August 31, 2004

Chapter 4: The next four minutes

What was it that I found so beguilingly familiar about that Bowie-eyed woman? My mind searched my memory in the same fruitless manner a man might pathetically grope around for his recently plucked and discarded eyeballs.
As a logical and rational man, I know of course that love at first sight does not exist. Which makes it doubly strange that it has happened to me twice. I was drunk the first time. I thought perhaps someone had slipped something into my Pernod, because suddenly the colour on the world got turned down. Except around her. She seemed to be almost too colourful, in a way reminiscent of a black-and-white Western that’s been converted using the technically flawed but visually impressive four-strip Technicolor dye-imbibation process.
While I was no longer drunk (having learned not to drink on the job after a hilarious-in-retrospect confusing of a customer’s exhaust pipe and fuel inlet) I again felt myself experiencing that visceral, vision-effecting mesmerism. I knew nothing of this girl, didn’t know her opinion on anything, didn’t know how she would react to anything, didn’t know her history, didn’t know her future, didn’t know how prudent she was in sexual matters. All I knew was that no matter what the answer to those queries happened to be, I would adore them. Except now, I’d never know the answers.
I was struck by the efficiency of it all. Rather than have her destroy my love for her over the course of many torturous years, I could start getting over her now, mere seconds after having exchanged only thirteen words with her. I was rather pleased with myself.
Until the Volkswagen Passat came screaming back into the station, smoke flooding from beneath its hood, and the mangled remains of an almost-dead fox crammed into the spaces in its radiator grille.


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