Sidekick | Part 16
Truth is, this wasn’t a totally new feeling. Even if I were costumed, I’d be a little out of place. It’s less about clothes, more of a skin thing. I should clarify, that’s not meant in a racial way. My skin is whiter than the stomach of a penguin so I don’t have to deal with a whole lot of racism. That’s not to say there isn’t the occasional stereotyping that I have to face. I’m not much of a biker and I don’t own a single Pampered Chef item, so I’m not your average white person. Anyway, it’s more an internal uncomfortableness. I guess that’s more of a muscles and tendons and bones thing, but you can’t really shed that. Even in the company of people I know, there’s occasionally something off. It’s like wearing an outfit that looks totally normal, but you know the sleeve is being held together by a pin that’s poking into you. The best you can do is just don’t let on, right? I mean, maybe the whole growing up with an unexplainable ability made me a little difficult to relate with. Then again, I don’t put a whole lot of effort into connecting.
Now I’m rambling. Trapped, per usual, in an internal dialogue that I’m as lost in as I am in real life. No, like, I’m actually lost. I’ve lived in this city for my entire life and yet I have no idea where I am. the three blocks I’ve walked since exiting the Polk University Union has now placed me in foreign territory. I get nervous in these situations. Given the fact that I deal with criminals on a regular basis, maybe that’s a little unacceptable. A person probably shouldn’t be panicky in his or her daily profession, but how many people are professional heroes–or at least part time ones. Don’t see too many Craigslist ads for that. I reached into my pocket and grabbed my phone and dialed the local cab service. I’ve got the things I’m good at, and I leave the things I’m not to others.
I started walking directly back where I cam from as a friendly sounding voice picked up on the line. “You’ve reached Polk Cab Service, home of the world’s only Hummer cab. How can we help you?”
“Hi, can you just pick me up at–Wait, Hummer cab?” I asked in disbelief.
“That’s correct, sir. We’ll pick you up in style with a ride in a Hummer. It’s all the fun of a big, bad vehicle without the cost of owning one!”
“Wow, ever since that environmentally friendly cab company opened up in town you guys really went the opposite way, huh?” I asked.
“We can dispatch a standard car to pick you up if you’d prefer, sir.” She offered.
“What’s the standard option?”
“A PT Cruiser.”
“Ugh, no. Send the Hummer. I’ll be at the Polk University Union.”
“Alright and can you give us an identifier for our driver, sir? ”
“I’ll be the one in street clothes looking disgusted with myself for getting into a Hummer,” I said.
“Perfect, we’ll have your ride there in no time. And remember, “Polk Cab Service: If it’s not a Hummer, it’s a bummer! Have a good night, sir,” she exclaimed.
“That’s your tagline now? You guys are the worst.” I think she had hung up already, but I needed to express the disdain that I had for them right now. I’d call the green cab service but I know on a night like this, they’d be swamped with business. Drunks in a liberal city means a lot of people thinking they’ll save the world by passing out in the back seat of a Prius.
As I started walking back to the spot I’d have to wait for my ride, I noticed a hawk soaring overhead. It wasn’t circling, but it sure felt like it was following. As I moved down the street, it swooped from tree branch to street light a few paces behind me. Odds are it was just making it’s way toward an area that it knew food would be easy to find. The Union was a good place for that. Plus, it could have been just as suspicious of me as I was of it. Then again, I wasn’t the one doing the following, nor was I a bird. I generally don’t trust birds. They’re kind of dicks. They scavenge and enjoy the leftovers and forgotten scraps of people and other animals, yet they fly above their providers and shit on them. Doesn’t seem fair to me. That’s honestly what I’m most paranoid about with this hawk. It’s a sizable bird, which means sizable droppings, and it’s keeping pace with me. For all I know, he’s setting his sights and locking in on his target–that being my head. It’s not like I could stop, though.
I arrived back at the campus, head clean and potential arial attacks avoided. I’ll consider that my accomplishment for tonight once I make it home to retire this day. Thanks to some goo timing, my cab arrived quick enough that I didn’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying that people were judging me. There weren’t even that many people around as everyone had dispersed to the local bars and Halloween parties, but there’s no amount of logic that would prevent my subconscious from attacking me.
I waved to make sure the cabbie saw me and stepped forward as he pulled up. I had to use the step on the side of the vehicle to get in. Jesus, these things are big. The people that own these must have a huge amount of shortcomings to compensate for. I hopped into the backseat and was basically drowning in leg room.
“Where you heading, man?” The cabbie asked.
“Just the corner of Muholland and Vanderbilt will be fine,” I said, and the car slowly started to roll forward. Just then, the two rear doors, including the one I was sitting near, swung open. Two dark figures appeared, outlined in the low glow of the nearby streetlights. A set of legs jumped up on the roof of the car and my chauffeur’s face was suddenly covered in a black cotton mask. This looks promising.