by: Alice Kaltman
Worlds collide, as the heavens unleash their fury upon the unsuspecting…..
The kids were already getting on Kristin’s nerves and they’d only been in the car for five minutes.
“Mommeeee,” whined Larissa, “Dash is kicking me.”
“Am not, you stupid.”
“MOMMEEE! Dash called me stupid.”
A rustling in the backseat. An audible inhale. An ear piercing wail.
“She bit me,” cried Dash. “Mom, look,” a scrawny arm speared forward obstructing Kristin’s view out the snow-speckled windshield.
“Dash, I’m driving. Buckle up and get back in your seat.”
Kristen figured the only way to survive the 20 minute trip home would be lots of snacks. She’d come prepared. Individually wrapped packets of organic gummy bears and anti-oxidant enriched, vegan granola bars, awaited distribution in a reusable shopping bag on the seat next to her.
“Here,” she tossed two of each into the back seat. “Treats for my sweets.”
“These suck,” said Dash, tossing his bag of gummy bears back in to the front seat. “I hate these.”
“Me too. They taste like poo-poo.” agreed Larissa, whose aim was far better than her older brother’s, resulting in a handful of gummies socking Kristen squarely in the back of the skull.
Fuckingbrattylittleshits, thought Kristin. But instead she put on her best Firm Mommy voice and said, “Excuse me? We do NOT speak that way in this family, and we do NOT throw our food.”
After her aborted afternoon at the office, Kristin was a tad on edge. Why hadn’t she been invited to the 3 pm board meeting, she thought. She’d been planning her debut for months, the surprise – but no surprise to her – introduction by Craig as his choice for new CFO at TechBros. She’d leaned in, like a good female exec should. She’d taken the bull by the horns, kept it captive. And now it seemed there was nowhere to lead the damn beast.
Instead Craig made his stupid “Snow Day” announcement at 2:00 pm. Everyone at TechBros had the rest of the afternoon off. The younger employees raced to the elevators in their recycled jeans and espadrilles. They piled into the company shuttle bus bound for the LIRR station where they’d catch the train to Atlantic Terminal. Back to Brooklyn, no doubt, to their railroad apartments, craft beers and Scrabble nights.
Kristin should have been heading east to Brookdale, but she stayed at her desk as the office emptied, paralyzed. The board meeting was all she’d focused for. All she wanted.
“Krissie,” called Craig as he bounded puppy-style past her at 2:15 pm, on his way to the fourth floor boardroom no doubt. “What are you still doing here? Go! Get home and get cosy before the white stuff starts to fuck everything up.”
“What about the board meeting?” Kristin asked.
“Cancelled,” Craig couldn’t even look her in the eye. “So go on. Git.”
Lying creepazoid. Dumbo Craig with his big ears and goofy grin. Repulsive slime-bucket. Kristen knew the only reason he was CEO was because he’d gone to Harvard with Justin, wunderkind creator and chief programmer of the TechBros database. Both guys were just that, guys. Not even men. Young boys club. Barely out of diapers.
Once the hooker exited the passenger side, Kenneth settled his big-bellied body into the smooth leather driver’s seat of his Lexus.
Thank God for heated seats, he thought as he pressed the new-fangled non-key key against the dashboard to magically start the car. Instantly his tush and back felt the glow. This car, with its slick beauty and instant gratifications, was worth every cent.
So was Adele. Annette. Or whatever her name was. His penis was still happily throbbing after the crackerjack blow job he’d just paid for.
Kenneth loved his life. At least this part. At least momentarily. The heated seat, his spent but still twitchy cock, the warm cocoon and humming engine of the brand new Lexus LS. How could he savor this, make it last? He sat in the car for a few minutes, the engine idling – screw the environmentalists – and shut his eyes. Kenneth basked in his debauchery like a fat cube of french bread dipped in a warm fondue of melted gruyere.
When he opened his eyes a few minutes later, big wet snowflakes were falling and melting the moment they landed on the windshield. How goddamn spectacular, thought Kenneth. Nothing like a nice harmless dusting to make a guy feel at one with nature.
But the whiteness and purity of the snowfall juxtaposed his sullied perversions. I’m a married man, a father, a grandfather for christ’s sake, paying for blow jobs from barely legals in abandoned corporate parking lots, he thought. The shame washed over him like it always did, this time catching Kenneth in the solar plexus, causing a knot, a lurch, and the release of a fiery belch.
Kenneth adjusted his ample body in his seat, and begrudgingly fastened his seatbelt. How he longed for the good old days when seatbelts were a choice, not a legal obligation. He drove out of the parking lot and made his way towards the LIE.
Within ten minutes the snow was no longer pretty. It pummeled his car in punishing icy pellets. Kenneth couldn’t see for shit.
Kyle downed the last frothy sip of his fourth Heineken. He glanced at his dying, one bar left phone, pretending he’d gotten a message, but really, he was just checking the time. It was 2 pm. He’d been at Brian’s house for two hours. More losers had just arrived, strung out tweakers from Bay Shore, the kind of douchebags with permanent paranoia, like everyone’s out to get them.
It was time for Kyle to split. Aside from the addition of these Bay Shore lowbrows, watching Brittany DeMarco drunken-suck face her bouncer boyfriend on the couch across from Kyle, was driving him batshit crazy. Brittany had barely changed in the six years since high school graduation. She still had that donkey hee haw laugh and that killer smile. There had been that one time, end of junior year behind the 7-11, when something had almost happened between them. Almost – that was the joke. With Brittany DeMarco, almost meant not ever. Not even in your fucking dreams.
Kyle stood to leave and realized he was kind of sauced, definitely operating with softened edges. He raised his hand to say goodbye, but why bother? No one was paying any attention.
When he opened the front door he lost his footing and got hit with a pummeling of wind and snow. He slammed the door shut. The weather wonks on TV had said the big storm wasn’t going to hit Long Island until after 8 pm. So what the hell was this? No way Kyle could make the walk back home. His leather jacket would get ruined. He didn’t have a hat. He was wearing Converse.
There was only one thing to do. Borrow Brian’s car and bring it back to him tomorrow. No way Brian would miss it. The only thing Brian was going to possibly need in the next twenty-four hours was a cold shower, or his stomach pumped.
Kyle grabbed Brian’s car keys from his ‘everything bowl’, a high school football helmet turned upside down and lined with tin foil. Kyle steeled himself, opened the front door a second time and pushed through the wind and snow towards Brian’s tricked out Cutlass parked in the driveway.
“Shit shit shit!” he screamed once in the driver’s seat. His face felt like a giant Slushie. He swatted the snow from his work-in-progress beard and brushed as much of it as he could off his jacket. The snow he couldn’t reach melted down the back of his neck in a long teasing tickle. His Converse were sopping wet, he might as well have run to the car barefoot.
Kyle looked out the windshield at big wet flakes as they melted on the glass. If snow wasn’t such a pain in the butt, he might think it was really cool. Good thing the drive home was only a couple of miles. He’d be there in no time.
Kenneth wondered if Lorraine would be glad to have him home early. More importantly, he wondered what she would whip up for dinner. The night before she’d served some nice lamb chops, mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, with leftover birthday cake. Earlier that day they’d hosted an eighth year birthday party for cry-baby Corey, fourth grandson in a line of little pansies. Too bad Kenneth’s four daughters had all married idiots and popped out mostly idiot kids. And too bad none of them lived in houses big enough to host their own kids’ birthday parties.
Kenneth was sick of being the Big Poobah, the Big Boss, the Grandaddy of all Granddaddies. At home, at work. It was the same tiresome story. Everyone wanted a piece of him. He was sick of the chaos, the talking, the games. At least at Corey’s party Kenneth had an excuse for some early afternoon drinking. And that leftover cake.
His guess was Lorraine would be restrictive tonight, in counterpoint to yesterday’s excesses. Probably would serve him a big salad and a poached piece of fish. No cake, but a couple of vanilla wafers for dessert. She took good care of him, but only in the food department, Lorraine did. Food and mindless chatter. That was about it these days.
The sign for the entrance to the expressway was barely visible, but Kenneth knew this route as well as he knew the liver-spotted back of his hand. Jesus, the snow was really coming down, he thought. He’d have to take it slower than he liked to. There was barely anyone else on the road. He saw one big white SUV, one of those obscene Escalades, an Abominable Snowman, dangerously camouflaged. The vehicle was careening all over the goddamn place, no doubt being driven by some young a-hole overcompensating for what he lacked in his shorts. Idiot was going to get someone killed.
Where were all the other cars? Kenneth wondered. It’s just snow, not Al Qaeda or a goddamn hurricane. Well, let the pussies stay off the roads if they wanted. More room for me.
Kenneth steered the Lexus onto the blank expanse of highway. The lane lines were invisible, but he prided himself on his good driving skills. He held his steering wheel steady and peered at the whiteness like a ship’s captain navigating an open sea.
“Why did you pick us up today and not Daddy?” asked Dash. “You’re supposed to be at work.”
“Yay-ah,” Larissa whined in, “Daddy always picks us up. You never pick us up.”
“Well, that’s not entirely true, Sweetie.” Kristin grit her teeth and veered around a blue car with tacky racing stripes that was snailing along at an infuriatingly slow pace. She past the loser and charged her way up the eastbound entrance to the Expressway. “Mommy picks you up every now and then.”
“I guess…” Larissa kicked the back of the passenger seat in a relentless even rhythm. Thump, thump…thump. Thump, thump…thump.
“Where’s Daddy?” asked Dash.
“Daddy’s home waiting for us.” Watching internet porn. Or taking ‘a nap’. “Larissa, stop kicking the seat, please.”
The Expressway was a ghost road. Aside from the snail mobile she had passed at the entrance, Kristin saw only one other car, a black Lexus driving in a straight and steady line. She came up on it, and took a nice leftward edge around, gunning her massive engine and leaving the Lexus behind. She wondered if her unemployed deadbeat husband still kept a secret stash of hotel mini-bar bourbons hidden behind Dash’s soccer gear in the garage. She just might need to indulge. Park the car, prod-shoo-shove the kids inside, let Daddy take off their wet, sloppy boots and damp jackets. Let him clean off their sticky faces and grubby hands while she self-fortified.
It was snowing with a vengeance. Her Escalade whipped and skidded over unplowed mounds of snow. Really, Kristin thought, Can’t the Highway Department get their act together and do a little plowing?
Larissa was still kicking the seat.
“Larissa, I asked you nicely to stop doing that. If you don’t stop you’ll get a timeout when we get home.”
“But I’m not doing the same song. I’m doing another song,” Larissa cried. Thump, thump…thump-thump-thump…thump.
“No whining. Use your nice voice, Lar-”
Kristin stopped talking as the car did a complete three-sixty, then skidded to a stop. The entire front end of the car wedged deep in a snow drift.
“Weheee,” giggled Dash. “Just like Great Adventure!”
How could so much snow fall so quickly? Kyle thought that it was as if God was taking a giant white dump. Or discarding all his celestial blow. Maybe Mrs. God had given him the ultimatum: No more coke for you, God, or I’m out of heaven. Gonna go live with the kids on, on…on Cloud Nine!
Kyle chuckled. He cracked himself up all the time. Maybe he should nix his still unattempted plan to go to audio engineering school and try stand-up comedy instead? How cool would that be? He imagined himself up on the stage at Jones Beach. Brittany DeMarco would be his girlfriend, of course. She’d be sitting in the VIP section right under the stage staring up at him, laughing at his brilliant jokes. From his perch in front of the mic, he would take a quick peek down to see her smiling face and the sweet upper mounds of those great tits. How hot would that life be?
Speaking of mounds, there were mounds of snow everywhere. The streets were a mess. And Brian’s Cutlass kept losing traction. Those racing stripes he’d painted on the sides were a joke. The clown car had barely any power.
The Expressway might be in better shape than the surface roads. Kyle would have to make a big loop around, but it would get him back to his own house – actually his mother’s house – where he planned to spend the rest of the day watching a lot of Comedy Central. Pick up a few tips from the pros. Start working on his own routine.
He drove slowly towards the entrance. Just as he was thinking how there were no other cars anywhere, a big ass white Escalade almost rear-ended him before veering out from behind and gunning it onto the Expressway in a ghostly blur.
Sweet ride, thought Kyle. But the lucky SOB better tone down the NASCAR routine or he’s gonna end up dead.
If Kyle made it big on the stand-up comedy circuit he might buy himself an SUV. But not the Escalade. Too pimp-mobile. Too Russian mobster. The SUV Kyle really dug was the Denali. The Denali was classy. Understated. The kind of car a humble celebrity would drive. Plus, white was a stupid non-color for a car. Kyle would go with silver, or forest green, or red.
Yeah, red, he decided. Most def.
Things turned mighty nasty by the time Kenneth passed Exit 60, the sign of which he could barely read through the deep white curtain. The Lexus was sliding like a greased pig on an icy pond. No traction, no visibility, nada. If he could just make it to Exit 62 he would be in like Flynn, home five minutes later with his feet up on his ottoman and his TV tray wedged across his belly.
Kenneth burped again. Enough of this, he thought. He’d been gassy since before his blow job. Kenneth had hoped getting sucked off would help alleviate his stomach woes. Sometimes blow jobs did wonders for other systems in his old engine. Gut issues. Headaches. Back pain. But not this time. No magic cure from the lips and tongue of Adele, or Andrea, or Amy, or whatever-her-name-was. Plus his seat belt was so tight it was cutting off the circulation in his left arm.
The snow was so unforgiving he’d almost not seen the white Escalade pressed up against a snowdrift in the breakdown lane of the HOV. Kenneth continued driving. Serves the asshole right for driving a nearly invisible car like a fucking Commando, he thought. No doubt the idiot has a fancy cellphone. He can call his wife, or one of his young buck buddies and one of them can come get his sorry ass. I’m on my way home to poached fish and the Golf Channel.
He’d barely made it 50 yards, when Kenneth’s conscience got the better of him. He had to help. Besides, maybe if he saved the Escalade-driving asshole it could be his penance for getting blown by whats-her-name. Cancel out today’s sin. Clean his slate, temporarily.
Kenneth pulled over to the HOV breakdown lane. He hadn’t passed any other cars, so for now the path back to the Escalade was clear. He put the Lexus in reverse, and shifted to look over his shoulder and begin the backward trip to salvation. But the seatbelt wouldn’t stretch. It cut in causing a sharper pain.
“Goddamn piece of shit seat belt,” he cursed out loud, fumbling to unclasp the belt buckle, hoping with more mobility he’d be able to navigate backwards clearly. But clear sight was impossible. Kenneth reversed into whiteness, blinder than blind.
“Oh. Great,” Kristin grunted. “Just. Perfect.” Every attempt she made to move the Escalade caused a futile spin-out. The snow continued to pile up on the hood of her car, thick, white, without pity. Kristin felt hot. Even layers of cashmere and silk couldn’t stop the stench of stress sweat wafting up from her armpits to her nose.
“Mommee,” whined Dash. “I’m hungry.”
“Me too.”Larissa joining in. Of course. Not an original bone in her younger sibling body.
“Here.” Kristin picked up the entire shopping bag of snacks and tossed the entire thing backwards, half-heartedly aiming for the space between her two car-seated children, but if she whacked one of them by accident, so be it.
“Momeeee. I told you. I don’t like these snacks. I want good snacks.”
“Yeah. These are poopy sna-“
“SHUT THE HELL UP! BOTH OF YOU! OR I’LL THROW YOU OUT INTO THE FUCKING BLIZZARD! DO YOU HEAR ME?”
For a brief moment all was peaceful in Kristin’s over-sized fortress of glass and steel. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. I’m fine. I’m stellar, she thought over and over like a mantra. But she couldn’t stop herself from adding, Even if that fuckheadpieceofshitpencildickCraig doesn’t think so.
Peaceful, until Larissa started to mewl like an tortured kitten.
Kristin relented and turned around to take Larissa’s grubby little hand. Where were those sani-wipes?
Larissa’s mewling subsided just as the black Lexus drove past.
“Thank fucking God!” cried Kristin.
But the Lexus moved on without hesitation. The faint reddish blur of tail lights faded to near nothingness
“Oh shit,” Kristin wailed. “Please, nooooo! Come back!”
“Mommy,” Dash whispered. “You really shouldn’t say so many naughty words.”
Kristin would have to call Triple A and insist they get someone to her immediately. If not she would be forced to call her lazy ass husband and demand he get a lesser deadbeat to pull or lift or tow her out of this catastrophe.
Then she saw the white rear-reverse lights of the Lexus. Inching ever closer. Coming back to save her. She loved the driver already.
Even with the belt unbuckled Kenneth was in pain. In fact the pain was worse. Fucking unbearable. Kenneth had to stop driving. He shifted into park and took a deep gasping inhale. A prickly heat at the center of his chest, spread across his shoulder and radiated down his left arm. He was short of breath. He was dizzy. He was nauseous.
The Lexus sat there, so close yet so far.
“Why did you stop?” Kristin called out.
“You asked me to stop, Momeee,” Larissa snuffled. “I’m being a good girl. No kicking and no whining.”
“I’m not talking to you, Sweetie,” Kristin said through gritted teeth.
“But I’m being good too,” added Dash. “Really good. Like really, really good.”
“I’m not talking to you either, Dash. Now just be quiet. Both of you. Mommy needs to concentrate.”
“I should get like five gold stars on my rewards chart when we get home,” Dash continued.
“Well I should get like ten hundreds.”
Torturers, both of them.
“Well I should get fifty million trillion.”
“Well I should get one thousand thousand.”
Like the goddamn snow.
“That’s less than fifty million trillion, so I win and that’s that,” Dash declared.
Kristin put her head down on the steering wheel and moaned.
Nothing worked in Brian’s junk heap of a crap car. It wouldn’t do more than 10 mph, the heat was a joke, the windshield wipers had only one mucho-retardo setting, the clock was broken, and the radio only picked up one snooze-fest news station from which, at least, Kyle learned that he was driving in ‘the Storm of the Century’, that ‘an unforeseen shift in cold fronts had stalled what had been expected to be a moderate snowstorm, turning it into a ‘locally lethal blizzard’. Roads were closed all over Suffolk County as of 3 pm.
Without a working dashboard clock, and a dead as a roach in a roach motel cellphone, Kyle had no idea what time it was. But if he was on the Expressway, it must not be closed, at least not yet, right? Anyway, it was probably only like 2:30 pm. He’d be home soon enough. Or maybe not, at the rate he was going.
It had been five minutes since the Lexus had almost come to save them. Kristin could see the Lexus’s parking lights illuminated and exhaust coming from the tailpipe. Was the driver really waiting for them to get out and trek way over there?
“Kids, you stay here. Mommy needs to go see if that nice car up ahead is going to give us a ride home.”
“Cant we come?” asked Dash. “I’m bored.”
“No. You can’t. Do not under any circumstances get out of your seats or you will both get time outs when we get home. Do you hear me?”
“Whatever,” Dash sounded like a jaded fifteen year old. Kristin should revert to the old ways, and wash his mouth out with soap. Yes. That’s what she would do, once they were home. Once she’d changed out of her Prada suit and Louboutin heels, worn specifically for the Board Meeting she was NOT attending. Once she had her ‘Mom at Home’ clothes on, then she would grab a bar of Ivory and go to town on that little brat’s tongue.
But now she needed to focus on the Lexus. She forced her car door open, left her kids and stumbled out in to white oblivion.
He knew what this was. He was having a heart attack. Dr. Schlossberg had warned Kenneth this might happen if he didn’t cut back on the booze, food and occasional cigars.
Kenneth tried not to panic. He concentrated on the snow, willed it to be beautiful to him. He struggled to hold on to an old memory of his daughters going girl giddy with excitement playing in the stuff, sticking out their tongues to catch flakes as if they were taking wafers at communion.
But then he saw what’s-her-name’s tongue. Today’s fall from grace. He was bombarded with too many thoughts of too many tongues. Too many crossed wires, too many melded memories punishing him. Punching him in the chest.
Kenneth gasped and sat as bolt upright as a fat man having a coronary could. “What a fool,” he cried. “I am such a fucking fool.”
The pain was searing, pitiless, like the goddamn, ugly blizzard. And then the pain ended, and everything went black.
But the snow continued.
Kristin trudged towards the Lexus in two feet of snow, wearing textured hose and four inch heels. She could barely feel her legs from the knees down. She gathered the collar of her cream-colored cashmere coat around her throat.
I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming, she thought. She was thinking about Craig, the board meeting, her dead end career. The blizzard was an added punishment. She got to the Lexus and peered in the passenger side window. There was only a driver, a large older man, sitting with his head tilted forward.
Taking a nap? she wondered, I mean, now? Really? Kristin tapped on the window. Be polite, but persistent, she coached herself. And if all else fails, offer him money.
Not that it looked like this man needed money. He was driving the Lexus LS. Top of the line. Craig Shitforbrains bought himself the very same model after TechBros went public the previous year. Like that jerk really needed another car. He had at least ten. Toys, all of them.
Kristin rapped again, louder this time. The snoozing old geezer wasn’t waking up. She slipped and slid her way around to the driver’s side and pounded on the glass. No response. As Kristin opened the door the man slumped further forward against his steering wheel. The Lexus horn blasted. It was not an elegant sound. Not what she would’ve expected from the LS. Not in the slightest. It was an ‘if you don’t already have a splitting headache I’ll give you one’ sound.
Kristin pushed the man back against the seat. “Mister, if you’re dead, I’ll kill you!” she yelled at the top of her lungs.
A thread of drool hung from his lower lip and pooled in the man’s jowls.
Older guys, thought Kristin. Yuck.
Kenneth floated in and out of consciousness.
It sounded like there was a woodpecker pecking at the window of the car.
Then all was silent and empty.
He thought he heard Lorraine yelling at him.
Kenneth opened his eyes and saw a woman coming around the front of the car towards his door. Had he called another hooker? When? He wasn’t that out of it, was he? He hadn’t done two a day for at least ten years. Besides, this one looked a bit long in the tooth, for him anyway.
Poof. Back to nothingness. No nice white lights, long airy tunnels. No pearly gates. No one to greet him. Just fuzz. Static.
He heard Lorraine again. What was she saying? She’d kill him? Screw it. Kenneth wouldn’t blame her if she did. He was already dying and if anyone deserved to deliver the final blow it was Lorraine. Sure, she’d be sad for a while, but she’d be better off without him. She’d probably end up with that little weasel Joe Piscatoris from across the street. Fucker had always wanted to get in Lorraine’s pants.
“Don’t Lorraine,” Kenneth cried out. Or thought he cried out. “Joe’s a perv. Worse than me.”
Then the sensation of being shoved back against his seat. Kenneth hoped whatever came next felt a little nicer.
Kyle and Kristin:
At least this will make one helluva of a great story, thought Kyle. I’ll bet no one else is maneuvering like a pro around snow drifts and ice patches. I’d make a really good stunt driver. That’s a better route than stand-up comedy, even. Or maybe I could do both.
But there was someone else around. Not driving, but, like, around. The lucky dog in the Escalade who had almost rear-ended him. The car was sitting in the far left HOV lane as if it were the drive thru lane at McDonald’s. Kyle peered out his side window as he passed trying to get a glimpse of the driver, but all he could see were two little kids pressing their faces against the glass in the back seat, waving at him. Clowning around. Having a good time.
Kids always knew how to make the best of a bad situation. Kyle liked little kids. Maybe it was because he had a knack for getting down to their level.
Maybe he should be a teacher? Or a coach? Kyle smiled at the kids and raised his left hand in a finger-tinkling wave as he drove by.
Kyle turned forward just as the woman appeared in front of the car waving her arms wildly like an E-high teenybopper at a rave. He slammed on the Cutlass’ pathetic breaks and cranked the wheel to the right, narrowly missing the woman as she screamed bloody murder. The Cutlass went into a spin, finally coming to a dead halt a few yards forward.
“Fucking crazy bitch!” Kyle yelled. His heart was pounding. Sweat trickled down the back of his neck, mixing with the snowy dampness. Kyle got out of the car and trudged through the snow back towards the woman. He was about to give her hell, but found her slumped over like a sack of dirty clothes that would never, ever make their way to the laundromat.
Oh my fucking god, he thought, I killed her. Then the woman’s head popped up like a Jack in the Box, her face bright red, her eyes giant, brown darts.
“You jerk! My foot! I can’t feel it! You’ve destroyed my Louboutin!” Kristin looked up at the loser who had nipped her foot. He was about twenty four years old with a scraggly beard and dirty, wet hair hanging past his chin. Another boy, like Craig. Her life seems to be at the mercy of half-men.
“Destroyed who?” Kyle checked the area surrounding the raving woman, looking for another body.
Kristin lifted her foot and winced.
Underneath the blood, Kyle could make out the shape of a high heel shoe. The snow was pounding down on Kyle’s head, his precious jacket was getting wrecked. He wanted to go back to Brian’s crap-car and keep driving. Leave this nasty crazy bitch. But he couldn’t.
“My foot is probably broken,” she groaned.
“Sorry,” Kyle shrugged, thinking, you shouldn’t have run out in front of my car, you psycho asshole.
“You have to help me.”
“You have to help me move him.”
“Who? Lou Button?” Kyle looked around again. There was definitely no one else there. This chick was really tripping out. Walking around on the LIE in a snowstorm. Yelling about some guy named Lou. In high heels no less. Yeah. Crazy. A stark-raving mad lunatic.
What a total ignoramus, thought Kristen. But keep calm, you need him. “No,” she grunted. “Not my shoe. Him,” she pointed ahead. “In the Lexus. A man. Mumbling, drooling. It’s disgusting. I think he had a heart attack.”
Kyle looked to where Kristin pointed. He saw tail lights and heard the unmistakable purring idle of a luxury vehicle.
Kristin put her foot down and winced. “Ow. Fuck. ”
“I said I was sorry,” Kyle hugged himself, defensive and freezing.
“What. Ever,” Kristin grunted.
“So, where do you want me to move the guy?”
“Back to my car,” she glanced back towards the Escalade.
Of course the Escalade is hers, thought Kyle. Bet she also lives in one of those faux-farmhouses they put up in the old potato fields in Brookdale. She’s crazy and rich.
“I’ll call for an ambulance,” Kristin continued, thinking out loud. “I’ll be crying. If they know I’ve got someone with a heart attack, they’ll come to me quicker. And I’ll insist they take me and the kids as well. I’ll say we’re his family.”
“Are you?” asked Kyle.
Kristin looked up at Kyle as if seeing him for the first time. “Am I what?”
“Family.” Kyle noticed that with her face less flushed and her eyes less wild the woman looked like an older version of Brittany DeMarco. A pouty, snooty Brittany ten years from now.
Kristin rolled her eyes. “Yeah, sure. We’re family.”
Kyle started to trudge towards the Lexus.
“Wait, you idiot!” yelled Kristin. “Carry me back first. I’m not exactly loving this sitting on a highway in a frigging blizzard thing, thank you very much.”
The woman raised her arms to Kyle, weird because of the Brittany similarity, a turn off and a turn on at the same time. Kyle let her clasp her hands around his neck. He hoisted her up, then shifted his arms under her butt, to the crook of her knees. She panted towards the side of his neck, in hard short puffs. Her breath was warm. And she wasn’t all that heavy. Kyle managed to get her back to her fancy car, deposited her by the driver’s side door. The bitch didn’t even thank him. Any thrill was totally gone.
Kristin watched Dash and Larissa clamber all over her tan leather seats in dirty snow boots. Gummy bears had been smushed into the side windows like colored bird turds.
“Cute kids,” Kyle chuckled.
Kristin glared at the man-boy as if he were past-expiration lunchmeat on week-old rye. “Just go get the guy and bring him back here, okay?”
“What. Ever,” Kyle grunted. He walked to the Lexus wet and frozen from head to toe. Jacket wrecked. Feet numb. Icicles hanging from his beard. At least, maybe, the sick guy would show him some respect.
Kenneth and Kyle:
“Sweet Jesus! You’ve come to save me!” Kenneth was happy. Deliriously happy.
Kyle smiled. The man’s eyes were wild, but he was very much alive. “Hey dude. You alright?”
“I am now,” Kenneth nodded. “Now that you’re here.”
Talk about respect, thought Kyle. This is awesome. “Okay. Cool. I’m gonna take you back to that lady’s car.”
“The one who found you. She’s gonna call an ambulance.”
“Um, maybe. I don’t know her name.”
“The Mother of God?” Kenneth grabbed the slippery sleeves of Kyle’s leather jacket and stared at him, demented and desperate. “No. No. It’s the other Mary. Mary Magdalene. She’s the whore, right? Your friend? The girl apostle? It was her. Here, before.”
“She’s no friend of mine,” said Kyle.
“Then it’s Lorraine,” Kenneth cried. “Please God, tell me it’s Lorraine.”
The old guy needed to be calmed down. “Could be,” Kyle nodded. “Yeah. Sure it is. It’s Lorraine.”
“Lorraine,” Kenneth moaned. “I’m sorry, Honey. Sorry for everything.” He started to lift himself off his seat, but collapsed back, short of breath. There was still pain, though not as intense, radiating from his chest down his left arm.
“Whoa dude,” Kyle patted Kenneth on the shoulder. “Take it easy.”
Kenneth nodded, and caught his breath.
Kyle managed to get Kenneth out of the car, with Kenneth’s bulky arm around his own narrow shoulders. No way he could carry this guy the way he’d carried Lorraine. Or Mary. Or whatever the snoot-queen’s name was. “I’ve got you, but you’ll have to walk with me.”
“Whatever you say. Oh Sweet Jesus. Whatever you say.”
“Okay, dude. I mean, sir. Let’s take it real slow.” Kyle dragged Kenneth back towards the Escalade and thought maybe this is it? Maybe this is my calling?