On the Importance of Always Remaining Just a Bit Out of Touch With Reality (Part VII)

The Girl had perhaps spent too many long, late-night commutes on the dark, empty highway.

On this night, the only light on the black road was that of the moon, the stars, and the blinking red light at the top of the cellular phone tower that she passed every night on her way to the office for her back shift.

On this night, as the Girl looked up to watch the crimson tower light recede in her rear-view mirror, she saw the Eye of Sauron winking back at her.  She felt the Ring grow heavy on the chain around her neck.  She suddenly felt weary, and wished the lembas bread contained more caffeine.

Why did she have to take the Ring to Mordor?  It was so cursedly hot there (air conditioning was expensive in these dark days of rising oil costs)…dark…so much death and calamity….  Perhaps she didn’t have to go to Mordor after all, the Ring whispered to her (my precioussss….)  Why not, say, Bermuda instead?  A little sun, sand, surf.  All-inclusive bar and buffet.  That might be nice.

Or she could always just return to the Shire.  Open up that stained glass studio she’d been dreaming about.  Sell some nice crafts to tourists.

But it was too late.  She was in too deep.  Mount Doom loomed ahead.  She had no choice but to forge on.

She was nearly there.  In one final burst of will, she heaved her (laptop) bag onto her shoulder, tightened her belt, and began the final climb (up the stairs).

A sudden scuffling sound above told her she was not alone.  Sméagol!  Had he somehow followed her?  The pull of the Ring was strong.  Perhaps it was not too late to slip on the Ring, become invisible, and sneak away…

“Oh, hey.”  The Girl’s co-worker appeared around the corner, brandishing a sheaf of unsent emergency reports.  “Your shift is gonna suck – the fax machine is still broken.”*

Just another dark, lonely night in Middle Earth Bridgewater.

[Click for Part I, Part II, Part III , Part IV , Part V, Part VI]

*Some artistic license has been taken in the paraphrasing of this dialogue.  Only this part, though.

The Ghost of Christmas Presents

Okay, if I have learned one thing about myself in my years as me, it is this:  I am completely full of shit.  Totally.  The instant I apply a label to myself, I will immediately turn right around and behave in a contradictory manner, apparently.

Remember a few blog posts back, when I mentioned how much I hatehatehatehate shopping?  Yeah, uh, well…I forgot about TOY SHOPPING!!!

‘Kay, I’m 12.  I know.  Don’t care.

See, I used to be such a Scrooge.  I lived with a guy for 10 years and each year, I would sit on the couch reading a book while he decorated the tree alone.  Well, except for the single obligatory ornament that he would actually place in my hand and insist that I hang – which I did.  Without taking my eyes off my book.

But see, we didn’t have kids.  And none of our friends had kids.  We existed in a toyless world.  (Unless you count the fraternity bong…which, I guess you could…okay, off-topic, nevermind…)

THEN I dated a guy whose package deal included a six-year-old.  Well, forget all the horror stories you hear about stepmoms.  Being a stepmom is AWESOME.  It’s all about the toys, man.  That kid loved me.  I had many, many toy-shopping-free years to make up for.  He was spoiled rotten. 

The first Christmas I had Max in my life, I went totally apeshit.  I mean, do you have any idea how cool it is to have every single Lord of the Rings action figure??  Did you know that Aragorn actually swooshes his sword right out of its sheath when you squeeze his legs?  Did you know that it’s very, very important for parents to ‘test’ the toys while putting them under the tree for, you know, um, quality control?

And then – THEN – all of my friends’ kids started growing up out of the baby stage and into the toy stage.  Oh, be still my heart! 

Today…I found…[wait for it]…a Gwen Stefani doll.  Yes, it’s true.  And a little barn filled with little tiny stuffed farm animals that…[wait for it]…make the appropriate animal sounds when squeezed.  And kiddie art stuff – oh!  the kiddie art stuff!!  *swoon*

And as soon as I’m done playin’ with ’em all, I’ll wrap ’em up.