I jack off to one of the pictures of her I have saved on my computer and after I’m done I send her a message to tell her what I did. She likes that kind of stuff and I know she’d want to know. I don’t go into work today because I want to surprise her even though she says she doesn’t like surprises and says she doesn’t want to see me but I know she secretly does. I drive to her office and park by a tree because it’s hot outside and shady there and I can still see the entrance to the building. I wait and wait and it’s so hot that my back starts to sweat and I should probably just turn on the air conditioning but I don’t want to waste gas. At lunch she comes outside but she’s not alone so I wait some more. I shouldn’t have had coffee at breakfast because now I have to piss. There’s an empty coke can in the cup holder and for a moment I consider it. But only for a moment because that’s something only a crazy person would do.
There’s a gas station across the road so I go there. In the bathroom I unzip my fly and piss in the toilet with the seat down because it’s one of those unisex jobs and there isn’t a urinal and I don’t want to touch anything. Afterwards I write her number and the words ‘call for a good time’ on the wall next to the mirror above the sink. She’ll think it’s funny so I take a picture to show her later or actually I’ll just text her now. I buy a bag of chips and two taquitos because there is a deal going and I can never pass up a deal. The cashier asks if I want a drink but no I better not because then I’ll have to piss again and maybe that graffiti wasn’t such a good idea after all. I go back to the bathroom but the door is locked so I bang on it until a guy comes out and Geeze, man, Take it easy alright? I scribble out the number because she won’t think it’s funny and I don’t want to make her mad. I should go after the guy who was in there to make sure he didn’t write down the number but I’ve been gone too long now and what if she leaves and I’m not there and Hey babe ignore that picture I just sent you okay?
My spot by the tree is taken so I have to park in the back of the lot where I can’t really see the door but at least I can see her car so that works too. I eat my bag of chips and two taquitos that I bought because there was a deal going and I can never pass up a deal. Some of the insides spill out and land on my shirt but luckily it brushes right off. I don’t have anything to change into and I don’t want her to see me with a stain on my shirt. This is her favorite shirt and she really doesn’t like stains. A guy wearing black pants and a white shirt with security on the front pocket knocks on my window. I ignore him but he knocks again so I open the door because the car isn’t on and the windows are automatic and don’t roll down. He’s tall and balding and looks like he spends more time sitting than securing and he puts his hand on top of the door and rests it there. His shirt is damp under the arms because he’s sweating and the white fabric is a little yellow and I should smash his fingers in the door but I’d probably be arrested and Hey, man, you can’t park here anymore or I’m gonna call the cops. So I leave because whatever. I don’t like cops and it’s dark now anyways and she must be working late.
I drive to her house and wait for her here. The streetlight by her driveway is broken and the bulb keeps flickering on and off and someone should really fix that because it’s annoying and a little creepy and people shouldn’t feel creeped out in their neighborhoods. I close my eyes so I don’t see it anymore and I’ll tell her to be careful at night when she gets home but then I wake up the next morning and her car is already gone and I don’t even remember falling asleep. Spit is dried on the side of my mouth and I put the visor down so I can look in the mirror and scratch off the white flakes. I walk to the window next to the front door and cup my hands around the glass to peer in. It’s early and the streetlights are on and the one by the driveway is still flickering. Her roommate’s car is gone too but maybe she is still there. The curtains are closed so I can’t see anything and I can’t hear anything either and I try the front door but the key she gave me doesn’t seem to be working and I’ll have to complain to the landlord, I think his name is John. Maybe I should try the back door but then I’d have to jump the fence and it’s getting lighter now so maybe I should just go to her office again and Good morning babe, Sorry I missed you, Didn’t even see you come home last night.
I don’t park in the lot because I’m not allowed to anymore so I go to the gas station across the road where I bought the bag of chips and two taquitos but I don’t buy either today because I’m not hungry yet and there isn’t a deal going. I take mouthwash from a shelf and go into the bathroom and while I swish the mouthwash around my mouth I scribble over the crossed out number again just to be sure no one can see it. I spit into the sink and take another swig but I swallow this time so the peppermint will kill the bacteria in my throat too. I throw the half empty bottle of mouthwash into the trash and buy a large coffee I drink black without sugar. There are fake roses next to the register that have fake rings attached to the stem but I don’t buy one because they are tacky and cheap and even though she likes gifts she doesn’t like gifts that are tacky and cheap.
I did buy her real flowers a couple days ago but I forgot them on the back seat of my car. They are wilting and brown now but maybe they’ll come back to life in water mixed with that little packet of plant food that comes attached to the plastic wrapping. So I take the flowers from the back seat and walk across the road because I’m not allowed to park there anymore but I still want to give her the flowers and they didn’t say anything about visiting. I go inside the building to the little desk in the middle of the big lobby with the guy who has security written on his front pocket but it’s a different guy from yesterday. I tell him I’m here to see her. One moment, sir and he calls her office on a white phone on the little desk but I’m sorry, sir, I can’t let you up. Excuse me you can’t go up there when I try the elevator anyways but I don’t have a key card and the elevator only works if you have a key card. I leave the building and the guy is on the phone again, Yes, he’s walking out now. There’s a bench outside so I sit there and watch the guy watching me and these flowers really aren’t looking that great.
A police car pulls up and its blue lights are flashing but the siren isn’t going and two cops get out. One stands next to me and one goes inside and the guy at the desk starts to point in my direction so I look at the cop standing next to me because surely he isn’t pointing at me. The elevator doors open and she comes out with a girl I have seen once before at a dinner we had for her birthday at the Mexican restaurant with the good margaritas. I stand up but the cop tells me to sit down but I don’t want to sit down so I walk away. He grabs my arm and the other one comes running and the flowers fall to the floor. Watch out for the flowers. Don’t step on the flowers. Don’t struggle, sir, it just makes it worse. My hands are behind my back and the handcuffs are too tight but they put me in their car behind the passenger seat and the more I move my wrists the more it hurts so I rest my forehead against the glass and try to stay still. She’s talking to the cops and the girl that came down with her in the elevator is rubbing her back. Now she’s crying and there’s nothing I can do and she looks at me and I can tell she’s scared but don’t worry babe I’ll be out soon. It’s all been a big misunderstanding.
The featured image accompanying this piece, entitled ‘I Had A Dream, Joe’, has been used with the permission of artist, Diego Tripodi.
Diego Tripodi was born in 1983 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he lives and works.
His work can be seen at diegotripodi.com.