I Walk Streets of Fire

by pjmcbride

“Streets of Fire” by Springsteen came on, and I told Rom I like that song. He said, “That’s because you like to think of yourself in the video, wearing leather, walking down the street as buildings blow up behind you.” Then Nick had to add, “As if you’d notice it. You tend to be exclusionary when on task.” But he is just a scramble-brained beast, so we’ll disregard his insolence for the moment, however accurate it may be, and move on.


…actually, there have been all too many of those over the years, but I won’t bring up the ones that started arguments. Before I stepped out the door today, I said, “I’m leaving. On a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.” He said, “You’ll be back as soon as you find out they’re putting you on a jet plane.” I WANNA BE SEDATED!


While walking past Thornton’s, scanning the lot for squad cars, I thought, Suppose an officer–say, Nick and/or Sam–forgot to lock the car? Wouldn’t it be fun to take it? Sure, I’ve never had a license, but accelerator, brake, turn wheel left or right–how hard could it be?


1. It would not be immediately detected, because Nick would have his back to the door, trying to decide on ice cream flavors for his cone (and there is nothing cuter than a cop with an ice cream cone) and daydreaming about seeing his relatives in the upcoming Dragon Exhibition, and Sam would be in the ladies’ room doing ladylike things.

2. Presumably, upon detection, they could jump in the back of someone else’s squad car for the subsequent pursuit, but Nick wouldn’t know how to call off a pursuit, having never initiated one before.

3. I wouldn’t have to worry about traffic, because other motorists would hear my sirens and assume was chasing somebody and pull over.

4. Nick would know who it was from the description, since there is no other middle-aged woman with a skull t-shirt and cobra tattoo in this town. He also knows where I live, which might lead to some ugly taser-related incident. Maybe this wouldn’t be a good idea after all.


Sure, Phillips has swish-and-swallow Male Stamina Powder, but what about the ladies? Well, next to the cash register, there is Honey Lip Gloss in various flavors. Reminds me of the time I told Nick that I give out lip balm as favors at our July 4th party, and he said, “What kind of parties do you throw, that the guests need Chapstick?,” thus turning our G-rated family gathering into something twisted and sinister.


At the bus stop, a guy asked me what time the bus arrived, and I helpfully told him. He turned out to have a social impairment which translated to NOT KNOWING WHEN TO STOP TALKING AND NOT UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL SPACE. I would take 2 steps away, and he would immediately take 2 steps toward me again. He’d have shared my umbrella, had it been raining. “Where do you work?” I foolishly told him. “Oh, that’s great! I’m working on being a First Responder! I like to direct traffic when I see an ambulance coming. I did that just now! What’s your name? I’m glad I know someone from Central Dispatch now! What’s that badge? I’ve never seen one like that before!” I tell him it’s my city I.D. (which I carry because it gets me free bus travel, which I knew better than to mention). “Oh, really?” (He leans toward me to see it better. I’m thinking, “God, don’t let him touch me, he knows not what he does, and I don’t know if my self-control would hold.” Things like that can make me uncharacteristically impulsive.) The bus finally (finally!) arrived, and he said, “Hope you don’t mind, I’ll sit behind you!” I’d already barricaded myself with my tote bag so he couldn’t sit next to me. It so happened that his fly was open. Imagine the conversation we would have had if I’d told him.