Every so often I come to realize how many of my stories seem to be about love, or women or the lack thereof and it starts to get to me. I used to write stories about people’s faces getting chewed off by giant monsters that lived under the bed or in the closet or Grandpa’s special chest of mystery. I thought about it this morning as I saw a young couple huddling together for warmth against the cold and brutal
Chicago morning winds.
The young woman seemed to forget that 14 degrees actually means -2 with a wind chill and decided that she could go without a hat or gloves. Her male companion was fully prepared with a big goofy looking fur hat with ear flaps and gloves. He had his arms around her to keep her warm against the bone chilling 30 mile per hour winds that whipped over the train platform. It seemed to me that they were characters right out of one of my recent stories, or at least could have been. I could see that they cared for each other and were depending on each other, perhaps she more than he, but it was recognizable. It was sweet and something I know that I would want. Although I would have made the young woman wear a hat and we wouldn’t have left the house until she had one. They did seem to come right from my very imagination though. My romantic imagination of late.
Then it got to me and I suddenly wanted something bad to happen to them. I don’t know what it was or why their romantic huddling made me wish some ice beast stormed down the train tracks and gobbled them up in a few icicle toothed mouthfuls. I imagined this ice beast, sparking blue in the distant winter sun, crackling as its icy body moved and thrust after the little cold couple. The ice crystals of it’s tiger like form whining like the top layer of a frozen lake against the weight of your foot. Its roar was a trumpet of frozen fear and its eyes were fiery yellow. I imagined the beast running down the length of the train tracks with the bloody limbs of this couple dangling from its mouth.
None of that happened of course, the train finally came and they boarded, likely thankful to be warm again. I imagined their conversation on the train.
“I wish I wore a hat”, she’d say to her warm boyfriend as she tried to shake the chill off.
“I told you to wear one”, he’d say.
“I left it in my car. I already told you that”, she’d say.
“What are you going to do later, when you have to come home”, he’d ask.
“I’ll probably buy a new one at lunch”, she’d say.
He might shake his head and wonder how he hooked up with this forgetful woman and her silly logic. He might wonder how many other times she’d been with different men and what kind of things the other guys had to do for her because she was so forgetful. I can’t comment directly on their actual conversation since they got onto a different train car than me and I didn’t see them again. I can only wonder and let the possible story unfold in my imagination. It seems to me though that I’ll probably make it a mushy story instead of a gory horror show. It’s just what I seem to be writing about lately.