaining about the wind coming through the back of the car and telling me that it was my fault. I shot back (not with the gun; I only use that to win arguments, not for conversation) that if she hadn't opened her "big, fat cake-hole" and tried to leave me stranded, then she wouldn't have anything to complain about. Q.E.D., right? She kicked me out both times.

Now the car is missing the front windshield and has a hole in the trunk. Either she thinks this is some sort of weird game or she likes to live on the edge. She's a mystery to me sometimes, that Sally.

The fourth time was because of my latent homosexual tendencies- at least, that's what she says. I say it's because she has a fascination with turning gay men straight. We were arguing over who was prettier: Boy George or Ru Paul. I didn't feel qualified to make an accurate judgement. 1) I really wanted a drink and couldn't concentrate and was stuttering a lot; 2) while Ru Paul has some hot fucking legs, George is a master with make-up. Sally asked me what I knew about make-up and I declined to inform her of those never-talked-about childhood years when Dad was gone all the time and Mom made it clear that she wanted a girl instead of a boy. So instead I told Sally, in exact terms, that she probably knew more about cosmetics than Tammy Fae Bakker if missing two months in rent for "beauty supplies" was any indication and I wasn't going to say any more on the matter.

Two gunshots later (good-bye side-view mirror) and I was riding "shotgun" once again next to my lady love.

It's been two hours since I started this and Sally still hasn't come back. She's a smart girl, that one. She's probably trying to teach me some sort of really stupid lesson. I don't know about her, but all I've learned so far is that the sun is one mean bastard in the desert. An hour ago I wanted whisky. Now I'd settle for motor oil, as long as it's liquid. Fuck, I'm thirsty. Thirsty and hungry. I want seafood and a wet bar. Those fucking fish!

I just realized why Sally hasn't come back: I'm out of bullets. She can't play the drop-me-off-get-shot-at game anymore. Damn. I hope that wasn't all I meant to her- idle entertainment. Love is so fickle. Without the gun I'm a pretty swell guy, really.

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