Can I talk to you?
a conversation with a man from a limo.
Mark William Darus
(the song below seemed fitting.)
It’s about 5:00PM, I’m parked at the Bomber Squadron. The air is still, somewhat chilly and rush hour on Brookpark rd is in full-swing.
I take a swig of GetGo coffee, it sucks, and I check my Camera. I reach into the backseat and grab my Slik and open the door.
As I set up my tripod, looking for a good angle, I mate my camera on it. I take a few steps back to my truck, reach in and grab my crappy coffee as several cars nearly get into an accident below me, their screeching brakes catching my attention.
Oh yeah, it’s Friday alright. Everyone’s rushing somewhere and tensions are running high as people quickly lose patience. No shopping mall parking lot is safe tonight.
As I fire off several shots, I notice a black lino behind me, overhead lights reflecting from its high gloss.
A limo at this restaurtant is not an uncommon thing, especially on a Friday night, so I dismiss it and aim my cameras eye another direction.
As always, I get caught by what I see and develop tunnel-vision. Nothing around me takes hold except what I see through the lens as I adjust settings and angles. Focused to task, like that when I write, I am one with another land, another life.
“Can I talk to you?” a voice sounds from behind me. I turn, nearly startled, and see the limo behind me. The rear window is lowered and I see a males face looking out at me.
“Sure, why not? Just don’t ask me for smokes, okay?”
“Uh, I don’t smoke,” says in tone sounding as if about to cry.
A large jet screams behind me as it comes in for a landing, causing me to shift my body to see it touch down.
I hear a car door close soon followed by hard soled footfalls on cold asphalt.
I see well dressed man of about mid thirties approaching me. His shoes, every bit as shiny as the limo’s paint, bouncing light from them with each step.
Off in the distance: “Hey, Asshole! Green light means GO!” Car horns soon follow :MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
I stretch my hand to him, “my name’s Mark William Darus.”
He looks at me, his eyes darting about as he says, “Mark William Darus.” He does not meet my hand.
Okay, I think, not everyone meets another fifty-fifty.
“yep, that’s me.” This guy looks so damn nervous, edgy, out of sorts.
“Uh, you know only serial killers use their full names, don’t you?”
“C’mon, you don’t really believe that, do you?” I ask.
The roar of a jet reaching full throttle annihilates the sound of traffic as it blasts down the runway for take-off.
“Well, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wayne Gacie, James Earl Jones?”
“I think you mean, James Earl Ray, right?”
He stares blankly at me as he shifts about with uncertainty.
“No sweat, man. What can I do for you?” Another jet lands. Shit, I’m missing all the action…
“My life’s a mess. I’m looking at jail time, alimony, child support…” He begins to ramble on like a freight train lacking working brakes. “She caught me with her sister. How could I be so fuckin’ stupid? She hired some guy to follow me. Damn it, my driver told me I was being followed, but I blew him of. He got pics of me leaving several hotels with her…”
“Whoa, Speed Racer! Slow it down a bit, please. You’re overloading my circuits.” My mind sized this encounter up quick enough. He either saw me as no threat to him and some one to talk to anonymously or something else. I had to think that something else might be his driver mistaking me for the guy that followed him. I thought that possibility was kind of cool though.
“Sorry, man. Shit. It’s just, fuck, not good for me.”
One of the restaurants valet drivers drove wide and bathed this mans face in clear light. I recognized him.
“So what do you want from me,” I questioned as a turbo-prop revved for take-off.
“How do I fix this?” His voice getting further unstable.
“Well, did you try to appoligize to her?”
“DUH!, Of course I did!” He stood fast and reached his right hand into his leather trench coat.
I’m not easily bothered, but this movement caught my full attention.
“Okay. Did you try blaming her sister for seducing you?” I calmly asked him. “Sometimes shifting perception is everything.”
“No, I, I didn’t think of that.”
“Do you think your wifes sister set you up? I mean, you’re obviously a man of means, correct?” Throwing the dog a bone, I said this to him, wanting to smile for some absurd reason.
“What diff would that make?”
“Ever hear of conspiracy? For all you know, your other legal matters could spring from the same well.” I have some clue what makes my mind work, though I cannot say where my thoughts well up from.
“Sir, we have somewhere to be in 10 minutes,” his driver said.
His eyes intensified as he thought about what I said to him.
“Thank you, Mark. I didn’t introduce myself,” he said as he took his right hand from coat pocket and reached out to me.
“All things considered, I’d rather not know your name.”
Gaining full composure, he stands full length, bowing head, “okay, that’s cool.”
He strolled back to his limo and entered it.
Watching them drive off, another jumbo landed behind me.
“Damn, I missed another one!” I yelled to the crisp night air.
Getting back to my happy-place, I began seeing the world once again through the lens.
I say one last thing to the night sky: “What the fuck was that?”
Mark William Darus