After five or ten minutes of ambivalent silent proximity, the man and the woman are again distracted by the arrival of another vehicle. This car had approached in a herky-jerky fashion. It had navigated the corners and stop signs of both the nearby entrance road and the adjacent parking lot in a constant ying and yang effort, before eventually coming to a definitive stop.
Four women emerge from the car. One woman is dressed prim and proper. She looks oh so respectful and appears to be carrying a thick black bound book. It is reverently and securely tucked between her heart and her right hand. A second woman is covered in extremely fashionable exercise clothing. She epitomizes a Nike or Under Armour female sports model, ideal in physical proportion, super-sexy in her fashion sense, and displaying the pervasive aura of one who never rests or stops or yields from her supreme commitment to physical conditioning. The third woman steps out of the car laughing amidst a cloud of pungent smoke. Her eyes seem a little subdued and bloodshot, but her smile is broad and mellow and soft. She carries a six pack of beer in one hand and seems to have difficulty walking in any kind of specific direction. The fourth woman is kinda Plain-Jane and unremarkable in her clothing and appearance. A large bright pink gift bag twirls back and forth in her left hand, and a satiated smile, full of triumphant control and victorious independence, sits blissfully upon her calm face. The four ladies, in a loose formation, approach the woman and the man on foot. During their approach, the group displays the same kind of herky-jerky movement that previously plagued their vehicle.
The woman toting the thick black book, stops and gazes solemnly into the bruised and battered woman’s eyes. Her hands open together and spread, palms up, the Bible still retained in her right hand. “Where two or more come together in my name…..”
“Really? I mean really? Are you really gonna start with that bullshit? It’s time to crack another beer!” An intense expression of revolting disgust conquers the once broad, mellow, and soft smile of the speaker before it can even realize that it has unintentionally revealed itself. Immediately, it recovers and attempts to save face by cloaking itself under the much more palatable mask of a profound apathy. Cloud turns away from the Bible Thumper and directly toward Bruised and Battered, as she pops the top off a beer and thrusts it forward. “Here, drink this….Hell, you should probably chug it. I got plenty more in the car.” Cloud then pops the top of of another beer and turns it upside down as she guzzles the fermented contents.
“Do you have any idea how many calories you are ingesting by doing that? I mean, I know that it helps stop the crazy voices and the worrying, but do you know how much damage you are doing to your body in the mean time?” The question comes from the mouth of the the colorful shimmering compression clothed woman. She continues, “There is a much healthier alternative and one that doesn’t involve poisoning yourself with carbs and alcohol…..and other stuff.”
“And there is also a way of taking care of yourself that doesn’t involve running seven or ten miles every day…..or even, every other day. Your body needs some intense pleasure and satisfaction, the big O, over and over and over, not physical torture. Endorphins don’t have to come from some crazy-ass exercise or running a marathon or killing yourself in a Yoga class. That’s so fucking stupid. You just need to learn how to pleasure yourself…….the right way, and forget the rest of this nonsense.” Plain-Jane reaches into her bright pink gift bag and pulls out a brand new, enticingly packaged, sizeable vibrator as she finishes her statement. She raises the unopened, flashy package up to shoulder height and points it consecutively at each of the other girls who she arrived with in the car. “Boom…….Boom…….Boom!” She says, as she fires the package at each one of them as if it were a loaded gun. “Be gone demons! Ha! Be gone…all of you. You are all so pitiful and lost in your delusions.” She turns away from the other three women and points the vibrator package at Bruised and Battered, completely ignoring her male companion. “This is about empowering your own pussy and taking control of your own pleasure. You don’t need Christ or Bob Marley or Richard Simmons to tell you what to do…you don’t need ANY MAN….you just need yourself and some damn good batteries.”
“Sex isn’t the answer….and masturbation is a sin….Jesus loves yo…”
“Fuck Jesus and his supposed celibacy. He was just another father figure running around telling all the women that they were all whores…..and that they should only spread their legs when their husbands allowed them to. No man should ever have that power. It is insulting to women. What an über controlling asshole!” Plain-Jane smiles like Catherine the Great might. “I spread my legs for myself, when and wherever I want to….and I don’t need anyone else to take me to the Holy Land and get me off! I can do it all…by…my…self!”
“Jesus preached love, not hate….and I don’t remember him telling any woman to act like a slave. He spoke of respect and commitment to all husbands and wives. That vibrator is just one of Satan’s tools to tem…” and a beer bottle interrupts, violently exploding against the brick wall, shattering into a thousand pieces, and making the sound of chiming rain as its shards shower the concrete below.
“Shut up! Shut up! Both of you! You are giving me a splitting headache….what a fucking buzzkill! Can’t you just chill the fuck out? Fuck!……..Relax!………Relax!” A bottle opener sounds off again, achieving its purpose with an undeniable auditory flare. “Does anyone else want one? I brought plenty. It might be just the thing…to get you all…to chill the fuck out, and stop spouting all your damn obnoxious nonsense. Who wants to hear any of that shit? I mean really? I’m gonna pray to Jesus right now that you all shut the fuck up, just so I can enjoy my beer and some good weed in fucking peace.”
“Yep, Stoner Girl speaks the truth. We all need a break from this crazy conversation. Too much preaching for the cause of Christ AND for the cause of that damn vibrator,” replies the Under Armour, compression-wrapped, poster girl. “I’m gonna go for a short run around the block and I’ll take it slow if anyone wants to join me. It’s flat around here, so it should be pretty easy.” She looks over to Bruised and Battered. “Wanta go…and get away from these crazies for a little while? Maybe sweat a little bit and get your heart rate up? I bet it’ll make you feel better…I have an extra outfit and shoes in the car.” She looks back over to the faces of the other three women for a moment and says “Yeah, I know none of you are interested. That’s pretty obvious. Just keep smoking and drinking or hammering away at your clit or thumping someone with your big ass Bible. I’d rather be taking care of my body and my health…..and making myself stronger, than playing your games.”
“Fuck off! you bionic Barbie Doll wanna be. Shut your fucking hole!…….go jump on your damn introverted judgemental hamster wheel, so you can feel soooo good about yourself. Just shut the fuck up! and leave us alone. Ba-bye! Ba-bye!” Cloud delivers a vicious smile-smirk and an eat-shit-and-die hand wave of exaggerated movement as another profound exclamation point to her sentiment.
Bible Thumper stands quietly by. She looks a little sad, but shows no obvious anger. She has drawn her Bible back up to her heart again, and is currently wearing it like a chestplate from a suit of armour. “You can’t run from Jesus, none of us can. He won’t allow it. He loves you too much and he died for our sins. That means everything. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever shall beli….” A spewing beer bottle, moving at high velocity and rotating end over end, grazes Thumpers left ear and silences John 3:16. Thumper whips her head around and begins staring quite intensely at Cloud. Her face flushes with fire and her eyes shift unexpectedly, narrowing to those of a thoughtless predator. Cloud begins to look a little confused and maybe even somewhat concerned, but that passes in a heartbeat, when Thumper drops her head dejectedly, and breaks all eye contact.
Meanwhile, Plain-Jane has been completely focused on prying the plastic case off of the vibrator. Her tenacity towards the endeavor has been more than evident in her torqued facial expressions and in the writhing contortions of her hands and forearms. She continues to wrestle with what appears to be damn near adult proof packaging. “Well, once I get this toy out of its cage, we can have playtime…..and I need some good playtime!”
Bruised and battered draws her smile to half mast and with her head still hanging low, she gently moves it, side to side, as she replies to Under Armour’s invitation. She is still holding the opened and untouched bottle of beer that Cloud thrust upon her as she does this. “I appreciate the offer, I really do, but I’m not up for it. I don’t feel like running or jogging or really doing anything active right now. I’m just too worn down. I really just want to be in the company of my friends…and I don’t think I have the energy for anything more. Please go enjoy your run, and we can hang out some more when you get back.”
“Okay then. I’ll be back in a flash.” Under Armour smiles at Bruised and Battered before reaching into a pocket and pulling out some ear buds. She pops a bud into each ear and tickles the Shuffle for a second, then waves, turns, and sets off at a slow jog across a grassy field.
To be continued…