Monday, March 30, 2009

Animal Instinct | Fiction

Murphey straightened his tie. She had smiled. She was coming over. He always got nervous smiling at pretty women. I'm not that bad looking he thought.

His therapist always told him, "Murph, you gotta just do a little bit at a time and stop thinking so far ahead." He was taking that advice tonight. Stuck in the First Class Lounge sipping a complimentary Dewars on the Rocks, he noticed her, engrossed in a magazine.

She glanced up momentarily and smiled his way. Murphey thought "this is it. She's coming over." He lifted his glass and cocked his head slightly to the left, a subtle hint for her to fill the empty seat beside him. Then she looked down again.

Oh, feeling deflated, he stared down into his glass. The shimmer of the light amber Scotch and the crystalline structure of the V shaped ice cubes grabbing his attention. Contemplating ordering another, Murphey heard the howling.

"Oh god, not again" he whispered. "Not tonight. Not tonight."

Murphey was five years old lying in the loft of the cabin, sound asleep when he heard the howl. He had no idea where it was coming from or why it sounded so sad and alone. Grandam Ev was downstairs listening to the radio. Murphey snuggling back into the goosedown mattress topper listening to the howl as tears streamed down his cheeks. He felt like that howl tonight, alone in the world, totally friendless.

Snapping back Murphey saw the burl veneer through his empty glass.

Something, someone was standing on his left. He looked over and realized it was her, the beautiful woman he'd smiled at, what was it 10 or 15 minutes ago.

He didn't have time to think ahead. His therapist would have been proud. Although he remembered something else from the vision. He recalled the howl stopping abruptly.

He turned his attention to the woman as she said, "Hi, I'm Janney." Before Murphey could respond with his name, the bartender was there. Janney told the bartender, "Scotch - Dewars if you have it, neat."

They both looked at each other and in unison said, “Respectability is the state of never being caught doing anything which gives you pleasure.” They each looked at the other, shocked and then smiled.

They were both thinking this night might not be so bad after all.

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