Misadventures in Human Chemistry

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

“Today’s the day I’m going to do it, Walt.”

“You said that yesterday, Oscar.”

“I mean it this time,” Oscar replied, rubbing his sweaty palms on his jeans.

“You said that too,” said Walt, refusing to look up from his fiction magazine. The zombies had made it through the perimeter, and he needed to know if his favorite character would make it.

Oscar sighed. He looked across the street at the only hot dog truck parked outside a busy office building. From his vantage point, he could see Stacy, the owner and proprietor of the stand handing a hot dog with everything on it to a hungry patron. In the sunlight her hair shone like an angel’s, and her smile conveyed the soft warmth that made his heart skip a beat. Her laugh floated above the harsh noises of the city to light upon his ears, and Oscar practically melted. “Your negativity won’t get me down. It’s going to happen. I can feel it.”

“Well, it’s not going to happen if you’re here talking to me instead of across the street talking to her.”

“Right,” said Oscar, steeling himself for his task. The woman of his dreams had only a short two-lane street between them, and he needed to cross it. Playing out in his mind, he watched himself march bravely on the asphalt, cars stopping to let him pass on his holy quest. Stacy turned her head to finally see him gallantly march up to her truck and order a hot dog with relish and mustard – and maybe a diet soda to wash it all down with. As she demurely handed him his lunch, their fingers would brush, and the heat between them would send a heated chill up his arm and down his spine. His eyes drowning in Stacy’s blue orbs, he’d ask her out to dinner and a movie of her choosing.

Nothing could go wrong.

Oscar stepped out onto the pavement, his eyes fixed upon Stacy and her hot dog truck. Somewhere to his left, a truck’s horn sounded, and Oscar’s world spun out of control. He landed about ten yards to his right, his head hitting the pavement with a loud thud.

Walt swore, dropping his book and running over to his friend. Oscar’s head had a bad scrape on it, but the wound didn’t bleed too badly. Holding his injured friend still, Walt said, “If you make it out of this okay, we’re going to need to talk about crosswalks.”

“Tell her,” Oscar whispered, his eyes fluttering. “Tell Stacy I love her.”

“Who’s Stacy?” asked Walt. It was too bad that Oscar passed out before he could answer.


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