She wasn't the one, my Uber driver insists recounting how she had to throw down on some fool here at the intersection of Memorial and Columbia. This was last, July, right? Maybe August. Rush hour anyway. She wasn't on duty. Doesn't take rides at rush hour no matter how tight the money gets. Anyway, this quote-unquote 'crazy bitch' in a Hyundai comes peeling out of the WalMart parking lot like the devil or the landlord was behind her. Cut off a MARTA Bus (Route 21 Memorial). Almost caused a wreck. Horns blaring, last minute swerves across the lanes before the Hyundai just barely brakes in time to avoid careening into a Xfinity van. My driver testifies she was portside at the light by said 'crazy bitch'. Crazy Bitch shot her the stink eye and got out of her car. Walked right up on my driver to demand what she was looking at. Unflappable when confronted by violent strangers, rolled down her window, and declared - she wasn't the one.
Which is when she got punched in the face by said Crazy Bitch.
My driver, to assert her denial of not being the 'one' pops open her door real quick to catch her opponent just under the ribs with it sending her reeling. She was out of her seat belt and out on Memorial throwing fives and tens to Crazy Bitch's face. Yanked off some jewelry in the process and flung it out Columbia traffic. At one point she got scratched in the neck and had to this Crazy Bitch in the 'You Know Where' for good measure.
I interject at this point to declare that it was lucky for all parties the police weren't around.
Oblivious to the traffic, my driver turns around, hisses a 'shit' and asks who I thought was sitting in a squad car behind her the whole time? They didn't want get involved, she reckons, or hell maybe they just dug the show? Either way they weren't stepping out of their vehicle. Once a satisfactory level of beat had been obtained she got back in her car, and rolled up her window. The light changed. She went on her way while the Crazy Bitch and the police and the whole damn world went theirs.
At this point my driver asks if I have any weed?
Sure, I hand her over my pen, as she cranks up Luthor Vandross's 'Bad Boy (having a party)'.
That's her jam right there, she assures, shimmying in her seat hissing indica off my pen.
Five star ride right here, let me tell you, and five minutes later we pull up to my destination.
Nice new McHouse right here in old Agnes Town. Out on the front lawn there's this suburban mom with her Karen bob curled fetal on the grass around a large mirror, whimpering how she's real. She's real, damn it. Please god, why can't anyone see she's real. A cluster of small children in rubber skull masks dance around her.
The skull masks have two bands of clear tape binding a smart phone between the sockets. The screens are lit with a giant eyeball that stares down at the woman sobbing on the front lawn.
"The fuck is going on here?," my driver asks either me or some divine power above.
"My side hustle," I laugh humorlessly before taking back my pen and stepping out of the Uber. .
SitRep: Control's received reports of a possible transdimensional incursion. Impossible colors leaking out of fever dreams. Screams given shape crawling from fractal architecture blooming from corners tucked away in corners. Outbreaks of paradigm vampirism, ideas, fears, daydreams, sucked by monsters invisible to the untrained eye making us unreal to the world around us. Apparently I was the only agent Control had in the area high enough to assess the situation.
I was also the only agent in the area whose car was in the shop getting a new starter.
Pretending not to see the woman sobbing around the mirror and ignoring the children with their cyclopean smart phone eyeballs Illuminati peeping my approach to the house. Didn't bring my hoodie of invisibility with me. I was at the Y when the message pinged from Control.
Reek of incinerated ghosts in the air.
Stop in front of the opened doorway. Goosebumps and déjà vu. Time, much like my stash, is definitely out of joint. Acid trails without the LSD. Tentacle shadows cast by the light of an unseen television weave across the hallway walls.
I could use backup.
But my love, my wolf angel, my beautiful hashisheen is OTP working a paid invocation with her theatre coven.
"You, you can see me can't you?," the woman shouts peeking over the mirror. I ignore her. "You can. I can see it. You can see me. Please. What's happening?" Nothing is what I can offer and nothing is what I say. Not to compound her troubles but because interacting with her would wipe me out of other folks memory and I got few enough folks who know me now. Not knowing what else to do she screams her helpless rage to the universe. Which is a big mistake. Her scream solidifies in her throat. She gasps, she chokes, she vomits up what appears to be a spiked ball with spider legs that scurries up to me. It tries running up the leg of my jogging pants but I crush under the heel of my sneaker. Her shriek bursts out from under my foot and disperses across the air.
I take a hit off my pen.
The skull masked children are surrounding the front porch on which I'm waiting.
I swear if I didn't need the money for Valentine's Day.
"Activate Emergency Holographic Best Friend," I say and the Jedi Ghost of my old buddy shimmers into being.
"Tell me what I want to hear."
My old best bud grins at me as if there was no fight or bed that couldn't be won with the right amount of drugs and courage: "You ain't the one, Jack."
"No," I blow smoke into the tentacle shadow splayed hallway, "no I'm not."
With that there's nothing left to do but walk into the shit and get the job done.