Speaking Truth to Crazy

I woke up and screamed like a woman.

Jessie was standing next to the bed with her arms crossed and a large butcher knife in one hand. Strange house, psycho chic… that’s not the way to rouse someone from a state of REM sleep.

She thought it was hilarious.

“Jesus, you scared the shit out of me,” I said.

She was dressed in a short green satin robe that was short enough to threaten revealing all. Patches of the robe were slightly wet. She’d obviously just showered. Her hair was wet and pulled into a loose pony tail. The smeared war paint was gone, along with that weird flower/sweat smell.

“So… who are you and when are you leaving?” she asked.

“My name is Lazlo, I’m a friend of Theo’s.”

“Bull shit, Theo doesn’t have any friends,” she said.

She’s probably right, unless you count the orcs, elves and wizards he knows online as friends. Me? I wouldn’t call those people friends.

I sat up in the bed and tried to keep myself from checking how short that robe was. I’d passed out in clothes, which always makes for a terrible day after. I was going to make up some elaborate lie but I just didn’t have the energy.

“I’m here to help,” I said.

“Then you can make coffe,” she said as she turned and walked away. Yep, I was right about the robe. A hint of her black panties peaked out in the back  when she left.

I gave her the abbreviate version of what you’ve already read here. I stressed how, like her, my up bringing was less than ideal. When I got to the part about being hired to get her through college, she came unglued.

“I’m not a retard,” she screamed and then throw her coffee cup against the wall. At least I know who probably put the hole in the front hall.

Tears started to flow. She hates her father. He’s a dick. No one loves her. She doesn’t have friends. It’s too late to change. She hates school. It’s boring. The professors are stupid. Why is her dad holding this money over her head? She’s an adult. She is living her own life. More stuff about hating her father.

When  she finally calmed down I said, “I don’t know. I just know, I really need this job. There is a lot of money coming your way if you graduate. People literally kill for that kind of money, I’ve covered their trials. It’s worth a shot, what else are you going to do? Hang out here with Theo for the rest of your life?”

More crying. This time it was less angry.

In the end, I think I finally sold her on giving college one more try. Everyone has a prime motivator and with Jessie I hit that button when I said:

“Your dad has told everyone you can’t do it. If you go back and graduate, he’s going to look like a fool.”

I helped her clean up the broken coffee cup and then explained I had to go home and let the dog out.

“So where did Theo go?” I asked.

“He’s out with his dog,” she said.

“Really? He’s actually getting exercise.”

She giggled and her eyes got this cute sparkling look.

“No silly, he’s having her put to sleep.”

“Why? Is it sick?”

“I don’t like that dog,” she said still smiling.

The smile melted from sweet to something else. A warped state of arousal perhaps? She stepped in very close to hug me, pressing her hips up against mine. She whispered in my ear:

“Let’s start tomorrow. Be here at 9 am”

This is creepy.

I untangled myself from Jessie, jumped out the front door and yelled over my shoulder, “See you tomorrow.”

I drove home very fast, let the dog out and had a drink.

I need to start looking for another job because this is going to end at any minute.

She’s not right in the head. This is never going to work.

Hide and Seek, Jessie Style

Shit, this job sucks.

For starters, the address that Cyndi gave me was a non-starter.

Supposedly Jessie Byrd is living at this non-descript and fairly new apartment complex just north of I-10 and south of the Heights. If you know Houston, it’s the apartment complex across the highway from that pair of porn shops by the Shell station. I had never been to this apartment complex before. I have been to one of the porn shops (the DVD’s are way over priced but they got a huge dildo selection).

I drove over there and then wandered around until a I found a gate that hadn’t closed properly.

The complex is a total mess. The layout of the buildings and their labeling make absolutely no sense. It’s sort of like the people who live there do not want anyone to ever visit.

I found Jessie’s apartment and knocked on the door. Of course no one answered. So I started knocking on the neighbors’ doors.

There is an art to randomly knocking on the doors of apartments in Texas. You have to do so in a friendly way and then step at least 4 feet away from the door. Make sure your knees are slightly bent so you can get the hell out of there if someone starts shooting at you. Also, make sure you’ve got a friendly demeanor so that if they open the door you won’t scare them. If you look too friendly, they will assume you are selling something or introduce them to your particular flavor of Jesus and never open the door.

In general, all women will assume you are planning to rape them.

After doing my best not to look like a rapist, burglar, sales man or someone trying to help them find Jesus, I stuck a note on Jessie’s door explaining I was sent by her father and urgently needed to talk to her.

Why didn’t I just call her?

Hahahahaha. That would have been too easy.

I did call her, but in a sign of things to come, her voice mail was full.

I’ve never understood that. How hard is it to check your voice mail and then either call the person back or ignore them. Either way, DELETE YOUR OLD MESSAGES.

I swung back by her place at noon. I could tell a neighbor was looking at me through their peephole while I did the random neighbor door knock routine. They got really quiet and just stood there, obviously peering through their peephole at the me, positive that I was going to evangelize to them as I raped them, stole their TV and signed them up to a year’s subscription of Marie Claire.

The note was still on Jessie’s door.

I came back around 6 p.m. and discovered the note was gone. A normal person would have thought the note had blown away. I’m a little more optimistic than most.

The door knock routine began again and, as luck would have it, the first door I tried was answered.

The guy was Indian and obviously too new to Houston to realize that I might rape, rob, sell and convert him before the cops arrived.

The bad news? Jessie had moved

The good news? Indian guy told me she had moved in with her boyfriend. He did not know the guy’s name.

He was helpful and friendly and spoke broken English.

I decided not to rape, rob, sell or convert him.

I thought about stopping by that other porn shack, but went home instead.