[Editor's Note: Jack Grisham is an author, hypnotherapist, T.S.O.L. front man and all-around troublemaker. This column may or may not be factual, with characters who may or may not be real.]
She was all he ever wanted. And we express that not as trite literary cliché or for bold dramatic flair; it was true. He'd lived his life with a desire for nothing. That's not to say he needed neither air nor food, or that he was beyond the want of basic human necessities, but if he was deprived of those things, if he was somehow placed without, we think he might have calmly done so until his death. And, as one who watches from the shadows of his existence, we were surprised when we felt his heart change, when he developed drive and desire, when he came to the conclusion that without her, his existence was meaningless.
She was a coffee girl, a punkish, dirt-under-her-fingernails trollop who struggled while making lattes. If you ordered a muffin to go with your drink, or maybe a breakfast sandwich, you could count on either being improperly heated or somehow exchanged for an item so unlike what you ordered that you'd find the mix-up itself some sort of calculated plan to say, "Fuck you." But it wasn't; she was an idiot, and be it muffin or sandwich or cookie or cake, she was bound to fuck up your order. He adored it.
"I'd like a large black coffee, please." He really wanted an iced mocha, but he didn't want to put her under stress.
"Would you like something to eat with it?" she asked.
"I'd like you to go out with me."
"To go?" she said.
"No, not to go," he replied. "I'll drink it here, but I'd like you to go out with me–on a date, a movie, or even a quick lunch. I'd ask you for coffee, but I'm sure you're sick of it."
"I like my job," she said. "I work in a
He picked up his drink from the counter and smiled at her. "What time are you off?" he asked. She said nothing, but she also smiled a beautiful, empty-headed grin that lit up his morning.
"I'll be back," he said. As he walked out the door, he noticed the shop hours neatly painted on a small wooden sign: 7 to 4. "Hmmm," he thought, "an afternoon treat of coffee-shop pie."
He had never forcibly abducted someone before–as we said, he'd lacked desire, but this newfound want was something that had to be satisfied. He drove to the car wash and had his vehicle cleaned. He wanted things to be nice for her when he took her for a ride.
At 3:55 p.m., he was parked in the alley behind the shop. He had no rope, no knife, no gun–he thought he had no use for these things. He was going to use his intellect to claim his prize. By 4:30, she still hadn't left. He walked to the front of the shop, where he found her struggling with the door.
"Could you help me?" she asked.
"Of course," he replied.