There is an art to escaping shackles and handcuffs, and sadly, that's an art I never took the time to master.
I look over, seeing all of my favorite limbs shackled down with some old school asylum style leather straps, and for the first time wish I spent more hours perusing the magician forums on the internet.
When I shake the straps, they jingle a bit, and I notice the beautiful timbre they make as they ring out in the empty room. I shake them in different times and rhythms, playing out a few of my favorite tunes. It takes a few minutes before I realize this isn't normal, and that I'm actually chained to an old hospital bed. Oh, and that I didn't sign up for this.
Well this is unfortunate I think to myself. Where am I?
I try to look around, craning my neck to see the room. Old moldy walls with paint peeling surround me, they appear a dark forest green in the dim light. There appears to be some ancient medical equipment in the corner, and there's a single-bulb light above me, swinging menacingly slow, as if to mock my locked-up state. The room smells like a college elevator...like urine and drunken mistakes. And fear, which smells remarkably like spoiled dairy.
Okay, self, okay, what happened? How did we get ourselves into this predicament here? Last night, what did you do? Probably just played video games and yelled at the annoying little 12 year olds online, right? No. But you did have pizza. Cheap, tasteless pizza. Domino's pizza. Oh right, last night was your date with Lyz! The hot pizza delivery girl with the dead eyes! That's it!
Lyz will know what happened. I'll have to ask her. As if on cue, she walks into my humble new abode.
"Good morning sunshine!" she says, staring at me with those beautiful eyes that open just slightly too much. "Welcome to my 'Little Shop of Horrors.' Are you ready for the best last day of your life?"
She's wearing a bloodied white lab coat with her hair tied up, and a big pair of bloody scissors are in her hands, just as she was the night of the Halloween party where I met her
"Good morning Lyzzie," I say, "mind if you help me out of bed? I seem to be having some difficult." I point towards my arm and leg shackles, jingling them dearly.
"Oh, oh no, I can't do that, that'll ruin the fun!" she says, "and fun is what we're here for isn't it? Isn't fun why we go on dates to begin with? Isn't that why we trust strangers?"
There is a silence. Her grin is just a little too large. God, she's beautiful.
"Well, I always thought myself to be open minded...but no Lyz, this is not so much fun anymore. In fact, this is probably the opposite of fun, i.e., not fun," I say. "I've never really been into the whole roleplaying thing. Plus, I think your shackles are giving me blisters or something. Are you clean? I hope you're clean. When was the last time you were tested? I don't want syphilis or anything."
Jokes on her. Think I might already have it. Boo-ya.
"Oh, well I'm sorry you feel that way shnookums," she says, replacing the scissors with an equally terrifying serrated knife, "but this is my play time now."
Already on to pet names...this is bad. Time to try and turn the tables.
"Do I at least get breakfast in bed?" I ask.
Things could be turning up here.
"What you will get, is the time of your life, for the rest of your life" she says, laughing a little too loud and fast, so loud in fact, it makes me flinch because a small speck of her spit lands on my face. I hate when that happens.
"Are you talking about marriage?" I ask, "because I mean, listen, you're cute and all and I'm sure you're an amazing person, but talking about marriage on the first date is just kind of crazy..."
"I'm not talking about marriage, I'm not crazy" she says flatly.
Good at least she's not crazy. Maybe there's still a chance I can charm my way out of this.
She puts the knife close to my face, quickly flicking her wrist and I feel it cut me.
"OW!" I yell, "that actually hurt. Can you please cut the S&M shit?" I ask.
"Oh Jay, no way Jose!" she says, "and just so you know, there is no way you can charm yourself out of this, sugarbear" she says.
Lyz and I met on Halloween, at a friend's Halloween party. Well, it wasn't exactly a friends party, and more of one I just crashed, but I was lonely and wanted free beer. My ferret ran away and my Netflix expired, so I had nothing to do. Plus my costume was exceptional. I had gone as Spiderman, and I was in my costume that was made out of my best turtleneck and a sign that said "Kiss me, I'm Spiderman."
I had first spotted her across the room, my eyes having followed the blood trail she leaked on the carpet from her costume, and I instantly knew she was my kind of girl. Standing alone, looking at all those partiers with the hungry eyes of a socially awkward teen, I asked the guy next to me who she was and he had no idea.
"I've never seen her before, she looks terrifying. And why do you smell like mouthwash?" he said.
"Terrifyingly sexy, and that's none of your business" I said as I downed the last bit of my mouth-wash-margarita, a concoction I invented myself.
Lyz and I started talking because she said she knew no one there and since I also knew no one there, so we had something in common. She also added that I was so cute she could just "eat me up."
She came to the party dressed as a "mad" scientist, wearing a bloodied lab coat and carrying around a really sharp looking pair of bloodied scissors. She told me she was a doctor of sorts, but was working at a pizza place to support herself for the time being and because it drew less attention. I figured she must have also been a model or something.
She added that someday she would be famous, a like Jeffrey Dahmer, you know, the comedian or something. I told her I was a NASCAR driver. I figured it was okay to stretch the truth a little bit with someone you just met at a Halloween party.
Beautiful and mysterious, she my kind of girl. I offered to get her a drink. She wanted a bloody mary. After a few hours, I asked her out on a real date a week later, saying it's one she would never forget. She said the same would go for me, too.
Back in my new crib, Lyz is putting surgical gloves on her well manicured hands. She looks over her array of sharp tools with professional calm.
"Earth to Jay!" she sings in a shrill voice, "I want you awake and ready!" She's sharpening her very expensive looking set of knives on the table next to my head, grinning. They look pretty pricey, and I wonder how she affords this on a pizza-delivery-gal's budget. I look over and see my reflection in them. My hair is a mess.
"So what happened last night?" I ask, "I can't really remember much..."
"Oh, those are probably the drugs, they can make you...fuzzy" she says, winking.
"Wait," I say, "You roofied me?"
She looks back at me, quizzically. "Yes, yes I did. Does that bother you?"
"I mean, it's just, roofies? Really? That's so college, I mean there are so many other alternatives-"
"I have you chained to an operating table in an abandoned asylum miles from civilization, and all you care about is the drugs I used to get you here?" she asks.
"Well, yeah. A girl's drug of choice tells a lot about her personality. I once dated this girl who loved ecstasy-"
"I don't care," she says curtly.
"Ah, right, never talk about your ex's with your new prospects! Rule numero uno!" I say. I had better watch myself, I don't want to massacre this one. She continues to clean her tools.
"Well, I guess it's a compliment in a way, you weren't sure you could get me, so you had to drug me," I point out.
"Really." She looks at me solemnly.
"Yeah," I reply. "I bet you were nervous. You totally were nervous. I bet you thought I was out of your league. Oh my god, you totally thought I was out of your league!" I say.
"What? No, just, shut up" she says, "I didn't think-"
"You totally did. Dayum, I must have been looking fiiiiine. Was I looking fine? I bet I was looking fine" I say.
"This is beside the point," she says.
"This is the point," I remind her.
"Seriously, shut up, I brought you here to ruin you," she says.
"Oh yeah?" I say, winking.
"No. Ugh, I'm going to MURDER you," she says.
"Oh Lyz, that's no way to treat a gentleman" I say with a hint of sarcasm in my voice, "plus, I'm far too cute to murder. I mean, look at this face! Who could murder this face? I think you'll just have to love me instead."
I gave her the face. I make a damn cute puppy dog pout. She returns with that blank, beautiful wide eyed stare.
"Wonderful," she says, and turns to leave. What a jokester.
It was somewhere between mouthwash-margarita number six or seven that I was so sure I was getting laid. Lyz was looking at me with those hungry eyes, no longer looking at anyone else, when she told me I was to be her prize that night. At one point she told me she wanted me, and I told her she could have me any way she wanted. I'm realizing now that when she said "in pieces" I should have reconsidered my options. That may have been a mistake.
And I mean, maybe I did get laid. I can't really remember, and that wouldn't be a first, especially when drinking MWM's. It's something in the mix between the Corona, the tequila and the Listerine I like to add in them that tends to make me forget my night. But I do have a hazy memory of me asking her to come back to my lavish one bedroom apartment to check out my collection of GI Joes , and I remember her saying she wanted to wait a bit to see what was really inside of me, and that she had to make sure everything was "sharp, and ready to go." A class act, right there.
Lyz walks back into the room, crashing my train of thought.
"So last night...did we..." I ask.
"No, we did not," she says.
"How did you even know what I was going to ask?" I say. She just looks at me for a moment, not smiling.
"Okay. Are you sure? Because I'm pretty sure we did..."
"Nope," she says.
"I mean, are you completely positive? I just have this feeling.." I say.
"I'm certain," she says, "but trust me, you'll have plenty of feelings pretty soon." She says this in a way that's a little too stern and frightens me a bit. I wonder where she learned her dating etiquette from.
"Well, I don't know," I say, "you were giving me the eyes..and I was wearing my best turtleneck..."
The truth is, the ladies can never resist the turtleneck. It adds an element of class and flair that no other article of clothing offers. I first got laid wearing that turtleneck five years ago, and I haven't washed it since. That baby's got charm.
"I'm sure," she says, "I couldn't want to get you out of that raunchy old shirt."
"Oh oh we're onto something here!" I say.
"Not like that," she says. "I wanted to get you into something...a little more comfortable." She motions to the skimpy hospital robe she dressed me in.
"You just like this because you can see my butt," I say.
"Definitely not," she responds.
"100 percent sure?" I ask.
"Just stop talking," she says, for the first time breaking her beautiful wide eyed stare, and for a moment, looking a little sad in frightened in her big blue eyes. I realize I may have pushed a little too far, and look away, feeling a little down. Maybe the turtleneck has lost its appeal.
Since I had met Lyz at a Halloween party that neither of use were invited to, I knew she must have been a classy broad. I had really felt a connection with her, like she would really change my life. Naturally, once it was time for me to take her out, I was shitting bricks.
I wanted to take her out someplace nice for our first date, but not too nice like a Denny's or something, and I couldn't bring her to Taco Bell for fear that my obvious and in depth knowledge of other cultures may intimidate her. It's happened before at that establishment.
I ended up going with Domino's, a place I knew she'd feel comfortable at.
"I work here," she said as we pulled in.
"I know," I said, "I figured since you work here, you must like it a lot. Plus the pizza is fantastic!"
"The pizza sucks," she said.
"You're a terrible sales associate" I told her, "it's unprofessional to talk poorly about your employer."
"Let's just get a bite to eat," she replied, rolling her eyes, "we have a big night ahead of us."
"Do you know how many men I've 'taken care of' like you?" Lyz asks, bright eyed and bushy-tailed as ever.
"Oh please don't talk about this right now," I say, "I'm afraid if your number is higher than mine, then I'll think you're a W-H-O-R-E and then things will just be awkward..."
"You know that's not what I'm talking about," she says, her voice slightly breaking from agitation, "what I mean is, how many men I've ki-"
"Lyz, please, you don't need to make excuses. You don't even need to tell me how many you've 'been with.' I get it, 'love the one you're with' and all that. Jimi Hendrix said that, right?" I reply.
"What? No," she says.
"Bob Marley?" I ask.
"Um, still no. And that's not even what I'm talking about, what I mean is-"
"Was it your dad? Do you have daddy-issues?" I ask. "Listen, I'm no therapist, but we can talk it out, possibly over a box of Franzia-"
"Just, what, no!" she says, her voice cracking a bit.
"Shhhhhh, no words," I say, making a kissy-face. "I can show you how a real man should be." I figure since 'the topic' is in the air...I might as well try.
"What? why are you doing that? Stop it," she says, clearly agitated.
Strike one...but I can't give in now.
"Maybe we can just cuddle a bit?" I ask. "Watch a movie, make some popcorn...talk about your feelings?"
"Wha- no. That's not what we're here for, at all," she says, her voice rising.
"Why do you always get to pick the date ideas," I say, "we never do what I want to do. Have you ever considered my feelings in this relationship? Sometimes I just get so lonely, and need someone to talk to-"
"Just, shut up. Seriously, just shut the fuck up," she yells back.
Our first fight. This is just as adorable as it is heartbreaking. This will be one for the scrapbook.
"No Lyz, you shut up, with all your words and stuff," I yell back. I instantly regret this outburst, as I can tell I hit a nerve.
"This is literally no fun, you don't even care about what I'm doing!" she yells at me, fuming.
"Of course I care, but I can only hear so much about pizza delivery."
She stares at me, so angry her head is shaking a bit. For a moment, I swear I can see steam coming out of her ears.
"But, I..well, do you at least want to know my back story? Aren't you the slightest bit interested to know why I do this?" she asks.
"Are we really comfortable with each other yet to start talking about family issues?" I ask, "because I don't think I am, I need to get to know you better first. I know I said before we can talk, but I was hoping that our 'talking' would be over a few glasses of wine, and that said talking would actually be more smooching..."
"Don't you want to know why you're here?! Why I do this to unsuspecting men?!" she screams, completely losing her sexy cool.
"I honestly don't want to hear about you and other men, babycakes" I say.
"Aren't you interested in learning that my sole reason for turning to this is because-"
"Listen, I'm a little worried this isn't going to work out between us Lyz" I say as she visibly starts to emotionally break. I hate it when girls yell at me...reminds me of my mother. Maybe it's time to let this date simmer down, take off before I say anything I regret.
"I feel like we're moving too fast," I say. "I mean, I like a good time as much as anyone...but I want to get to know you better first...maybe we should just sit and get some coffee, or watch that movie or something sometime...but for tonight, I'll have to take a rain check."
"I can't believe you!" she screams at me.
"It's not you Lyz, it's me."
The classic line.
"And it's not that I want to end things with you, just, I'm not sure I'm ready for the whole 'family issues' thing yet" I say.
"You know what!?" she yells, ripping off my shackles in the process, "you've completely ruined this for me! Just get out!"
Oh god, I went too far. This is strike two and she actually seems mad. Better try and get this back on track.
"What?" I ask, trying to seem dumbfounded. I lay back down on the table, resting the shackles back onto my limbs. "I thought we were having such a nice-"
"NOW!" she yells, pulling them off again.
"Can I call you sometime?" I ask.
"NOW!" she screams and points to the door with her knife, lookig cuter than ever. I can't believe I messed this up, she's a keeper.
"So, you're breaking up with me?" I ask on my way out, dodging a knife she throws. It buries itself into the wall near my head and I can hear it reverberating in the wall.
"GET! OUT!" she screams one last time as she starts tearing apart the room. She kicks over her table, sending her very expensive looking surgical equipment all over the place. The knives and scapels fall to the ground with a high pitched clatter, and I feel bad that all her fancy toys are getting scuffed up. I want to help her pick them up, but when I turn to go back in she looks at me with that "do not come home tonight" look my roommate gives me frequently, and I turn and walk out.
And strike three, I'm out. I make my way out of the old hospital, hands in pockets, passing a puddle of blood and what appears to be a man's shirt with an arm still attached. Two of his fingers are still attached, facing directly forward. Looks like her got farther than I did. This was probably the guy she wanted to talk about, an ex boyfriend she's all cut up about. I hope he realizes how lucky he is. I kick the hand, keeping my eyes downcast while I fight back the tears. God, I just have the worst luck with women. Find one I think might be a keeper and bam, next thing I know, I'm out on my ass again.
Must have been the turtleneck.