DATING CAN BE MURDER, by AJ Proctor

fem bot

Romance is hazardous to your health. It’s dangerous, subversive and can be fatal.

What I am about to tell you is a true story. Only the names and places are changed to protect the innocent.

It’s been three days since I woke up, naked on a park bench. Well nearly naked, save a hospital gown, where I exposed my birthday suit to anyone who wanted a free peep show. I remember opening my eyes and having a splitting headache and a blood soaked bandage affixed to my wrist. Last thing I remember was running; running for my life. Crazed gangsters chasing me from the north and wise guys flanking me from the south. How do I always get myself wrapped up in these situations? Lock me up. I’m a menace too society. I’m an incorrigible romantic, addicted to love; of all the wrong women. That’s where the story starts.

It was Thursday night and I was heading downtown. I’d caught a cab instead of the train. I was running behind, I was in a hurry. I didn’t want to be late. It was 7 snake eyes when I walked through the door of the Music Cellar. A brilliant replica of a 1960’s Jazz club. I opened the door to the familiar perfume of bourbon and despair. I was greeted with a wink and a nod, and before I made it to the bar a drink was placed in my hand by a passing cocktail bunny. The club was filling up fast. I grabbed a seat. I spotted the usual suspects, plus few new faces that only a mother could love. Took a swig of my lemonade and settled in for a night good music and bad choices.

Lost in thought and daydreaming through time and space, I feel a tap on my shoulder. I looked up and locked eyes with a ghost. A trans-human hybrid woman, the spitting image of my ex-wife who I haven’t seen in eons. She leaned in and nuzzled my cheek; she smelled like the blues and looked like jazz. Hot steamy and unpredictable. And before she spoke one word her eyes lit up. She flashed a devilish grin, raised a finger to her lips, turned and walked away.

Time froze and my mind raced trying to process that odd but scintillating interaction. I needed a smoke, and a shot of tiger milk. That concerned me, I don’t smoke, and hate milk. I’m lactose intolerant. Out of habit I reached for my pocket watch. The ticker read 11:00 pm. It seemed that the time bandits stole the night again. It felt like moments ago, I walked through the door of this juke joint. To my surprise when I returned from the lieu, the fem-bot version of Jessica Rabbit was on stage in her final vocal run up of a vintage torch song.

I flagged down Nadine my favorite bar stool prophet. Ordered a Heart Stopper, synthanol high ball and asked her the skinny on the brunette. Nadine shook her head and smiled and blurted that lady was bad news. She got a post doctorate in crazy. She sounded like my kind of poison. It was a lovely night for a moon dance. In my experience all dames are crazy, the trick is, you just gotta find the crazy you can live with. Nadine slapped my wrist and told me to keep my distance from that chippy con carne. Just then Madame X sidles up to me, eyes me up and down, licks her lips, swipes her contact info at me and tells me to call her. How could I resist, she had a voice like a siren and a body that seen too many midnight’s. If she is lucky she could be my next ex-wife.

The next day crept in like the devil beating his wife. Raining, sunshine, and a rumble of thunder. A knock on my door broke the sound of silence. The shock woke me up. I jumped up half clothed searching frantically for my glasses and a pair of pants. I headed towards the door, where in mid knock I opened the door to an out of breath and excited Mr. Clean Clone.

“What do you want, Double-D?” I asked.

He pushed passed me and raced for the toilet. Good morning I yelled. He didn’t respond. The bathroom door opened, he comes out and yells, what took me so long.

“I’m surprised you are alive after the holy terror you were last night. The whole neighborhood is talking about it.” he says.

I looked out the window, and then back at him, smiled and called BS and asked if he was junked up on juju stick.

He assured me that he was on the level, pulled out his tablet and called up a clip on the news app Vubble. There I was plain as day. It was me walking and singing in the rain; singin’ in the rain. It was painful to watch.

I myself am surprised that I am alive today. I would have shot me, in cold blood. Wrapped me up and sent me to sleep with fishes. I stood their dumbfounded. How come I don’t remember this?

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About Art Proctor

Im a storyteller + film and digital media professional. I connect people. I forecast the future. I rant often. I solve problems. I like to cook. I sing badly.

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