ofelia's castle

< my eventual bloodless coup / by ofelia hunt >

one baby is like any other baby

My boyfriend says, "One baby is like any other baby so who cares what baby you brainwash or whatever?"

I say, "One car is like any other car."

We are sitting in my boyfriend's red car at the shopping-mall. The car is new and smells new and the seats are all leather which means some animal's skin was used to make the seats, but they are comfortable anyway, and not sticky. Outside is cold and rainy, so I turn on the radio and push the scan button and go from station to station because all the music is boring and repetitive, or, sometimes, there is no music and only commercials that are boring and repetitive and which make me sad.

My boyfriend says, "Stop that."

I stop.

My boyfriend pushes the scan button and goes from station to station.

A little later, the rain stops and we step out of my boyfriend's red car and walk slowly across the parking-lot, toward the shopping-mall. The shopping-mall is a gray behemoth. It is very square and very big and people walk in and out of it in sporadic clumps, some of them smiling and laughing, and others frowning and glaring. My boyfriend and I glare back at these people and these people are quiet when they are near us.

We are going to a movie.

The movie theater is inside the shopping-mall, next to the food court.

"I hope the movie is a good movie," my boyfriend says. "I hope the movie isn't boring."

"We should buy jelly beans before we go into the movie," I say. "If the movie is bad we can throw the jelly beans at the movie screen. We can aim for the lead actor's head. The lead actor is probably Christopher Walken. I don't know if it is Christopher Walken, but if it is, and if the movie is boring, then we can throw jelly beans at Christopher Walken's head, and maybe even the real Christopher Walken, not the Christopher Walken in the movie, but the Christopher Walken who lives in real life, will be at this movie, and if the movie is boring, and if the real Christopher Walken from real life is at the movie, then we can throw jelly beans at him."

My boyfriend doesn't say anything.

Many people walk around the mall in clumps with many bags in their hands or on their arms, some talking, some not.

I say, "Maybe if it's really boring then you can just fuck me on the seat with my legs up in the air and I can scream real loud, or something."

"Ssshh," my boyfriend says, looking around wildly, "someone might hear you."

Inside the movie theater, I have a feeling of immense foreboding, and know that the movie will be boring. The movie starts. It is boring. Christopher Walken is not in the movie, but if he were, it would still be boring. The lead actor, who looks a little like Christopher Walken but is not famous like Christopher Walken, is a hard-boiled cop in New York City and he has to find a killer who leaves clues on each victim. The victims are all young girls and the hard-boiled cop has many emotional outbursts because he is under so much pressure. At the same time, because of the hard-boiled cop's heightened stress level, and the way the hard-boiled cop projects this on his wife and kids, his wife leaves him and takes the kids to Vermont.

'It is inevitable,' I think, 'that the killer will follow the wife and kids and take them hostage, hoping to kill them one by one while the hard-boiled cop frantically searches for them.'

I tell my boyfriend, "It is inevitable the killer will follow the wife and kids to Vermont and take them hostage."

"Ssshh," my boyfriend says.

The killer follows the wife and kids to Vermont and takes them hostage.

"This movie is stupid," I say.

"You're stupid," my boyfriend says.

I slowly walk out of the movie theater and out into the shopping-mall. I look behind me. My boyfriend is not following. I walk out of the shopping-mall and out into the parking-lot. It is gray and boring outside and I glare at everyone and everyone glares back at me and I want very much to talk to my boyfriend but I don't want to go back into the movie theater. 'One movie is like any other movie,' I think. 'Fuck him,' I think.

I turn toward a scratchy sound. A car stops. Somebody pulls a canvas sack over my head and pushes me down. I land on something soft. "Don't talk," somebody says. Something slams. I am quiet. The canvas sack is warm and rough and my face itches. "Don't talk," somebody says. I am in a car. I can feel it moving. We are driving somewhere, away from the mall, and I am scared and quiet, and I wonder if my boyfriend will search for me like the hard-boiled cop in the movie and if we are going to Vermont, which isn't likely, because we're in Idaho and Vermont is very far from Idaho. I want to be watching a boring movie with my boyfriend, a movie like any other movie, in a movie theater like any other movie theater, and lean my head against my boyfriend's shoulder which is like any other shoulder, and feel tired and warm, and not afraid, because now I'm very afraid, and very cold, and the car is moving very fast now, I can feel it, and I am suddenly tired and lonely and hungry all at once.

The car stops.

I am pulled from the car. I fall to the ground. I roll on the ground, which is gravelly, and feel the gravel scratch my arms. Someone pulls the sack from head. I sit on the gravel with my palms in the gravel and look up at a man with a mask and gun. "Don't talk," he says, and walks slowly toward his car. The car is black and the windows are tinted. He shuts the rear passenger door. He leans against the car. He seems very tall and very fat, but he is actually short and skinny and dressed all in black. "Don't talk," he says again, and taps his gun against his thigh.

I wonder if he will shoot me.

The man takes off his mask. He is old and white. He says, "One hostage is like any other hostage and I should shoot you or something."

I don't say anything.

"Take off your shirt," he says.

I start to take off my shirt.

"Stop," he says. "I didn't mean that. I don't know why I said that. Sometimes I just say things. I don't know how not to say things." He sets his gun on his car. "Look," he says, "I don't know why I kidnapped you. I think you wanted to be kidnapped or something and I sensed that and so I did it, and now I think you want to be killed and I am sensing that and I don't really want to kill you right now, but if you really want me to, and I keep sensing that, then I'll have to shoot you and bury you or something."

"I didn't want to be kidnapped," I say.

"Yes you did. I sensed it."

"You must be very empathetic."

"I am very empathetic. That's how I sensed your desire to be kidnapped and how I'm sensing your desire to be shot in the face with my gun."

"Oh," I say.

The man holds his gun.

The man points his gun at my face.

The man shoots me in the face with his gun.

The man drives his car away.

Everything is okay. The gun didn't hurt me because it was like any other gun and no gun can really hurt me, I think, and I wonder when my boyfriend will find me because I don't know where I am or how to get back to the mall from here and it is dark and cold and I want to be at my apartment which is like any other apartment and I want to watch television commercials and lean against my boyfriend's shoulder and nap quietly for a while and wake up and walk to AM/PM and eat some ice-cream.