Travel Mates

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Open, Damn Sesame

When I assess people, I directly associate them with geographical sites. It's the tour-guide's syndrome.

Paul struck me as a Mount Rushmore, due to his natural self-importance and some charismatic magnitude. Plus, his sense of cultured intelligence seemed to hit an abyss between us. If there was ever a finalists' contest, he's sure to win, hands down.

But the woman who climbed the stairs in twos, gracefully avoiding the deceased palm and faces us, hand on hip, is the living St. Helens.

Paul runs his mandatory introduction agenda again, trying to break the silence of rain drumming on papered window panes. I dig lower into my cargo's pockets, and sulk.

"So, you're a winner?" he asks. Oh, natürlich! Check out those classy jeans and polo, dammit.

"Are you?" she asks, eying him with blatant mistrust.

"Every one is a winner," he shoots her a winning smile.

Oh my God, they killed Kenny. I thought I groaned mutely, circa my abdomen, but apparently it is audible.

He grins at me and wonders aloud if we ladies have any clue as to what our prize could be.

"Whatever it is," says St. Helens, "It's bound to be divided by three. I hope there are judges who will determine justly the ratios." What ratios? This is a win-win, woman. If you want more than your share, bite the hand that feeds you, whatever the hell the dog biscuit is.

She performs the impossible, and manages to plonk with poise on the butt-misshaping bench, crossing her awesome legs at the ankles. I see Paul quickly averting his eyes.

Oh great, now I'm beat to the alpha-female jealousy disorder.

"If it would be divided, you're welcome to my share, as long as we can spend it together over a drink or two," Paul machos on gallantly. She grins, I frown, and he pops another Juicy Fruit in his mouth, offering a second round.

Instead of accepting what is non-mint and therefore inedible, I return to my original quest - the door.

I press the handle. It clicks open. Alas, the door does not creak.

The corridor revealed is dank and smells of stale coffee. A single 60 watts bulb at its end, shedding darkness on a second door. I inch along, followed by the stratovolcano and Paul.

Open, Sesame.

I lunge onto the handle. Nada. I wrench it a few times more, disappointed, and turn around reluctantly.
"You can't wreck the unbreakable," sages Paul.

But the woman expresses a more profound notion. "Someone just locked us in from the outside."
And suddenly, we're hit with a collective wave of claustrophobia, as burnt coffee beans never reeked so dreadfully, not even in some godforsaken Bolivian plantation.

"Juicy Fruits, anyone?" whispers Paul.


Blogger Elster said...

Brilliant!!! I laughed. I cried. I laughed again.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Tomboy said...

El, breaking your own rule of self-commenting? Shame on you, daddy.

PS. Sorry so late.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Sok, Tommy. We missed you.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it! You're hysterical, you know that?
And a great writer, to boot.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

TB - the post was sad and lonely> i wanted to give it a friend>

6:19 PM  
Blogger int said...

Intriguing..suspense built up in the ending words, but needs to be sustained in the next piece, and quickly. Otherwise St. Helens may not blow. Alpha female would be non-pleased..

11:00 AM  

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