Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Meghan 5: The Boyfriend

There have been many instances in my life when time seemed to slow down--or more accurately, my thought processes speeded up.  It's in times of stress or danger, more often than not, and this was one of those times. 

I felt aware of everything, most especially the gun.  It was small and silver and not very impressive, except inasmuch as it was about to be trained on me.  If I had to guess, it was probably some kind of .25--not guaranteed, instant death, but you never could tell.  And hell, getting shot hurts, I hear.  I wanted no part of that.

Even more worrisome, the kid's eyes were wild with anger and jealousy--this wasn't encouraging, since jealous people do stupid things like shoot folks.  Furthermore, I realized that I was going to have to come to a complete stop right outside the door, in order to reverse course up the stairs.  He was beating on the door and yelling, which couldn't go over too well with the neighbors, much less the kids upstairs asleep.  And I, always the outsider, was going to get in trouble for it.  I knew it--hell, I figured it was a foregone conclusion that the only way I couldn't avoid getting in trouble would be to get shot.  Don't ask me why I was guilty--I just knew that I was, somehow, guilty of something. 

So there I was, stopped, looking through a quarter of an inch of glass at an 18 year old kid with a pistol.  I was plainly diddling his girlfriend, and he was plainly not happy about it.  I stopped, and for a breath we just stood there and looked at each other.  Something needed to be said.  Some pithy statement, on my part.  One phrase came to mind, due to me watching "The Blues Brothers" four nights a week for the preceding two months.

The relevant part of the plot of this movie is that Jake and Elwood Blues are being followed by a mysterious woman who keeps trying to kill them with various heavy ordnance (bomb, flamethrower, some sort of heavy machine gun).  Close to the end of the film, you find out, as she corners them in a sewer tunnel with said m.g., that she's the former fiance of Jake Blues, who's intent on killing him because he stood her up at the altar.  Ensues a large string of excuses from Jake, culminating in her acceptance of his apology, and he takes her in his arms.  They kiss, then he drops her in the mud and runs away.  Elwood catches her eye as he sprints past, stops, and seems to be in the same sort of quandary I found myself in. 

We spoke as one, across twenty years, to jilted lovers we really didn't owe an apology to, except on behalf of the world at large:  "ah, take it easy?"

Then I sprinted up the stairs.  The kid began pounding on the door--and that's when I knew we weren't in any danger.  If he was going to shoot someone, he would have shot me in the back.  If he really wanted to get in, all he had to do was break the glass.  This kid wasn't a real menace, if he wasn't pushed.  He was sad and frustrated and jealous, and I knew all about that.  By the time I reached the top of the stairs, I was starting to feel sorry for him. 


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