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CHAPTER SEVEN
Tides Of Fate Wash Us Together

I awoke to a blinding light, because somebody was shining a light directly into my eyes. I guessed they were trying to blind me, but as it turns out, they were only checking for a response. I blinked and looked up and saw Len staring down at me, along with a paramedic, a couple of cops, and a waitress. As I sat up, I could see that everybody in the restaurant was looking at me, as though I had just ate the last piece of pecan pie only it contained an alien virus that had turned me into some kind of ravenous mutant creature, whose only goal in life was consumption of other living things. The paramedic asked if I was okay, and when I said I was fine he told me that I had contracted a mild case of food poisoning. I asked where the puddle of vomit was, and a pretty little waitress, with blue highlights, told me she had cleaned it up already. I always wanted to find a girl who would clean up my vomit. Winter had always made me clean it up myself. Said it built character, but I knew it was just because the smell of vomit and cleaner always made her vomit, herself, so I really couldn’t fault her for it. God, I loved that girl. Oops… Love! Love that girl! I had forgot that she had recently returned from the grave so it wasn’t past tense anymore, since I still felt those feelings, and she was still around to be felt feelings about. My dream was fading fast, and I could hardly remember what I had been thinking about. An old friend, and an alien circus? Nazis, and their seedy Cory Heart clone army plans? In any event it really didn’t matter, since that was when Bunni and Winter walked in.

They had changed clothes since the last time I saw them, and were now in their own respective evening wears. Bunni was in a little pink number, with this fuzzy white jacket, that reminded me of the Shaggy Dog. Not the type of story, but the Disney movie. Winter, on the other hand, my dear sweet Winter, had a devilishly delightful white straightjacket dress, with black straps. Simple, elegant, and quite suited to her. It churned things in my brain that were connected to things in my smaller brain, if you understand my meaning. I’m sure one of them would have asked what was going on, if one of the cops didn’t turn around and tell them it was alright, and that there was just a man with a mild case of food poisoning here. Of course, hearing this, you’d think they would leave the diner, but then Len had to jump over and give Winter a big hug, and say hello. Also, as it turns out, it wasn’t food poisoning, but just that I was allergic to a little something in the soup. I’d find that out later, but it isn’t very important so I won’t mention it again. Len offered to have the girls sit with us, and since we hadn’t moved our plates yet it was boy, girl, boy, girl. Len had Bunni sit by him.

“So I hear you two broke up,” he said. What a perfect way to start a conversation.

Winter went into some spiel about how we were just trying it out, and Len countered with how she had been dead, so I had already been trying it out. Then Bunni chimed in with how really, we were broken up as soon as she actually died and since her and me had slept together that we should be dating, if anything at all. That’s when Len gave a big thumbs up in my direction, saying he was glad I finally went for a chick that wasn’t so moody, which caused Winter to kick him, under the table. He laughed, said he was only fooling, and asked Bunni out. Finally I broke it up with an offer to please stop talking about this, and either order food or go do something else. Len suggested we go out to the theatre, and just as we were about to all agree the boys of the group remembered that they basically had no money. Which wasn’t a good thing to remember after you’d just eaten a lovely meal in a restaurant. Len had Winter pay for him, since he didn’t want to make her feel weird buying me things, and made Bunni do that part instead. Then we set out.

As we walked along the snowy streets there were no car crashes, which shouldn’t have struck me as a note worthy fact since everybody out here has snow tires, but it still did for some reason. After a couple blocks we made it to the subway station, and climbed aboard. The turn style guard had been taking a nap, and so we decided that if there’s one less thing we have to pay for, then it would be just dandy by us. It’s fun being with a cheap group of people. You are always thinking of delightful ways to keep money in your pocket, provided there was money in your pocket to begin with. On the other hand it also leads to a lot of not having nice things, since usually the nicer things are, the more they cost. In the end though, you will be somewhat satisfied. And maybe be able to pay the heating bill this month, I hope. Sure, it’s fine in the summer, but once October rolls around you do not want to be caught without it unless you have a rather large quilt, stuffed with goose feathers or the like. We sat on the subway, in those seats that face the opposite side of the car, in a line of Winter, Bunny, Len, and myself. As we starred at our reflections in awkward silence, I kept thinking about how much I missed being with her. Even just being in a group with her like this was enough to make me think about not killing myself. It was as though she had some kind of magical girly spell about her that could turn me into something not utterly depressed. I didn’t like it.

At least I liked it more than the guy who got on at the next stop. He was a rather large man, and he carried a filing cabinet with him. He sat down opposite us, making it impossible to see what the expressions on my companions’ faces were like. The man, however, wore a big, goofy smile.

“How do you like that, eh? It started to snow. I’m going to have to shovel out my car, come morning.” He brushed back his hair with on of those hams he called a hand.

“Well, you could just pour salt on the whole fucking thing, and watch the snow melt.” Len always had an idea for everything. “Of course, that would probably do a right number on your car.”

Len and the large man both laughed at this, although it was pretty obvious that Len’s laugh was less than genuine. They talked for a bit about average things like last night’s hockey game and news related topics, but I was much more interested in his filing cabinet than their asinine conversation. There seemed to be some sort of dark red paint dripping out of the bottom of it, and onto the train car floor, ever so slowly. The man, also, never seemed to take his one big, meaty hand off of the thing. It struck me as not the sort of thing normal people do, but on a day like today, I didn’t think it that odd. I leaned back and tried to sneak a glance at Winter. Bunni noticed me doing this and, rather politely, accommodated. Say what you will about her sense of style, but she was actually an okay girl. Winter seemed to be staring at both the man and his cabinet with a lustful look in her eye. No, lustful isn’t the right word. More like a hungry look. I swore, I even saw her lick her lips. I didn’t have much more time to ponder on this, however, as the train came to a stop, which we took. We got up and Len said goodbye to the outsized man, whom still creeped me out, although I could not tell why.

We got off the subway, and stood in the cold, rundown subway station. It was almost completely empty, save for a cat who was walking all over the place, with seemingly no particular direction in mind. Winter watched it lovingly. She always had this thing for cats. Me, I never saw the attraction. I mean they sleep all day and are up all night meowing. They come and jump on you whenever you don’t want, and are completely gone when you actually want them around, not to mention how much they eat. I took care of a neighbour’s cat once, and it wanted to be fed every hour. So basically, I’m not fond of cats. If there are any cat people out there, reading this, please don’t write me angry letters, because I will only feed them to my hamster. After I buy a hamster.

Anyhow, we weren’t sure where we were so the whole group decided we’d best get topside and find out. Len hopped on the escalator, but before he could go anywhere it groaned to a halt. I guess his weight was too much for it, which means I would certainly have no hope in hell of ever using the thing. Luckily though, we weren’t so out of shape that we couldn’t climb the flight of stairs in a subway station. As least I had hoped, since that would be pretty sad. As we emerged into the open air, we noticed the snow level has risen quite dramatically, and the night had gotten considerably darker. The odd thing about all this was that it hadn’t gotten to a point that was really very cold, and only Bunni seemed to mind this turn of events because, apparently, it wasn’t good for her boots. Why she would be wearing non-water proof boots out in any sort of snow in the first place was beyond me. We all made our way down the street, with Len and Bunni generally chatting it up, while Winter and myself stay silent, although for different reasons, I’d assume. She seemed to be taking everything in with a new found wonder and excitement that you would see in a young child. I guessed that this was because of her whole coming back to life situation. I, on the other hand, was obviously thinking about her. Among other things, of course. Things like, what sort of fate brought us together again? Or took me to find Len. Or… Well basically the whole day sounded like some bad novel, and there was no doubt in my mind that it would only get worse. Hopefully the writer would be a sap, and stick me with a happy ending. Not that that would last very long after the epilogue.

At this juncture Len decided to ask Bunni how it was that she came across me.

“Well it was like this,” Bunni began. “See I was having a sort of rough day. I mean, I have this job as a secretary right? But my boss, well he’s pretty much slime. He thinks just because I’m attractive and a bit showy that I’m up for grabs. And I do mean grabs. It was sexual harassment all the way. Actually, me and a couple other girls are filing a lawsuit against him. Anyhow, I figured maybe I could go to the bar, you know? Have a little fun…” Her voice trailed off in my mind. It had triggered a reaction of memories from last night.

I had been kicked out of the last bar I was in. Something about being too loud and obnoxious, but really it was the whole joint that was too loud and obnoxious. I was just trying to blend in. I don’t know what made me think I should try a place that wasn’t my usual hang out anyway, but on this night something just told me to. So far I had only seen assholes being assholes to each other, and nothing redeeming about humanity anywhere. As I stumbled down the steps and over to the bus stop, I saw a midget scuttle by. Me, being of a curious and rather drunk nature, naturally decided to follow him. He didn’t seem to notice me, as he turned down a large alley way, and up to a back door. He knocked three times, and the door opened up, after which he made his way in. I approached the door and knocked three times as well, thinking I would be allowed to do the same, when a voice came through the door. It asked me what I wanted. I told it that I was with the little guy, and suddenly I was ushered in. At first I didn’t notice anything, save the little black hallway. As I walked down it I could hear the sounds of laughter, and noticed a bunch of rather odd coats hanging on the walls. Seemed almost like something out of a Ringley Brothers’ show. At last I got to the end of the hall and turned the corner, when what should I see? It was what seemed like a circus themed night club, and a rather swinging one at that. I went to the bar and ordered myself a blue drink. I’m not sure what it was, but a guy had once told me that if I was ever somewhere new to always get a blue drink first. That’s when I noticed her. She was in the back, sitting on a bench that stuck out of a brick wall. She was wearing a gold necklace and a little green dress that looked almost like crocodile skin. Sitting on either side of her were two immense twin ladies in polka-dot gowns. All three of them had their finger and toenails painted black, and wore matching sandals. I thought to myself that perhaps I should go talk to them all, since I really had nothing else to do.

After that it got fuzzy.

“So yeah, he just totally came onto me, and so I figured why not give it a try? My mother always told me writers were good in bed, and she certainly didn’t let me down,” Bunni ended, with a laugh.