Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the lie and how we told it: Untitled by Roby Saavedra

by Roby Saavedra

It was the kind of sports car that could have only existed in the 80’s; not quite boxy, not quite streamlined. The interior was lined with ornamental bells and whistles, which seemed to act as placeholders for utilities that might actually be useful, but had yet to be invented. The atmosphere inside the car was tense and was especially marked by the overwhelming odor of a familiar musk aftershave. As I looked to my right, watching objects whiz past, it struck me that I was actually smelling something, which was unusual -- actually it had never happened before. I noted it mentally, trying my best to seem collected and appropriately aloof.

The driver, most likely sensing something was off, cocked his head to the right and stared at me through his aviator sunglasses, which were actually just one big lens in the shape of sunglasses. After a few moments he turned back to the road, then back at me for a longer period, then back at the road, then back at me even longer. He had on a dark grey scarf which was tucked into a brown leather jacket with its collar popped up, the collar reaching all the way to his pronounced jaw line. He continued his tennis game head movements; back and forth from the road to me to the road to me. I didn’t take the chance to look back at him, instead keeping my eyes on the blur of the outside world through the window, listening to the sound of his leather jacket make the same groan and wrinkle each time he made one of his sharp head twists.

Finally the noises stopped. The match had ended and I was the winner. His gaze fixed on me. My palms sweaty, my mind frantically trying to wash itself of any and all thought processes. The world continued to rush by and I could feel his breath on the left side of my body. He wasn’t moving, I was sure of that. I’d seen him this still before, but wasn’t sure when. Suddenly I wasn’t sure of anything.

Fuck. I lost it. I turned to my left and saw that his sunglasses were gone. His utterly still eyes were paralyzing, blue, and filled with madness. His right hand was gripping the steering wheel, his shoulder at his chin. The musk was gone, replaced by a heaviness which I attributed to his sultry breath. I snapped out of the lock from his eyes and noticed his tongue hanging out of his mouth leaving a trail of spit on his jacket sleeve which dripped down to the gear shifter. I almost laughed when he began to speak.

“Did the smell bother you?” he asked.

“No not really,” I shook my head. At that moment I noticed the scenery outside his window returned to black and white. Fuck.

He began to speak again but all that came out was the sound bite of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion roar and he then proceeded to gnaw on his leather jacket sleeve. I climbed out of the sunroof of the sports car wondering why I would ever choose such a heinous vehicle in the first place and ordered a coffee from the pleasant looking waitress taking our order.

“Well?” the guy sitting directly to my right’s muffled voice asked, “How did it go?”

“Cats, man. Huge ones. And always with people bodies.”

A girl sitting opposite me began to laugh behind her mask. “Fucked up!” she exclaimed.

I took the moment to survey the scene through the two eye-holes in my facemask. There were a lot of Guy Fawks masks throughout the place, more than usual. How unoriginal. The place seemed bigger tonight, I thought, which made me begin to lose myself in the idea of ‘vaster than infinite.’

Suddenly I was jarred out of my spacey moment when the guy next to me got up and began to bid his goodbyes.

“I have a fucking calc test tomorrow, as much as I’d like to keep fucking unattainable women I really ought to get back to reality soon.” And in an instant it was as if he was never even there.

Math test? I thought to myself. They’re getting younger and younger.

“I know,” a person next to me commented, grabbing my shoulder. “If I had this when I was in high school I’d have never graduated.”

My sheets were wet with sweat again and luckily I hadn’t woken up my wife this time.

“Fucking mind readers…” I whispered to myself as I slowly peered over my wife’s shoulder to check for a cat’s head.
Roby Saavedra makes and studies art up in San Francisco. He's a lovely man. Check out his tumbling tumblr: click. Here's where you can check out some of his amazing art: clack.