*Just a warning: It gets pretty Rated R from here on out.*
Maggie asked if I wanted to play snooker that night, which is our code for you-know-what. Since it’s my policy to never say no, I said yes. “Let’s do it in the bathroom,” she said, which we both like on account of the two mirrors on opposing walls. You can see an infinite array of pornographic parallel universes. It’s trippy.
But as anyone might anticipate, given my particular situation that day, the mirror was problematic. “Is something wrong?” Maggie asked. “You’re not acting like yourself.” I had to laugh at that one, even as I put my clothes back on. The shame.
She insisted we meet for lunch the next day; she also insisted that I was suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD, which I find funny – imagine going to a shrink and having him tell you you have sad. Thanks, asshole. But it’s sadness).
Turns out Jasper was still mad at me, though. He put me in the West Hills and then had me riding up to St. John’s and down to Sellwood – obscure locations I had never ridden to, and which required lots of map-reading. I called Maggie, told her I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it. She was nice. “No problem. I’ll be at home. If you make it, you make it. If you don’t, you don’t.”
There are some perks to having your girlfriend believe you’re sick.
I saw Eric Two everywhere I went. Hovering amongst the window displays of the boutiques on 23rd, in the windshields of minivans parked curbside in the West Hills, in the cyclists I passed as I cut through Ladd’s Addition. Nothing materialized, though. And the fact that he wasn’t where I thought he might be but he might be anywhere I thought he wasn’t – it screws with you, you know? Your brain begins to process everything in this convoluted syntax.
I suppose death is always right around the corner. But murder isn’t. And when your murderer is yourself, well, you don’t exactly feel safe.
Still, I didn’t believe it would all come to pass. Not really.
But then I got home.
Maggie was aglow when I walked through the door. “Hey. How was your afternoon?” she said. It was a comfort to see her smiling face.
She jumped up and kissed me. “You’re in a good mood,” I said.
“Well, yeah. I had a great lunch.” She winked and then kissed me again – a dramatic smooch on the cheek with a “muh” to finish it off.
I held her an arm’s length away and stared into her eyes. I knew then that I could kill him. I was capable.