Clouded vision

  • Aperture: f/6.3
  • Focal Length: 55mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter: 1/2000 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Chandler, Oklahoma

The stench of Lysol lingered, crept up the walls and slid back down, taking my stomach with it. I didn’t know him very well, a few weeks maybe. I’ve never been one for formalities. If I trust you, I trust you, and if I like you, I trust you.

He’d Google-stalked me, which was right up my alley. “I’m nosey that way,” he explained. “It’s part of what I do for a living.”

“S’part of what I do for a living too,” I said, running my own counter-surveillance.

“I could use a friend,” I said a week later, typing in the dark from Tulsa to the rhythm of the pounding rain, brain-drained, not sane. “I’m drinking my way through a lot of tequila. Why are you being nice to me?”

He said I seemed down. He had no motives.

“Good. Let’s play 20 questions,” I said. “Five at a time. You first.”

And so it went for hours until my letters began to twine around themselves, staggering soldiers giving up the fight. Day slid into night over and over and I stopped writing.

He kept up a one-man USO mission, a blitzkrieg of upbeat one-liners sprinkled q.i.d. Hellos. Good mornings. Reminders to engage in daily life. Wishes for a happy birthday — a month too soon.

Google-stalking has its weak points, but it can find where you live. And sometimes that’s all a girl needs to bring her home.

Music: Come Round Soon by Sara Bareilles (lyrics)

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