“What’s wrong, Linda, why are you so drawn up? I aint gonna hurt you. You a pretty lady but I don’t want Killer to kick my ass. Ha ha…you know killer could kill me, Linda.” Tommy just kept talking. “That’s funny aint it, Linda.”
Killer was Linda’s boyfriend and to be honest he didn’t give a fuck about who was touching Linda. Her eyes were unmovable while driving. She watched shadows from her Buick’s headlights scurry away and then return further ahead as deeper darker thick mists of shape. Linda moved her lips absent mindedly. “Lunar anomalies, Tommy, that’s what that is called. Many people see faces in the moon but it’s just lunar anomalies…nothing more.”
“Yeah yeah….I go outside and watch the moon sometimes while I drink my beer and smoke my cigarettes.” Tommy’s smile widened in a crazed grin. He leaned forward and toward Linda, touching her upper arm lightly. Linda winced at his strange fleeting touch. “Linda, you are a pretty lady. You have a nice figure but I won’t try anything.”
Linda took note of every touch and every sneer Tommy gave her. She questioned why she had brought him along for the ride. All she wanted was a fifth of vodka. If Tommy hadn’t been waiting at the gas station, she would have been enjoying some nice brooding driving time alone. Linda’s depression had not worsened, nor had it gotten any better but Tommy wasn’t helping. Why did she always have to help him? Just because the other neighbors shunned him, didn’t mean she had to be his savior.
“Look here, Linda…” Tommy touched her arm again and sat at the edge of his seat. “I bought me another bike the other day and now I have two Mongooses.” Linda chanced to glance at Tommy quickly trying to hide the fact that she wondered why he wasn’t riding the damn bike right now.
She frowned and spoke. “Tommy, what did you do with that bike I sold you?”
Tommy chuckled and lit up a cigarette. ” Oh, Ted junked that bike out. He said it was a girl’s bike and I don’t want to be a sissy.”
The thought was hilarious. Linda pushed her foot down harder on the gas. The faster she got to the package store, the faster she could take Tommy back home. After all, she wasn’t about to go in the opposite direction until she had her alcohol. Linda needed her alcohol to make it through the hard nights. She yawned and leaned her head back.
“Hey! Hey! Don’t fall asleep now, Linda.” Tommy grabbed for the steering wheel and dropped his smoldering fag into the floorboard.
“Damnit Tommy, watch what you are doing. I am fine.” Linda took back full control of the wheel and gave Tommy a stern look. Her patience was wearing thin by his constant babbling and she could feel the irritation make her physically uncomfortable.Trees flew past on either side of the road, limbs waving her own to freedom from her challenged friend. She heard them cheer. “Go Linda, go!” Linda giggled despite her irritation.
“Hey! that’s Guns and Roses!” Tommy reached for the volume and flung it open wide. Axel Rose screamed his lyrics in angst. Linda imagined him shaking in his chair as he screamed ‘WElcome to the jungle.’ Linda smiled when he sang about how you are gonna die. She glanced at Tommy and exhaled slowly.
“I love GnR as well, Tommy.”
Tommy flew into a fit naming off random facts of the metal band and how he read this and that out of the Hit Parader. “Did you know that Axel Rose was in the church choir? That is where he learned to sing. You like Guns and Roses don’t you, Linda?”
Linda slammed on the brakes and pulled off on the shoulder of the road. Tommy yelled and sputtered in confusing about various reasons why Linda shouldn’t drive so recklessly because Tommy didn’t want to die. Linda’s chest heaved with the panicky breath that she labored to control. Tommy continued to babble
“Why did you stop, Linda?” The Tommy began to scream and scramble around in his seat. “Shit! There’s a fucking spider on me! Get it off! Get it off!” Tommy slapped himself over and over as the little brown spider scurried from one moon dappled bit of Tommy’s flesh to the other, its only desire to get free from Tommy’s tirade. “GEt it off me, Linda.! You bitch, can’t you see he is biting me!”
Linda froze by Tommy’s words. “Just get out of the car, Tommy. I will help you dust it off.” Linda reached across the mentally deranged man and pulled open the door. “Get Out, Tommy.”
Tommy flipped out of the car backwards and rolled in the grass. “You crazy bitch, get this spider off me! Can’t you see that I need help? What is wrong with you, Linda?” Tommy continued to slap himself as his cigarettes flew from his pocket. Linda smiled and closed the passenger door. “Let me pull back a bit and shine my headlights on you, Tommy.
I can’t see no spider.” Linda pulled the car in reverse and backed far enough until her headlights shone full on Tommy’s spasming figure.
“what are you doing, you fucking bitch? Don’t you care if this spider bites me and I die. I wouldn’t let you die, Linda. Do you want to die, Linda, you bitch?” Tommy conintued to curse Linda and beat himself silly. He never noticed when Linda threw the car in drive and floored it.
Tommy’s screams of frustration were cut short by the sounds of Linda’s laugher. She never heard his bones crunch nor the liquid sound of his eyeballs popping from the pressure of the 5th or 6th time she drove over his head. Around the 10th time she ran over him, he stopped making much different noises. By the time Linda backed over Tommy for the 15th time, she felt much better.