Sometimes, it’s healthy to simply let your zany side off the leash. Let him/her speak, howl, whatever. As it were, this “conversation” formed as I waited in the car outside my kids’ martial arts practice. If there was some hidden or higher inspiration for such a moment, I wouldn’t know where to begin looking.
“What if I told you,” Christopher Walken says, dropping into the passenger seat, “that that Kind bar is the last thing you’re ever going to eat?”
“What?” I stammer.
Christopher Walken is in my car. I know it’s him because I’ve seen him a hundred times on the screen. Those eyes and that slightly testy smile with a voice that lets you know, at any second, for any random reason, he might deliver amazing bodily violence–via a henchman, of course. He’s sitting in my car.
I look down at my machine-pressed stick of nuts, chocolate and caramellish glue.
“What would you say?”
“How-how did you get in here?”
“Spare me the trifling details of that, Mister Edison. My aeroplane broke apart leaving Vancouver. Meryl Streep faxed over a fill-in request. I fell out of God’s ass when he evacuated last night’s green curry. A little too hot for the Big Guy.” He leans closer. “Does it matter?” he whispers in that sinister Christopher Walken whisper.
“Well, yeah, it kinda–”
“Does it? Really? I’m trying to pass on a little two-bit wisdom, and you’re sitting there like a landlocked frog trying to divine the ins and outs of metaphysics. What’s important to you, Mister Edison?”
“I don’t know,” I mutter. It feels like a confession. “I don’t know, sometimes…”
“Ah, now we’re gettin’ somewhere. You’re spending too much time worrying about cyclones of moss chunks and how the new houses are thirteen right angles with goofy paint choices and Kansan-farm-ancient wood. Rubbish, all of it!”
“My spooge is more impressive, for Christ’s sake!”
“You’re saying…I’m trying to impress people?”
He leans closer. “You’re failing to impress people. How’s that for a little dose of reality?”
“Great. Even my daydreams are aligned against me.”
“Hey,” he barks with an icy-eyes stare. “No babies here. Don’t be a baby.”
“That’s better.” He seems to soften when I slump against my window, suddenly tired. “Look,” he says. “If you continue on this path, your destiny is to get backed-over by Granny driving her gold Caddy at two-inches-an-hour. Whump-crunch-crunch. It’s not gonna feel good.”
“How do I change?”
His expression becomes a smug smile. “I like to help people, Mister Edison. That’s who I am. Right now, I’m gonna help you. Ya ready for it?”
“Ready,” I lie.
“Get off your ass! Do something. You wanna help people in Ghana get clean water, then step up, put your hat in the ring. You wanna employ people? Then start your website business, get this circus moving down the road. Just do it!”
“And don’t you waste another scintilla of time worrying about how you could’ve done this better, or not shanked that opportunity. You’re too old, now, to die young. Ya understand me?”
“All right,” he says. “Time’s a-wastin’. Tick-tock.”
“Novelist,” he says, with a smirk towards the darkening city. “Kids these days.”