99 Luftballons.

She appeared in my life wearing a red raincoat.

It wasn’t raining that day but I appreciate the effort. You don’t get that type of effort from local girls. Fake tan, fake ass, fake tits. I hear they even make fake eyelashes now.

I don’t know what’s real anymore. I can say beyond doubt we’re in some alternate dimension. Some horrible, Lovecraftian nightmare I can’t wake up from because I took too many mushrooms from a strange man named ‘Shaman’ in Golden Gate Park.

I died that day. I’m just a ghost now. Except I can’t make objects fly across the room to scare old housewives. Poltergeists must have a lot of fun. Plus they’re actually dead which is an improvement from just feeling dead. I will haunt this world. I will pick up every funeral urn in every bicentennial house in North America and hurl it furiously against the cheap, yellowing wallpaper. Shatter them into thousands of pieces so Muriel is forced to stop watching infomercials and collecting social security checks, and clean up Eustace’s ashes.

I floated over to her location like a lost soul and pretended to be looking at anything but her. She took notice after I had been hovering in place carefully not staring at her for the better part of a minute. She asked me to take her picture. I had no idea what her company did and I didn’t really care. She had some European accent I assumed was French because I assume every woman who isn’t dressed like shit is French. I asked her if she was French. She said yes. I spoke to her in French. She understood.

I had studied enough French in college to talk to girls and become a complete snob about food. I studied Spanish in high school but it never impressed anyone. The Spanish spoken in California is a hideous patois of indigenous dialects, black slang, Mexican slang, and American slang. The Castellanos would be rolling in their graves had they not created ‘La Raza Cósmica’ in the first place. I would often tell myself I was studying Spanish for Spain, for Spanish culture. But outside of Hemingway’s bull fighters and that one story about windmills, there wasn’t much to go on.

France had always appealed to me because it was the antithesis of Anglo-America: the voracious hydra responsible for every single problem of post-modernity. The French ate lunch for three hours because they felt like it. The French chain-smoked cigarettes all day because they felt like it. The French had sex all morning because they fucking felt like it. Your run of the mill American hated the French for no particular reason, because we ‘saved’ them from speaking German or something. This meant that I pretty much had to like them.

We talked briefly and she told me where she was from: Quebec. Close enough. I went back to work and avoided her until the last day because I have the terrible habit of avoiding women. She was cute in that mousy, innocent way that shatters your heart into a thousand pieces like a funeral urn thrown by a poltergeist when you find out she’s fucking some revolting human specimen with darker skin and six inches of height on you. These are the types of girls that ruin lives. No, ruin souls. You’re bringing the damage she’ll do to you straight to Heaven or Hell or the Facebook login screen or wherever you go when you die. These girls are public health hazards. They should be rounded up and placed in tiny glass bell jars and hidden in some attic.

Of course, I knew nothing about her. I still don’t and I never will. Perhaps that’s what made this experience worth writing about. It takes roughly two weeks to like someone and four weeks to start hating them. The more you know about people the more you hate them. Social media makes you hate your friends because now you know them too well. We need secrets. I don’t want to know about your basic bitch political views, especially given that I am an aristocrat of the soul and am far beyond the reach of politics. All my friends tell me they’re ‘in the middle’ then preach the sanctity of men taking dick up their ass at taxpayer expense. America is the vehicle through which Satan enters the world.

I returned to talk with my beloved on the last day. One of my co-workers was talking with her and the contrast was farcical: a broad shouldered bovine of a woman standing next to a gracile flower of one. I was afraid she might be eaten and interjected with my French. My co-worker seemed more impressed by my language skills but she was fat and my self-esteem hasn’t sunk low enough for that size. The girl seemed to remember me and we spoke at length about education and work.

The topic of travel came up and she stood up and started pointing at a map of the United States on the wall all of the places she’s been. Hearing every state she listed hurt me spiritually: it meant potentially hours or even days of time spent in the Great Satan. Run, rabbit, run. Get out of this place. I pointed on the map where my parents are from and she placed her finger adjacent, touching mine.

We made eye contact and her lips parted and things got really quiet. Naturally, I ignored this indication of Divine Providence and started talking about some arbitrary fact regarding the Ohio Valley. She asked herself what time it is and left to check her phone. At least she was polite with her rejection of my map-induced autism.

I never even asked her for her name. I went back to work and never saw her again. I hope she returned to some snowy village up north, maybe one with a farm, has a few kids, raises them well, and never returns to this godforsaken place. For her own sake, I hope to never see her again.

To you, to God, adieu.

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