Prompt Day # 161: Go on a fictional date with a modern medusa
Sorry this is late. Christmas, family visits, and work obligations are affecting my ability to get these uploaded on time. I am writing everyday, just not always getting them posted. 🙂
It isn’t easy for me to meet girls. I think it’s hard for them to see me as masculine with the handicap. It puts me right into the friend zone. Oh they love to pretend they are good enough people to befriend the blind guy but they would never date one. I’ve been told I’m a good looking guy. And I (unlike a lot of guys my age) don’t judge a girl by her appearance, so you’d think that would win me points but nope. That’s how I ended up on Match.com. I figured if I could get a girl to know the real me, she wouldn’t balk when I finally revealed my truth.
That’s how I met Med. She was so different than most girls I knew. I didn’t tell her I was blind at first. We just chatted about our lives. She’d done a lot of traveling and was an artist; a sculptor. She spoke excitedly about how her sculptures captured spontaneity and emotions not typically depicted in garden statuary. I told her I couldn’t wait to experience her art. I said experience because I didn’t want to lie and say “see” he art. She said she couldn’t wait for that either and so I broached the subject of meeting.
We met at Olive Garden. Her pick. She said she loved the mirrors that abutted each booth, said she liked to watch people in the mirrors because that way you could really study them without being rude. I thought it was just like something an artist would say. I told her I would get there first and I would be the guy wearing sunglasses inside. She laughed and said that had been her plan as well. So we decided we would both wear sunglasses and make everyone there think we were crazy. I thought about telling her then and there that I was blind, but decided to wait til we met in person.
“You must be Jim” said a raspy voice near my ear. I looked in the direction of the whisper and smiled.
“And you must be Med.” I responded standing. I listened for the tell-tale signs she was sitting down but was distracted by a vibrating and hissing noise coming from her head area. I wondered if she was wearing oxygen tubing. Perhaps she too was handicapped. “So, Med, is it short for Medley?” She laughed.
“No. It’s an old fashioned name that I shortened.” She said and left it at that. The hissing came and went, not a continuous flow like oxygen. The sound was familiar and yet I couldn’t place it. I decided I needed to tell her.
“Med, I need to tell you something and I hope it doesn’t change anything, but I’m blind.” I said.
“Yes, I realized that.” She said as if it was nothing, and then added “But I wish you had told me sooner, we could have went someplace nice than Olive Garden.” I didn’t get the joke but she laughed so I did as well.
“Med, now that you know, can I feel your face? I’d like to know what you look like” I wondered what she looked like yes, but more than that I needed to figure out what the noise was.
“Oh, uh, sure, just…please don’t touch my hair, I don’t like it. I have a hat on, but just I don’t even like anyone to even look that way, so just nothing above the forehead.” She said with a discomfort I hadn’t heard from her yet. I agreed.
Feeling her face, I was stunned by the rough, reptilian feel to her skin. She seemed like a girl who would take good care of her skin. I asked her what color her eyes were. She said green, she said they complimented her skin tone and laughed. I asked her if people ever told her she had beautiful eyes, because they had a perfect almond shape and symmetry. She said it was funny for as many people who have looked at them, no one ever commented on them.
I ran my fingers around her ears and because I was so damn curious, I let the tips of them brush the knit hat she was wearing. I felt something move beneath my fingers and I snatched them back instinctively. She jumped up and away from the table. I could hear that hissing sound again getting louder.
“I think it’s time to leave, we’re causing a scene.” She said and then as if in afterthought “I’d like to show you my statues, would you like to see, I mean, feel them?” She said, suddenly calm and with a note of sensuality. I told her I’d love to. She had a driver to take us back to her home.
She had a garden out back, I could smell the tropical flowers and vines. The fresh greenery was a welcome change from the garlicy thick air of Olive Garden. She led me to the first statue and put my hand on it. I began my digital examination of the contours and outline of the piece. My mind’s eye began to build a digital image of a man trying to shield his eyes with his arm, his expression a tormented surprise.
One after another I examined, all the while hearing her behind me, the strange, soft sounds like an aura, surrounding her head. My mind continued to build a scene reminiscent of Pompeii. Humans frightened, shocked, or taken aback by some horrifying visage only they could see.
“Are they all for some particular show? Some theme, like an Armageddon?” I asked her, not fully turning back to her. I could hear her, adjusting her clothes, something perhaps even sliding off. Was she turned on by my confusion? The sound, the whispered hissing that had been bothering me all night, the white noise in the background of this strange blind date, was now a jet engine in the small tropical oasis. I turned to face her and reached up, she didn’t try to stop me.
“For many, it is the end of the world, yes” she said “But for you, perhaps, I can be my true self again, maybe there is a chance we could be happy.” She didn’t jump back away when I reached up to her scaly face again. This time letting me memorize the topography of her lips, nose, eyes, forehead and then the living dreadlocks that writhed and hissed at my hands and then bit me. My hands were bit several times before I could untangle them from the mass of slithering bodies knotted around them. Without thinking I ran, ran from her screaming, my swollen hands held out in front of me as I made my way through her home to the front door. As a blind man, my sense of memory is keen, and once I have walked through a place, I have a mental map saved in my head so, even in my panic, I managed to get to the door.
I don’t know if she followed me, I couldn’t hear anything but my own heart thudding in my head. Once I thought I heard her crying, screaming actually, cursing the gods, but maybe that was my own imagination adding to the story of Medusa I remembered from high school.