Home > Joe Thoroughgood, Short Stories > Somewhere Between Bertrand Russell and Joe Walsh

Somewhere Between Bertrand Russell and Joe Walsh

Somewhere between Bertrand Russell’s, The ABC’s of Relativity and Joe Walsh’s,The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get; I realized that some things that had always been the same, were forever going to be different.

It’s not just the little things I am talking about here, either.

Nope. This is really BIG!

It occurred to me one very plain early spring afternoon (we were all happy about it being spring that year because winter had been a bitch and everyone was in the mood for some down and dirty partying – the kind you get when the weather starts turning warmer, the sun is shining, the birds and bugs are buzzing – everyone is buzzing.)

Anyway, it occurred to me that early spring day that the only thing that really mattered was whether or not I could get laid. Little did I know that getting laid carried with it such enormous possibilities and responsibilities?

Of course, this is exactly the kind of thing every normal, red-blooded American male thinks about when it is early spring. But, I was never the type to be to concerned about what everyone else was doing or thinking – I always find myself much to pre-occupied with what I am doing and thinking.

In any case, there it was: Inevitable evidence that you just can’t ignore. 

Right there in front of me. 

All that I had to do was to take one more step and enter the doorway, and everything was going to be just fine. Or, was it?!

At about the same time that I was thinking about all of this, across the street and directly in front of this old grey building which had been built in some old, forgotten time around the turn of the last century – (Isn’t it a bitch when you can’t use that phrase, “turn of the last century”. It happens whenever we get to close to the start, or just past the start of a new century. When this happens, you can no longer use the phrase, “turn of the last century” because what you probably mean is now TWO centuries ago, not just a couple of years ago. The whole thing loses its cuteness and the phrase is rendered useless.)  – there across the street and right in front of me, was the most beautiful, delectable young thing I had ever put my eyes on. We are talking world-class beauty here!

This girl had everything: the body, the face, the eyes, the mouth, the tits, the legs, the hair; everything. 

So I did what every other healthy, hungry male would do; I walked across the street and asked her if she was going my way. (Well, shit; it worked in a movie once, so I figured, “What the hell!”) Anyway, it worked. She told me – in a voice that could melt ice age glaciers – that she was going to the library and did I like the day we were having. Never being one to dally when the offer is made; I suggested we get something to eat – it was around lunchtime, anyway – and I hadn’t eaten since much earlier in the day. She said that was a good idea and where did I want to go. 

Well, the only place I wanted to go just then was directly home with her and perform every possible conceivable sexual activity (and then some) that I could come up with. But, being the consummate gentleman (or coward), I suggested the local diner and we headed off in that direction.

As we were on our way to lunch, she stopped suddenly, looked me straight in the eyes; and without so much as a quick introduction asked me if I believed in UFOs. 

I am not easily thrown off. But, I have to admit her question got to me. 

You gotta get a historical reference on this. 

We are talking here about sometime prior to 1980 and back then, having a question of this kind thrown at you was out and out disconcerting if not actually rude. Nobody, but nobody was talking about UFOs back then. Even the government was doing a good job of keeping everything secret about wandering aliens and such.

Anyhow, there she was with this sort of quizzical look on her face; waiting for me to proffer an answer.

 I didn’t have one.

Well, it’s not that I didn’t know whether or not aliens existed or whether or not if they existed whether or not they had flying machines capable of visiting us homo sapiens; rather, it was just that taken that way, without a moment to think about it, well, how would you answer? 

You need to remember the situation before you just pop off with some convenient answer. 

Here I am with possibly the most beautiful, beguiling woman I had ever laid eyes on and at that very moment, whatever may or may not happen next with her seemed to depend on my giving some kind of a “good” answer.

So, I did the next best thing. I asked her a question back.

“What makes you wonder that”? I asked.

Her response did not make a lot of sense. But, it took a long time for her to answer that one and she was still answering it as we were about to leave the Diner after we had both finished eating our lunches. I had pancakes, she had a club sandwich. She didn’t eat the pickle, but she said she had especially enjoyed the French fries. Weird thing about that, though, she couldn’t seem to remember what the damn things were called and insisted on calling them potato skids, or something. But then, who am I to say anything about that. Lots of people have something going on about the French.

But this is about what happened next with Jenny.

Actually, her name was Jennifer, and as I recall; she didn’t like me using the name Jenny. But, I am writing the story and I she looked more to me like a Jenny than a Jennifer. (Though it does occur to me that maybe someday, maybe somewhere she will write her own version of what happened and only God knows what she will call me!)

It turns out that Jenny was all but consumed with this UFO thing. Right after she asked me if I believed in them and almost before I could answer back with my own question; she launched into what in some circles would be called a diatribe about little green guys from some other place. Now a delightful tale of some fairy tale creatures might have made for interesting foreplay – if that was where we were headed – but, she went on and on and on about these guys!

I don’t remember if we ever got to the library that day, or the next. It turns out that I spent a couple of days with Jenny. And, when we weren’t fucking each other’s brains out, she was going on and on about how she had met up with these guys who said they were from Betelgeuse or some such place and that they had related to her some really important information about atomic structure, quantum mechanics, and consciousness or some such thing just because she helped them out and offered them some water because they looked thirsty.

I might have been a little leery about the kind of stuff she was talking about if I hadn’t just completed my graduate studies in some weird comparative anatomy sort of thing which doesn’t lead to med school or anything else very practical that you can use to make a living; but they don’t tell you that until a long time after you have bellied up, paid all of your tuition and expenses, and been awarded your meaningless diploma. 

As it turns out, I did have one interesting graduate seminar that had something to do with genetics and chromosomes and the god forsaken double helix thing; and I remembered just enough to realize that the stuff Jenny was talking about fit right in there with the rest of that nonsense.

Anyhow, she left after a couple of days saying that she had some traveling to do, although she wouldn’t tell me where she was going. By the way, at the time I thought maybe she was talking about the kind of traveling you do when you have ingested a little bit of those chemicals that cause a certain type of interim malady; but since I have never seen her again, I guess her traveling became a lot more extensive than she had planned, or at least a lot further afield.

Jenny left me with some notes and drawings and it occurs to me from time to time that I should maybe get this stuff into the hands of someone who might know what gems of great learning and discovery they actually contain. But, the same dilemma is right there no matter which way you approach this stuff. That is, do you divulge information that might be really, really important? 

Or, in my case, do you let on about some stuff that you have in your possession that might end up getting you 10 years to life in some place where they make you wear a loose fitting sheet with head and arm holes and make you take a yummy little drug that makes you wake wondering if you might not have gone to sleep yet and what does that matter when you are not sure who you might be today or even if you care to find out?

I will leave you with this.

From what I can make out of the stuff Jenny left behind there seems to be a completely different way of telling who is what and what is who. It all seems to have to do with holography, consciousness, and matter. But, as with all information of this kind, you never know who might be listening.

And that is all that I have to say about that!

From The Continuing Adventures of Joe Thoroughgood by Robert Eugene Miller
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