Category Archives: Sophie

Karma Vigilantes Part II

 

I didn’t give him much time to really reply. I had him by the ear and was leading him out of the house.

By the time we’d gotten to the front door where the bouncers stood, I’d had my story planned.  “It’s ok boys, he likes it rough. He told me. He also offered me an extra five grand if we can do it at his place. I feel safe though. We’ll just take his car.”

I looked at James with a glare. He caught my drift, still holding his bleeding nose, and nodded at them.  They looked at James, then at me. I gave a confident smug and an eyebrow raise.

One of him held his finger up and talked to the other for a moment. After about thirty seconds of chatting it over, he stepped away, pulling out a cell phone. The conversation looked like it took about four spoken words. He nodded and hung up. He walked back over to us.

“She says it’s good. She takes an extra fifteen percent of this one, and I go with you, just to make sure.”

James and I looked at each other. We knew there wasn’t a much easier way out of this one, and we knew between the two of us, we could ditch this guy if we needed to.

The three of us made our way out to Betty. The large black man stepped into a sleek black Mercedes. James pulled Betty’s keys out of his vest pocket. I snatched them from his hand and punched him in the face again. He cried out. “Smile, you fucking asshole, and act like you like it.”

James turned and looked at the Mercedes with a bloody face, giving a tearful, yet enthusiastic thumbs-up to the bouncer.

We got into Betty and I fired up her engine. The relief hit me like sanctuary, and tears filled my eyes. I closed my eyes and listened to her purr. James sniffed in pain in the passenger seat.  I shifted into reverse, and in the act of looking behind me, I smoothly, yet tactfully managed to throw a good elbow shot into James’s face again before backing out and speeding down the hill back toward the strip.

We didn’t say a word the entire way back to the hotel.  With the Mercedes hot on our heels, I turned the stereo up, letting my music wrap it’s arms around me. James used one of his t shirts to cradle his face on the way back, keeping his head back to stop the nose bleed.

When we got back to the hotel, James and I pulled into the underground parking garage, using my suite key as entrance. The Mercedes pulled in directly behind us. I saw a black hand stick out the window using another card that gave equal access. My hopes of ditching this guy again were dashed.

We parked and I got out of the car. I walked around to the passenger side and opened the door. James looked up at me, his sorry eyes begging for mercy.

“Oh no. We’re not done yet, motherfucker.”

I watched the Mercedes park and gauged how much time I had before the bouncer heard my words.

“You fucking left me. You left me in Los Angeles. Alone. With nothing. And you took my car!” I slapped him again across the face, and followed it up with a stiletto heel stomp on his foot, and repeated the slap.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’M SORRY! OUCH! Fuck Sophie, I’m fucking sorry!”

I heard the door slam shut on the Mercedes, followed by an alarm beep.

“Look like you like it, ass whipe.”

James turned his moan into one that somewhat resembled ecstasy.

“I’m the boss, bitch!” I said, dragging him by his ear to the elevator. I looked back at the bouncer and winked. He smiled and shook his head, following us into the elevator.

When we reached our floor, I heard the craziness in our room from down the hall. I knew James and I would get the privacy we needed.

I opened the door to our suite to blasting music and Darcy riding Cia around rodeo style. She hopped off Cia and ran to greet us.

“Sophie! Heeeey, everyone! Sophie’s here! Oooohhh!” Darcy sized up James, but quickly looked past him to the towering black, tux clad Adonis behind us.

“My God… She has come bearing gifts…”

Darcy’s eyes dialated, her lower lip wobbled as she took in the bouncer from head to toe.

I smiled at the bouncer before dragging James into the private lounge of the suite. I caught a glimpse of Darcy putting a cowboy hat on her head and jumping on the bouncer before closing the frosted glass french doors on the party in the main living room.

James had some explaining to do.

 

 

and now I’m downstairs. Just thought I’d catch you all up on what has gone down. I’ve got a dozen donuts and some coffee. I’m heading back up in a minute. From the looks of things, everyone got along well with Darrel the bouncer.  I should probably get back before they wake up. I think I’m the only one that’s not going to be hurting this morning.

 

 

::::Sophie

Karma Vigilantes

it’s been a while since I could update.   If anyone’s out there in the void, I’m sorry about that.

SORRY VOID.

Somehow I ended up here. In the lobby of a hotel somewhere in Vegas.  I don’t even know the place of where I’m at.   Of course when you’re completely on the run from your life, you tend to lose track of details.

The important details now are as follows:

Last night: Darcy happened.  Yes. Darcy happened all over the damn place.  Immediately upon rolling into town, she hit up the first slots she found, and hit a jackpot.  An eight hundred dollar jackpot.  What did this mean?  It meant putting us all up on a suite, Darcy acting like a kid in a candy store at the liquor mart, and a hundred dollars in my hand to get some new clothes.  “Seriously. You look like shit, Soph.  This isn’t for you, I just don’t want to be seen with you like that anymore. It’s really depressing.”

Shopping in a hotel gift store in Vegas, however, never tends to yield any good results. Nevertheless, I managed to shed the Valentino rags off myself and get into a new black number that fit right, held my boobs up, and didn’t smell like sand, sweat, and regret. I also used the extra cash to hit up the salon. I figured after a month of looking and smelling like shit, and since I didn’t actually use my own credit cards, I was allowed a refresher.  three hours later, with fresh highlights and professional make up, I stepped into the Vegas night as a new woman. I was prepared for the things that might happen to me as I once again donned a black dress. (including being mistaken as an escort.)

Armed with a hotel key of my own, and determination to find Betty, I was unstoppable.   James told me to meet him here. I was on a mission to find the little shit who left me stranded in LA….

First visit: Roulette table at Caesar’s.  Found a good looking guy in a suit with beautiful women standing next to him.  Walking up I gingerly moved them aside and whispered in his ear.  He turned to me and sized me up. Deciding I was legitimate, he leaned over and whispered an address into my ear. I nodded and walked straight out with renewed determination.   Catching a glance of myself in the large wall mirrors as I headed out of the casino, reality managed to catch up to me for just a second. It was long enough to stop me in my tracks.

I stood looking at myself, putting together the adventure I’d gone on, mentally comparing the life I left behind a couple months ago to the person I had become in this amount of time. I realized for the first time in my life, my future was not planned out beyond the next few hours. I didn’t worry about what anyone else in my life thought of me. I had no cares as to my reputation or what consequences my actions might yield.  I realized, I only cared about those who cared about me, who didn’t judge me but supported me, even if it meant telling me I looked like shit. My entire list of priorities was centered around getting my car back and continuing on a journey with a pack of hopeless Karma Vigilantes.  Moments flashed through my head illustrating things like my college graduation…force smiles in a cap and gown and a disgusting realization I would be paying back student loans I didn’t want in the first place for a degree I didn’t want in the first place for a job I never wanted in the first place for a life I didn’t want in the first place. All for people who thought it was the best for me. All for people who loved me so hard, they truly believed I would thank them for my misery one day.

I’d spent enough time on that thought and moved on. Out the doors in to the hot Vegas night, haling a cab.  I stated the address to the driver before I forgot it. He looked at me in his mirror and nodded.

The ride lasted longer than I thought it would. We left the strip and drove out to the houses. One nice house after another, smooth, blocky, swanky glass and custom lighting. We pulled up to the driveway. The driver smiled at me.

“How much?” I asked, reaching for the cash tucked into my bra. “I’ll just add it to the account,” he said.

“ok…” I said. I stepped out of the car and straightened my dress. I looked around and saw the strip twinkling at me from below. The house was on the ridge looking out, cars lining the driveway.   My eyes stopped at the freshly waxed, shiny, newly restored ’94 Porsche. Betty smiled back at me.   I walked over to her and looked inside, spotting the Betty Boop air freshener.  It looked like we both got new dresses.

Bass beat boomed from the inside of the house. Most likely a party.

I walked through the front door, met by two bouncers. Large black men in well fitted black suits stopped me. They looked me over and I returned a glance that said “I pay your salary.” They nodded and let me by.

Instantly, I was surrounded by women my age. Gorgeous, classic, rich. They laughed, held their delicate cocktails and smiled energetically. They moved their eyes slowly, showcasing their lashes and full lips. They stood delicately, as if made of glass. They floated from one conversation to another. There were about four women to every tuxedo clad man.    I knew which one I was looking for.

I made my way to the back yard. the pool glowed, making everyone seem modern and magical.  I followed the cigar smoke to the pool house. The women gathered around him, entranced by the story he was telling. He boastfully regaled them with his heroic tale of saving a poor girl he’d met in New Orleans from a car jacker.

“That’s not quite the way I remember it.”  I made my way through the designer gowns and stood in front of him. I crossed my arms as I looked down at him, donning a fresh Hugo Boss tux, shiny shoes, looking comfortable and a bit tipsy in a poolside lounger. As I emerged from the crowd, his face softened in relief and recognition.

He rose, the women parting, looking at me in awe, as if seeing a love story unfold.

He took a step toward me. I looked up at him, realizing I’d missed that face of his. I wanted to touch his hair now that I knew it was clean.  I’d forgotten how tall he was and that he loomed over me. I’d also forgotten how good he looked in a clean tux.   He reached out, brushing the strands of hair off my forehead that had grown damp with the light sweat from the hot Nevada night air.

“Hello Moneypenny,” he softly said, looking into my eyes, leaning in for a kiss.

“Hello James,” I replied, meeting his face with my fist.

:::Sophie

the people you run into.

So maybe the drinking and driving wasn’t the best idea.

Karen and I were full on asleep when Darcy ran into the back of that poor girl’s car.  Apparently she was asleep too. Thankfully the impact wasn’t earth shattering, as her foot fell off the gas pedal. We more or less just coasted into the car.

Still, the impact was enough to jar us awake,  but just small enough for Karen to skip being concerned and go straight to screaming at Darcy, who seemed a little caught off guard, but not very upset.  I heard the engine die as Darcy tried to throw the car in reverse to back out of her mess, but it was clear the Honda was no more at this point. More or less, she rolled her eyes, set the e-brake, and got out of the car, and slammed the door mid Karen sentence about irresponsibility.

She walked around the front of the car and inspected the damage. I saw the driver of the other car open the driver’s door and step out.  Another girl. Our age. She stepped out holding a cigarette and walked up to Darcy, arms crossed in front of her.  She didn’t say anything, just looked at Darcy with a look that said something like “Sure? Why not?”

I got the immediate feeling things were going just about as well for her as they were for me.

Darcy smiled a little, waiting for a response out of the girl. She just stood there, staring at the front of Karen’s Honda sufficiently shoved up the ass of her own little old car.

Darcy finally broke the silence.  “Well, ha. Where you headed?”

Karen paced and stewed, glaring at Darcy, messing with the battery on her cell phone like she could get it to suddenly charge by taking it out and plugging it back in.

“Vegas,” said the girl.

“Funny thing,” Darcy said. “So are we.”

:::::Sophie

Let’s get lost.

I got lucky again.

Not only did Darcy call out to me first, she offered me a ride before anything else came out of her mouth.

I could tell her friend wasn’t too happy about it, but I wasn’t going to be picky. There was a dynamic to their friendship I could tell always put Darcy in the lead.  I was so tired by the time I crawled into the back seat, it was nice to hear someone else’s voice besides the one in my head.

The little Honda smelled like cigarette smoke and escape. I didn’t see anything that really showed me they were prepared for any kind of real trip. It was a sight I was completely familiar with.

Darcy filled me in on Karen’s recent misfortunes, which no doubt lead to the impromptu trip down the highway to nowhere in particular, filled with stories of times past and all kinds of open container violations.  I nursed one vodka drink after another, watching the sun go down behind the horizon.

I thought of seeing that sun set over an ocean, and then set over land, and then rise over an ocean, and rise over land. I’ve seen that damn sun fly and fall all over the country lately, and yet, none of it ever felt right or wrong.

I missed Betty. I thought of James. I wondered what I’d done to run him off. Was I really that unbearable? Or was I that stupid? Was it his plan all along, or was it not?

I had finally formally introduced myself to Karen at the gas station at the last fill up. I felt like an asshole when I realized I just sort of crawled into the back of their car, and then was a mute for hours. It was nice to be driven for once, and not to have to worry about being raped.  There was something about being in the company of girls my own age, who were experiencing their own crisis that put me at ease.

I figured Karen and I would talk more when she didn’t have a glazed over look in her eyes that said she was either about to cry, or turn homicidal. There was something on her mind so big right now, the car seemed to lean to the passenger’s side with the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Darcy was a good one to have in charge anyway. She kept the conversation lively. She was always good for a story. And it was also like the girl never got tired. It wouldn’ t have surprised me at all if she were on some sort of stimulant, be it crack, cocaine, or meth. I didn’t really care. I had no fear that she might fall asleep at the wheel.

Just as I slouched in the back seat and was about to fall asleep, Darcy screamed and smacked the dashboard.

“FUCK!” She said, rifling through the messy change tray, checking the glove compartment and the console.

“Well ladies,” she said, loudly, as if she didn’t notice both of us were nodding off with the sunset, despite the blasting butt rock. “We are out of cigarettes, and I think this is actually a crisis. I mean, I don’t require much, but I need a goddamn smoke.”

I saw her roll her eyes in the rear view mirror and make to check out the same places all over again.

“Hey. You,” she said, meeting my eyes in the rear view mirror.

“Uh, yeah?” I said, hoping she wouldn’t demand I buy her cigarettes for the trouble. I didn’t have any money at this point, as James officially had my credit cards, and anything I had left.

“That cigarette behind your ear, is it dire to you?”

“What?” I asked, sitting up straighter and running my hands through my loosely tied up hair.

“That smoke, tucked behind your left ear… up for grabs? I’m desperate.”

I reached up and felt in my mop of hair. Sure enough, there was a cigarette tucked in there, real good. Held in with a bobby pin, even.  It took me a moment to loosen it up and hand it over. I hoped it was still ok to smoke, and not over-nastified by my hair and lack of hygiene lately.

Darcy pulled over and turned around. She snatched the cigarette out of my hand and dug through the mess she’d made up front to find a lighter.

“Lighter? LIGHTER?” she said ,rifling through the mess.

Karen took a deep breath and looked down. She bent over and produced one from the floor of her side and handed it over to her.

“I think we should get some air, girls,” she said, opening the door and stepping out onto the shoulder, cars flying past and blasting cool evening air into the warm, comfortable nest I’d made out of the back seat.

Karen stretched for a minute, then opened the door and followed suit, crossing her arms in front of her to keep herself warm and leaning on the front of the car. “So Darcy, are you really in need of a cigarette break, or are you just hoping to pick up another stray?”

“Fuck you, Karen,” she said smiling. “Whatever goes, right? We have another seat still. We don’t have a plan or a destination. So until we have either, I think it’s fair I call the shots.”

Karen shrugged and looked away, only mildly irritated. It seemed to be an irritation that was years old. Nothing new.

I stepped out and leaned against the driver’s door next to Darcy. She lit up the cigarette and took a long, savored drag. She closed her eyes and exaggerated her enjoyment of it.

When she opened her eyes, she exhaled and looked at the cigarette like it was a delicacy.  She examined it for a moment and her eyes narrowed.  She flicked the cherry and leaned down in front of the headlight with it.

“Hey Soph,” she said, still paying attention to the cigarette.

“Uh, yeah?” I asked.

“Who’s James?”

“What?” I asked, wondering how she could possibly know who he was.

Darcy motioned me over to where she was holding the cigarette in the light and motioned me down.

“Looks like someone left you a message.”

I looked at the cigarette and read the tiny black letters aloud.

” Sophie. Meet me in Vegas. Look for Betty. -James.

I grabbed the cigarette and twisted it in my fingers, bewildered and shocked. I thought about it for second and Darcy began to jump up and down like an excited child.

“Fuck,” I said.

Karen was now at full attention, her eyes wide and her face expressionless.

Darcy squealed and clapped, and snatched the cigarette back and lit it again.

“Looks like we’re going to Vegas, Ladies!”

I turned around slowly, beginning to digest what had just happened.

Darcy jumped into the driver’s seat and started the car again, excitedly flipping through her iPod to find just the right tune for this occasion.

“Yeah. And it looks like Sophie’s gonna tell us the story on the way,” Karen said, sauntering back to the passenger’s side. She made direct eye contact when she said it, and just before she ducked to get in the car, I swear I saw the first hint of a smile on her face since I’d met her.

 

:::::Sophie

Circling home base

With not much left to lose (except maybe a kidney) I managed to scrape myself together after a couple hours. I slept on the beach, because really, I couldn’t think of anywhere else to sleep.

Then the next morning, I managed to get to the road.

I know what I looked like. And I know how bad it must have looked. But I think it was a mix of exhaustion and insanity that drove me to stick my thumb out on I5.

It didn’t take much time to get picked up.

Don’t get me wrong… I don’t have a death wish or anything. I just don’t really care anymore if I live or die. I might as well live, right? And die… living? Who knows.

Fortunately for me, the car that picked me up had Idaho plates, and he was heading north. He also had a Christian Fish on the back of his car, and one of those “My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter” stickers.  there was also a giant box of chocolate Donettes, and a car seat in the back. All signs pointed to ‘yes’.

I wish I could say I learned a lot, but honestly, I passed out until about Boise, which is where he dropped me. I figured I may as well go home. I got a ride on 84 headed in the same direction, but unfortunately, they were only going as far as La Grande, which is also where I was dropped again.  I started heading the other direction on foot, back to Portland, back to life. Still in that shitty, fucked up Valentino dress, stringy hair, out of cigarettes and luck, Betty and James gone…

It was over.

Walking down the road with my thumb out, I looked across the freeway. The sun was baking the pavement, and I could smell the tar starting to burn in the morning heat. Through the distorted heat waves, I could make out a Honda crawling to a stop, with two girls about my age stepping out and stretching.

I figured it was worth my effort to see if I still existed, and to communicate with someone of my own generation who might, just MIGHT understand my predicament?

I hopped the highway partition and headed over to the East bound side.

The bottle-blond lit a cigarette and peeked at me over her flame.

I gave a weak smile and held my arms out in surrender.

A smirk crossed her face as she looked over at her tear stained friend.

:::::Sophie

For suddenly I am alone.

He said he would be right back.

We had just pulled into Hermosa Beach. We parked Betty on 1st street, and I trotted down to the sand.  The breeze was so beautiful, I couldn’t possibly appreciate anything more at that moment.   James followed me, barefoot, his pants rolled up and white shirt blowing in the wind.

When I reached the water, I sat down, and let the waves break on me.  I let me dress get soaked, and finally, laid back on the sand and stretched out, stretching each limb as far as it would go. I enjoyed the warm burn in the stretch, and the cool water on my skin, and the sea breeze on my face.  I giggled and sighed and sighed some more, and sighed again until my sigh became a long, drawn out yawn.

The sun was starting to go down over the ocean, and I looked up to see James leaning over me.

His face was expressionless and tired.

“I’ll be right back,” he said. “I gotta see if I can find some cheap sandals or something.

I nodded. I didn’t care. I was so happy to be out of the car and in some small way, a bit relieved to be back on the West Coast. Back where the sun DID set over the ocean and not over the land.

And the sun did set.

And the stars came out. All three of them.

And Los Angeles loomed in the pollution, and the lights, and the light pollution, and the heavy pollution hanging over the lights.

And he never came back.

And then he and Betty were gone.

And I am alone.

:::::Sophie

Un-Graceland.

I’ve been having dreams of my furry seat covers suddenly coming alive and eating me. I now have a rash on my back and under my arms from the lack of AC, and the scratching that’s happening from my seat covers stiffening from the amount of sweat they absorb on a daily basis. The once soft locks of fur now stick out and threaten like angry little albino daggers.

After we were robbed at gun point in New Orleans as we approached Betty, we were left with very little. My credit card and ID which I had drunkenly tucked into my cleavage at the hotel lounge during our conversation, and my car keys, which James had tucked into his vest pocket, as I had kept dropping them repeatedly, but was afraid to continue retrieving them for fear of my breast escaping my chic, backless, unsupportive dress.

We had spent three days in New Orleans at this point. We saw each other only once before in the hotel lounge. Despite being mistaken for an escort in our initial introduction, we managed to have a wonderful evening that didn’t end with a sexual proposal.   After I got tired and wandered upstairs to fall asleep, I didn’t see him for two days.  I ran into him at check out time. He turned around from the desk after having returned his key to see me standing there with my small suitcase and key in hand, ready to check out.

His smile was warm, one you would see on a friend who hadn’t seen you in ages.

“Hey Sophie!” he said warmly. “Checkin’ out?”

I nodded and proceeded with the process. He gave a half wave and headed out the doors, backpack slung over his shoulder. I was surprised to see he was gone when I turned around after having completed my paperwork.  I walked out the doors and pulled Betty’s keys out of my pocket. I put my suitcase in the car and walked around to the driver’s door. He was leaning against the car by then. It scared the shit out of me.

“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said. “Nice car, man!” He stroked her hood a little, admiring her look.

“Thanks,” I said, still groggy  and not having fully woke up.

“So what’dya say to a drink tonight?” he asked, looking hopeful.

“A drink? Why?”

“Well, I mean, its our last night in New Orleans. We joked a little, and I’m really sorry I thought you were a hooker…and I just kind of want to make it up to you. And hey, I’m on the road, you’re on the road.  Don’t you get like…. I don’t know. But doesn’t it get fucking lonely sometimes?”

That statement felt like what I imagined it would feel like to be launched into a wall at fifty miles an hour. My heart sank a little at it and I looked at my car, which I realized at that moment wasn’t an actual person. She was an imaginary friend I’d made up to fool myself into thinking I wasn’t fucking lonely.

I looked at the ground for a moment, then I looked at him, squinting, holding my hand over my eyes with my keys dangling in my face.

“Sure. We’ll get drinks tonight,” I said, leaning against the car as well.

He took his weight off Betty and shoved his hands in his pockets.

“Awesome,” he said.  “I’ll see you at the hotel lounge at eight. And wear that sexy dress.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I really want an excuse to wear that tux again. I feel like fucking stud in it,” he said as he walked away in his cargo shorts and white button down shirt, without looking back.

After we were robbed and the hijackers (three of them) ran away, we looked at each other. Neither of us put up much of a fight. Sauntering back to a tired Porsche, drunk, in a tux and designer dress, we were greeted with the clicks of a hammer being pulled back. We realized we’d walked into the plundering, my baby was being pilaged and rifled through.  We stood still as we heard our calm instructions “Stay still. I’m gonna empty your pockets pal, and I won’t touch the girl. Let’s make this easy on everyone.”

James stood still and let the disturbingly attractive Cajun man pull his wallet from his pocket, along with his cell phone and, then yank the back pack from his shoulders, gun pointed at his head the entire time. I never saw my captor, I only smelled the strong scent of a disgustingly cheap musky cologne. I’ll never forget it.  I had no fear, minor annoyance. I felt like I was shrugging at the universe.

They finished the job, closed the doors on Betty, told us to get on the ground and count to ten, and the three of them fled into the night with our things.

We laid on the ground on our stomachs, neither of us counting.  I turned my face to him and gave a small closed-mouth smile. He did the same.  After a moment, he hopped up and held his hand out to me.  I pushed myself up and sat on my ass for a few moments before I took his hand. He yanked me up and dusted me off. In the process of doing so, my ID and credit card fell out of my cleavage and toppled to the ground. He looked down at them and picked them up and then handed to me.

“Oh my, Money Penny. Seems you’ve earned your name. It falls from your bust.”   I smirked and took the cards and fanned myself with them. “Yes. We’re rather lucky, aren’t we? What first? New clothes for us, or a plane ticket home for you?”

He looked pensive and then leaned against Betty on her hood. He took his tux jacket off and laid it down next to him. Crossing his arms he looked at me as if he had a proposal.

“What if,” he started “we see how far we can get without any of that?”

He reached down into his sock and pulled a huge reserve of cash.

“Why don’t we see how much we can make happen with just this? When we run out, I’ll go home. You can be rid of me. If you insist on getting yourself some new threads, it comes out of this wad.  If we stay in a hotel, its cash.  The more you spend, or I spend, the quicker this is over.  If you wanna ditch me, Money Penny, we’ll blow it at Wal Mart and part ways. How does that sound?”

We are at a small cafe right now just outside of Tennessee.  I thought I’d post a small update for my own sake, who knows what I’ll remember a day from now.  I’m borrowing a tired HP from a woman who looks as if she’s a true eHarmony expert. I think she’s waiting for a blind date now. I’ll try and keep it brief.

We just ran into a few girls on their way to the music festival up the road. They reeked of weed and youth and optimism. I was momentarily jealous.

Then I looked out the window and saw James. He was cleaning Betty’s windshield, his dirty tux pants with frayed hems ebbing his dusty, scuffed dress shoes.  The sleeves of what was once a crisp white tux shirt were now rolled up, the shirt hung open to his damp white wife beater, all having been washed and dried in a cheap laundromat two days ago. The two of us sat in a Georgian laundromat in a small nothing town at two in the morning, naked but for towels, watching our custom tailored and incredibly expensive garments bounce about in a fifty cent dry cycle. It softened them, loosened the fit, and made them smell like Mountain Meadow.  The tux jacket had long been crumpled and used as a pillow to sleep on, tucked behind the passenger seat on the floor by day.

I look at myself now, dirty, stringy long brown hair hanging at my side, my Valentino dress giving a death moan as it hangs loosely on me, becoming more of a black sun dress than a sexy cocktail number.

I have no phone. I have no computer. I have no clothes, no hair dryer or MAC make up. No purse, no choice of shoes.  All I have is a ruined dress, a boy who seems to get more beautiful as the days go on, and an old Porsche with nasty seat covers and now a clean windshield.

Why does it feel like the less I own, the more I have?

:::::Sophie