Tracey, the interloper (Part I)
I had been parked on Vanderbilt Avenue and asleep in the backseat when she broke into my car and sped off down the road. She must have had no idea I was there, for when she caught a glimpse of me in the rearview mirror she did a quick double take and her eyeballs dilated. Then she began screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Who the fuck are you? And what the fuck are you doing in my Prius?” I slurred, half-drunk and slightly amused by the terrified and utterly attractive stranger driving my hybrid. I looked down at my chest and noticed that there was a rainbow flower lei around my neck. Out the passenger side window it appeared that we were speeding uncontrollably along a residential stretch of block near campus. In my stupor I was both confused and giddy, and began laughing uncontrollably.
I was still laughing and she was still screaming when she lost control of the steering wheel. The Prius suddenly veered left, hopping a curb and tearing through a well-kept lawn. We unearthed a flowerbed before eventually crashing into an oak tree.
I must have hit my face against the roof of the car because I was now covered in blood, the site of which only made me laugh harder. She was thrashing about wildly in the front seat looking for a way out. Her berserk movements reminded me of a badger that I had once trapped in a tiny cage, the thought of which was also quite hilarious to me.
“Badger! Woodland creature!” I croaked. “I demand you quell your kerfuffle at once and state to me your coarse intentions.”
Pulling violently at the handle multiple times she was eventually able to open the driver’s side door and escape from the vehicle. However, the crash had evidentially disoriented her severely and she slowly stumbled around the lawn. While she did so I struggled with trying to disable the child safety locks on the back doors. After failing to figure them out I managed to roll down my window and crawl out of the Prius that way. When she saw that I had managed to escape from the vehicle she began screaming again and made for the street. I, of course, dragged my heels to follow her.
“Hey, can we talk?” I implored, limping down the road behind her. We were both inching along at a snail’s pace. Lights were starting to appear from the houses around us. She did not answer.
“Can I at least buy you a cup of coffee, maybe some chicken fried steak, and find out your name?”
Still no answer, so I picked up the pace a little in order to catch up with her.
“Just a goddamn minute,” I said, grabbing her with both hands by the shoulders. As I spoke I lost my balance, tackling us both onto the ground.
“Help! Rape! Rape!” she yelled.
“Shut up, lady. I don’t want to rape you. Are you bonkers? You’re the one who tried to steal my car.”
“Please someone. This man is trying to rape me.”
I tried to cover her mouth to quiet her, but she bit my hand and drew blood. Then the two of us wrestled sloppily on the ground for several minutes. Eventually I was able to put her in a full nelson, which finally stopped her from hooping and hollering so much.
But by then it was already too late. I looked up just in time to see a large, athletic sneaker sink into my face. It belonged to one of about a half-dozen juiceheads who had come to both rescue the girl and to kick my ass. For the next few minutes they proceeded to light me up like the Fourth of July. As they beat me to a pulp I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Where was she born? What was her favorite season? Had she ever been in love? For a brief moment our eyes met and I knew she was wondering the same things about me.
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