I want to fly like the blue man.
I saw him atop the Robert A. Crenshaw House and thought, “What a marvelous idea.” But when I tried to get closer, the way was blocked by a hoard of bystanders and policemen and flashing blue lights. They wouldn’t even let me near enough to scale the building to join him.
Frustrated, I wandered along the train tracks, wondering what my contemporaries were doing, wondering when things would be deemed “safe,” if they would be safe. I’d left the flat running earlier, when that horrible suction noise erupted from outside my door. I am slightly afraid of vacuum cleaners. Oleander squawked to show his minor irritation, but I’d thrown open the window and bolted away.
As soon as my feet touched the ground, I knew something was wrong. At first, I tried to ignore it; I’ve had far to many overreactions recently. It didn’t matter where I went, and when I thought I’d lost it, the blue subaru always rounded the corner ahead of me. When I slowed, it slowed, when a ran, it sped.
I knew it was one of Vladan’s gangsters tailing me, but wondered why they didn’t just stop, pull me in and blow my brains out. I raced away from it until I realized it wasn’t following me at all; it was following the shifty looking Asian man who keeps people in apartment 413. I suppose there might not be four people crammed in there. Perhaps he just brings four take out meals in there and eats them all himself. I never broke in to check it out; that guy looks a little too crazy. I calmed and could feel my heart rate returning to normal: no stalker, no vacuum cleaners, just a blue man on the roof.
I continued wandering, wishing I’d brought Oleander with me until I found my path was blocked by a massive pool of blue liquid. My footsteps shimmered indigo in the liquid momentarily before vanishing again. “Marvelous!” I said aloud. I walked further in, shocked to find that in some places it came up to my ankles. When one of my shoes slipped off and didn’t resurface, I didn’t mind and for a while I delighted myself by making temporary designs in the blue liquid and watching them disappear.
I had an idea almost as marvelous as flying. My floor paintings needed this blue liquid. Lots of it. I left blue tracks down Yellow Brick rd, searching for someplace that would have bottles or jars or some sort of container. I was forced to hobble awkwardly into O’Harley’s with only one shoe, but kept my chin up as I marched up to the counter and demanded that the tall, harassed looking man at the counter give me as many empty bottles as I could hold. He smiled vacantly at me, too resigned to even question my motives, and obliged.
I tucked too many bottles under my arms and one slipped out of my grasp and shattered in the doorway. The Asian man who’s either a kidnapper or very hungry was screaming something about no one being able to help him as I scraped the glass pieces into my hands, trying to ignore the biting pain. Someone was grabbing my hands to keep me from injuring myself further.
“Doesn’t that hurt?” he asked, plucking out a few shards that had lodged themselves into my flesh.
“Yes, terribly,” I said, watching in fascination as blood droplets dripped onto the floor.
The man introduced himself as Charlie and asked him if he would help me fill the bottles with the mysterious blue liquid, lest I injure myself further. The expression on his face told me he really didn’t want to help me, but was going to anyway. He didn’t question why I needed the blue liquid, just where I was from and what in Belgrade was worth visiting. He told me about the trip he was planning to Turkey, and I told him I’d wanted to visit Turkey but my father wouldn’t let me.
My father because he was under the impression that Europe had the finest jewelers and we shouldn’t waste our time on anything less than the best.
“Aren’t you a little old to be letting your parents dictate your life?” Charlie asked me.
I watched the blue liquid swirl like Van Gogh’s Starry Night and asked Charlie if I could see his mother’s list.