A woman waiting for a bus meets a strange man.
|“I've got a blue spider in my neck,” Boris said slowly. His English was not good and he didn’t trust it. He had waited until exactly midnight and then, as instructed, walked out of the shadows and onto the corner of Amhurst and Fifth Street where he sat next to the young woman he was told to sit next to at the bus stop there--on Amhurst and Fifth Street; an attractive blond with a hardcover book on her lap. He was to say, “I've got a blue spider in my neck,” then wait for the correct response. When he got it, he was to stick a hypodermic needle into her throat and walk away. Well, try to keep her upright on the bench, then walk away. Get on the subway two blocks up on Lexington. Go back to the airport of LaGuardia.
Unfortunately, there was no response from the girl. She didn’t say a word. She stared straight ahead like he wasn’t there. Boris felt his already rapidly beating heart pick up speed.
He took a calming breath and tried again. “I've got a blue spider in my neck.” He spoke out of the left side of his mouth a bit louder this time, but still slowly. Still carefully.
The young woman turned her head with reluctance. She looked at the strong jaw of the cleanly shaven man who sat next to her. His body was very close to her. He smelled of bay leaves like her grandfather.
She stared him in the eyes, a long, cold, appraising look. When she turned away, Boris turned away also.
There was something very wrong here. This was his first assignment. This was not good. His chest was awash in heartbeats. His attention was now on the dark street before him and then on his watch. It was still 12:00 midnight. The appointed hour.
“Your name is Natasha, is it not?”
The girl’s head turned to him again and her eyes latched hard onto his. He had beautiful brown eyes, but something was off about this dude. She thought about leaving. She thought about saying, “No, my name’s not Natasha, now get the fuck outa my face!” But he was cute. Real cute! And he looked so serious. He looked so lost…
“If perhaps you will tell me, this iz now where we are, the bus stop at Amhuurst and Five Street?”
“Yes it izz,” she said slowly, and carefully, matching his accent. She was starting to have fun. She saw him swallow something tight in his throat. He looked like he was going to throw-up, or maybe burst into tears.
He felt her eyes and looked at her. When he did, she looked away again.
“I've got a blue spider in my neck!” he said, trying one more time, throwing out all the stops, all his training. This time he said it loudly and quickly and without the proper care.
The young woman laughed with an amused giggle, thinking, this guy is too much and swatted him playfully above the knee. He reminded her of somebody’s little brother. If he was trying to pick her up he was doing a horrible job. It was both pathetic and darling.
She said, “Yeah? Well, I’ve got a red rose on my ass, big boy,” and expected to see him blush.
“Sorry. Say again, please.”
“A red rooooze on my aaaas,” she repeated. He didn’t blush, he looked crestfallen. “And a cute little green hummingbird somewhere else,” she added and smiled coyly. ”I’m not going to tell you where that is…”
Boris rubbed his face in frustration and stifled a scream. That was definitely not the response he was supposed to get. He took his hands from his face and saw at that instant, at the darkened bus stop across the street, a young blond woman shaking her head slowly and looking over at him with concern. She had a hardcover book in her hands. Boris stood up quickly and without a word stepped into the street just as the 225 Riverside bus hissed to a jolting stop—just missing him.
The bus cut off her view of the handsome young man hurrying across the street. The bus doors opened with another hiss and the girl who was not named Natasha rose to her feet confused and a bit irritated and boarded the bus considering once again the many, many merits of a boob job.