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“Jesus Christ man you need to stop fuckin passing out.”
Memories washed over my brain like someone was basting it like a turkey. My head felt like someone had been playing soccer with it, and for some reason my mouth tasted like pennies. A quick internal diagnostic revealed that I had foolishly bit the inside of my mouth on the way down.
I opened my eyes to see Rain sitting next to me as I lay on the couch.
“Hi, yea sorry, you must think I am a real weakling.” I sat up slowly. She took that moment to stand and look at me sternly.
“Ok listen, your not going to fuckin die on the couch, for some stupid ass reason I dragged your ass home, and now well, you owe me. You know like in those Chinese movies, I saved your life so now you owe me a favor.” She looked serious.
“Umm” I sputtered, talking made my head feel like my brain was vibrating painfully inside my skull.
“You need to eat and then sleep.”
Rain made me some pasta and some steamed carrots. After she made sure I was full enough I was made to drink a Nalgene of water, then she forced me to lie down. It didn’t take long before I passed out.
It wasn’t like falling asleep it was like falling off a cliff. I slept like an inanimate object. My body was in maintenance mode. Repairing, and recharging. I don’t know how long I slept but it felt like a long time. I awoke to find the one room apartment empty, Rain was gone and so was her bike. A note was attached to the apple crate in front of me.
“I left some more ramen noodles on the stove, had to go to work, be back at 4pm” It was signed “R.” Why was she being so nice to me? It seemed like part of my brain new the reason, but refused to spit it out. Something to do with her flying, no not flying falling. I was very frustrated with my brains inability to function.
I took a chance and stood up. Standing with out passing out, check. I looked at the clock and saw that it was almost 4pm. Nothing like a 20 hour nap to revive you. I made myself a bowl of ramen noodles and ate them quickly, enjoying the salty goodness. A man could get used to this eating and sleeping thing. I hadn’t felt this good in months. As I finished slurping up the last bit of broth, I heard a rustling of keys at the door.
“Hey you woke up, good” She said as she placed her bike against one wall, and dropped a messenger bag off her shoulder. She was sweaty and dirty, dressed in a pair of Capri black jeans, and wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a guitar on it, her hair was still tucked up under that aviatrix cap. Her colorful tattoos, a myriad of flowers, demon women, and a million other things covered both arms like sleeves.
“Hi, thanks for letting me crash here last night.”
That strange glassy look returned to her eyes briefly, and she said “You need to stop fuckin thanking me for doing what anyone would do, now hold on a second I have to get out of my riding gear” This apparently meant that she was going to take a shower, I sat on the couch and listened to the shower run.
Her apartment was small, the walls covered with posters for bands I had never heard of. A couch, a couple shelves and a small crate were all the furniture. A couple bike frames, wheels, and other random bike parts leaned up against one wall. Some tools, and a couple bike parts catalogs sat on the apple crate.
When she returned to the main room she was once again dressed like some catholic school girl/punk rocker hybrid. She still had that funny hat on, the goggles on the top of her head. Her blond/brown hair fell out of the helmet on the sides and the back. The army boots were back, this time the fishnets were red instead of black.
She sat on the couch. We talked about her job. She worked as a messenger in downtown Boston. She was one those crazy people you see hauling packages all over town on bicycle. I always thought it must take some sort of brain defect to ride your bike around in city traffic. It seemed her currier company was one of the few places doing alright in this economic shit storm. Bicycles don’t need gas.
I let her talk, choosing not to say much about myself. Mentioning only my mother in Ohio, and how I had only been living in Boston for a while. She told me she was from the city and had grown up here. She didn’t mention her family.
She made us some vegetable dish comprised of sweet potatoes and some sort of squash. It was hearty and filled me up. After the initial small talk was over, we sat awkwardly on her couch. The conversation had come to one of those pauses. She fidgeted with the couch. I looked down and I saw a small airplane tattoo on her arm.
Seeing that small plane seemed to knock something loose in my head. A feeling I had been having, like I had to sneeze but not being able too, vanished. The memory of Rain falling, her hair and the straps of her helmet flying behind her as she soared through the air, exploded into my head.
“Rain, I know why you were on that bridge.” It flowed out of my mouth before I could think.
She looked at me, her face suddenly grim. “What do you mean?”
“You were going to jump off that bridge; you were going to kill yourself.”
She looked like she was going to cry. I wanted to reassure her, tell her that I was going to do the same thing. I wanted to help her in the way she had helped me.
Before anyone could say anything the sound of wood breaking filled the air followed instantly by a monstrous ear popping crash from the apartment next door. Men could be heard screaming, bits of plaster fell off the wall. The apartment started to fill with the rotten egg small of sulfur. Something had exploded next door.
She shot up, grabbing her messenger bag and started running towards the back window.
“Shit! They found me! We have to get the fuck out of here now!”