Seems Our Time Has Run Out, Dr. Jones
was the week before I was about to elope. I had a twenty-dollar
dress from H&M, my best friend was recently ordained at humanspiritualism.org,
and there were three cases of Maker's Mark -- we were good to go.
for one thing," Christopher said, "you have to tell him."
Christopher, FYI, was my fiance, a fact that still sort of blows
my mind. Usually guys like him are: a) Taken, b) Gay, c) Dying,
or d) A figment of my imagination. Christopher is none of these
things. He's wonderful and smart and "together," -- like,
there are goals and shit -- and also he loves kids and puppies in
a very non-sappy kind of edgy DIY sort of way. And he always, always
does the right thing, even in those moments where the right thing
makes you want to stick a fork in your eye -- which just then, was
exactly what he was asking me to do.
can't," I said. "I can't tell him."
have to," Christopher said. "He deserves to know."
In my head I listed every possible out and decided on avoidance.
"I'll tell him when we get back," I said, but Christopher
shook his head. "This is your last week as a single woman.
Get your stuff, we're going now."
dropped me off at the Music Box, this beautiful old movie theatre
on Southport that only shows classics or arty stuff. It was built
in the '20s, I think -- really ornate architecture with this huge,
red velvet curtain over the screen. I found a seat near the front
and tried to calm down. There was a grapefruit sized knot in my
chest, one part fear and two parts guilt. We'd been together for
so long, twenty years almost, and here I was, showing up out of
the clear blue sky to say, "I'm sorry, but I just don't need
you anymore." I suddenly wondered how he'd react: he is a pretty
unpredictable guy, after all. Would he snap his whip around my waist
and refuse to let me go? Would he jump on a camel and track Christopher
across Chicago? Or would he do something drastic, like look into
the Arc of the Covenant until his skin boiled off and he eventually
lights went down, and there was that feeling right before a movie
when you're transported to another life that's the farthest thing
from real. The red velvet curtain rose up -- my heart was pounding
so fast I didn't know if I'd make it through the opening credits
-- and suddenly, there he was.
all had our little crushes on fictional characters. Jake Ryan from
Sixteen Candles, right? Maybe James Bond? Annette Funnicello?
Legalos? I know you've all had one, but please understand -- Indiana
Jones and I were not just some fling. We were the REAL DEAL. And
don't say, "Oh MY God, I love Harrison Ford, too!" because,
I tell you what, I couldn't give a rat's ASS about Harrison Ford
-- or Han Solo. Or Bob Falfa, or John Book, or Deckard, or any of
them. This is about me and Indiana Jones.
met in my parent's basement in 1986. I was nine years old, one of
those messy, Barbie-hating tomboys with ratty pigtails, OshKosh
B'Gosh, and freshly picked scabs from some imaginary battle in the
creek behind my house. It's important to note that I was an only
child, which means I was pretty lonely, but also, that I had all
sorts of magical powers. For example, on the day I met Indy there
was a thunderstorm outside which I'd started with my brain.
Because of it, I couldn't play in the creek, and since my folks
were upstairs loudly focused on their impending divorce, all I had
was the TV: this tiny, rabbit-eared job that only received one channel:
the Saturday afternoon movie: Indiana Jones and the Temple of
scene that really got me was the one where Indy and the kid from
The Goonies are in that secret corridor with all the bugs
and decapitated skeletons, and the kid keeps setting off booby traps,
and almost squashes them very gruesomely in the Spikey Room of Death.
And I'm all, "Indy, that kid SUCKS! I am SO way better than
him!" I was up off the couch, talking directly to the television.
"I'm not scared of bugs, and also I can teleport, and stop
moving walls with my mind!" I would've kept listing off my
powers, but just then -- I know you'll think I'm crazy when I say
this but it happened, I SWEAR! -- Indiana Jones turned and looked
straight at me, like how in the movies the actors talk into the
camera but there wasn't any camera, there was only me, all alone
in the basement with my incredible ten-year-old need, and he SAW
ME, he looked right in my eyes and said, "What a vivid imagination."
was the beginning. We spent most of our time playing in the creek,
digging ancient architectural relics out of the mud, and swinging
on vines. Eventually, though, I got older. My priorities changed.
I didn't want us to play in the mud anymore, I wanted us to
I had these feelings, you know
God, how do I word this? "Nocturnal
activities," is what Indy always says and -- don't look at
me that way! Like you don't have fantasies! Everybody has them,
my psychiatrist says it's perfectly normal and Indiana Jones is
pretty top-of-the-line of I do say so myself. a) He's a college
professor fluent in numerous indigenous languages, b) He has a very
great hat, and c) Whenever I've needed him, he's been there.
Day, 1995. I was eighteen years old. I wore combat boots and ripped
fishnets, listened exclusively to Nine Inch Nails, and read waaaay
too much Sylvia Plath for anybody's health. My boyfriend, Ricky
-- he had green hair. AND a leather jacket held together with safety
pins. We'd met in freshman biology at EMU, dissecting frogs,
which in retrospect is an appropriate metaphor for our relationship.
Anyhow, we had this discussion about how Valentine's Day
was sap-ass corporate social conditioning designed to subjugate
the masses and we wanted no part. I believe his exact words were,
"Cupid can suck my dick."
was soooo cool.
long story short we spent the day in a laundromat -- Valentine's
Day in a laundromat in Ypsilanti, Michigan, as gray and dead of
a town as you could get. And I remember I was pairing his socks
when out of the clear blue sky he said, "I'm outta here tomorrow."
"Outta where?" And he said, "Ypsilanti. There's
nothing here for me." At which point I put down the socks.
here," I said.
he said, "Yeah, about that..."
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