A Cautionary Valentine’s Day Tale
The following article was taken from the final journal entires of a man known only as Remy, which was discovered in a small trash pile left beneath the I-10 bridge. In addition to the journal, other items found in the pile included a broken Kenny Rogers CD, a cassette tape labeled Love Mix, a dozen dead roses, an unopened box of chocolates, and a half-eaten corndog.
This is Remy’s story.
February 10, 2016
Hey, Journal. It’s me, again. Remy. Where did it all go wrong?
Lately, I been feelin’ like Mary ain’t that into me no more. I dunno what I done did to make her so distant, but last night she told me she don’t even wanna wash my feet no more. She used to love that.
I gotta fix this. We've been together too long to let it all slip away now. It's going on 15 years since I hit her with my car, and something like that bonds a couple together. Valentine’s Day is coming up, so I’m going all out this year. She ain’t gonna know what hit her when Cupid’s arrow slaps her in the face!
February 11, 2016
Hey again, Journal. It’s Remy. Remember yesterday how I told you Mary ain’t feeling it no more? Well, this morning she didn’t even cook me breakfast or warm the toilet seat for me or anything. I’m pretty sure she’s leaving me.
Got started on the Valentine’s Day prep. I’m gonna recreate our first date, down to the that thing what happened on the bridge we ain’t never supposed to talk about no more. But I figure she won’t mind this one time, for sentimental reasons.
I'll start things off where we met back in '02, then take her to our special spot where she got the morphine drip and we fell in love.
Gotta go. Need to call a guy about a golf cart.
February 12, 2016
I did it, Journal! (It’s Remy again, by the way.)
I called Jeff down at the Golden Nugget and asked if he could lend me and Mary a golf cart this Sunday for the big VD. He didn’t want to at first because of what happened last time and all, but I tempted him with a pot of my mama’s gumbo and a six-pack of Michelob Ultra. He gave in.
So that’s settled. I’ll pick it up Sunday afternoon on my way back from the Walmart. I gotta pick up the fried chicken from the deli, anyhow.
February 13, 2016
This is it, Journal! Tomorrow’s the big day. Mary packed a suitcase this morning and put all her finest clothes from the Goodwill in it, so I’m pretty sure she’s set to be leaving me soon. I told her I still love her and even played her that Whitney Houston song about Kevin Coster, but she just took my radio and throwed it across the room. Dang thing smashed against my taxidermy, and now my favorite buck’s got a busted nose. I’m gonna have to call Thibaut about getting it fixed.
Anyway, I got everything lined up. Tomorrow’s gonna be amazing. Mary’s bound to fall in love with me all over again, I reckon. Should be pretty sweet.
February 14, 2016
Well, that didn’t turn out like I expected.
Oh, hey, Journal. It’s Remy again. Sorry. I’m a little distracted by what just happened.
The night started out pretty good. I swung by the Walmart and got the chicken and a box of their finest chocolates that were on sale from Christmas, then I hopped over to the cemetery and grabbed some roses off Edna’s grave, rest her soul. After that, I got with Jim over at the Nugget and picked up the golf cart. Everything was perfect.
Here’s how it all went down from there.
I call my cousin Luke and we load the cart up in his Dodge and drive it to the old Harrah’s parking garage, which kinda sucked because I cut myself hopping over the fence and now there’s blood all over my stonewashed jeans, but I washed them out on the beach. Now they smell a little, though. Oh well.
I get my pants back on just as Mary shows up in the limo I ordered. Except it’s not really a limo, but Luke's old Dodge I put some cardboard on that makes it look a limo. A little spray paint and some duct tape goes a long way.
Anyway, Luke jumps out of the cab and Mary is screaming in the bed of the truck for somebody to let her out. Luke’s dressed in his best Nomex because he’s a good friend and went all out, and he unlocks the tailgate for her and says, “Your beaux awaits, my lady.”
That was pretty fancy.
Well, Mary’s having none of it and is screeching and hollering like a woman possessed, but she calms down a little when she sees me and figures out what’s going on. I tell her this is our first date all over again, and I swear she blushed a little. But it might’ve just been anger I seen in her eyes, because she punched me right after. That’s just how love goes sometimes, I guess.
Once I come to, Luke’s gone and Mary tells me she wants to go home, only we can’t because we live all the way over by the Dollar General on Highway 14 and the golf cart don’t even have a full charge. I try and smooth things over by offering her the chocolates, but she just swats them outta my hands like some kind of angry monster. Things ain’t looking good here.
I tell her this is where we first met, right here in this parking garage back before it got all tore up by God’s wrath in '05 and all that. She don’t remember at first, but after I show her the spot where I runned over her with my '73 Ford Pinto because I’d been drinking, it all clicks.
She punches me again.
So there I am, sore and kind of confused because here I thought this night was gonna be something special to rekindle the flames of our passion and whatnot, but all Mary seems to want to do is hit me a lot. Womens is a mystery.
I tell her to give me one more chance because I have something special planned, and then I’ll find a pay phone and call Luke to come back around and pick us up if she still wants to go home. She spits on me, but then gives in. I still got my charms, I guess.
I go back and bring the golf cart around with Islands In The Stream blaring as loud as it can go on the little tape player I bought at the Dollar Tree the other day after Mary assaulted my innocent taxidermy with the radio.
I swear I see her smile as the blue lights from a passing cop car shine on her face as it chases some poor fool down I-10. The flashing really brings out the sparkle in her eyes.
I pull up next to her and get out to open her door, but golf carts ain’t got no doors, so I just pretend like. She gets in and I make believe shutting her door, then go around and hop behind the wheel. I tells her about how I put her in a golf cart just like this one the night we met, because she was unconscious after I runned over her and I didn’t want to get my Pinto impounded if we got pulled over by the cops.
I was taking her to the hospital back then, which was in my Uncle Ricky’s old shed behind his trailer because he used to be a vet before those busybodies reported him and he got his license revoked. I explain all this and she laughs a little bit, so I’m feeling pretty good about things.
We loop around the underpass and head toward Westlake where Ricky lives because that’s probably about as far as the golf cart could take us. Which is what I thought this same time all those years ago, but what turned out to be completely untrue because I hadn’t counted on getting up the I-10 bridge.
That bridge is pretty dang steep and Mary ain’t exactly no featherweight neither, so we make it about halfway up when the batteries on the golf cart give up on life and we come to a full stop right there in the middle of that bridge.
This is when Mary remembers everything.
Back on our first date, she came to around the time an 18-wheeler blew past us in the left lane honking its horn while the driver yelled horrible things at us out his window. Naturally, she kinda freaked and hopped out the golf cart and started running down the other side of the bridge screaming something about being kidnapped and oh lord, will somebody help her please Jesus.
It was cute.
She was still a little hazy though, and ended up tripping over her own feet and sort of rolled down the rest of the way to the end of the bridge. I just left the golf cart where it was and ran down after her, then scooped her up and carried her all the way to Uncle Ricky's shed. Like a proper gentleman.
This time, Mary just sits there and glares at me while I tell her the story, then she up and punches me in my good tooth before saying she’s leaving me. My Valentine’s Day dreams are crushed.
Right then, we seen them blue lights come flashing up behind us that done been chasing that other guy a minute ago, and out comes the cop yelling at me like I’m some kind of idiot child what don’t know how to drive, which really aggravates me because I got my license and everything and I’m a grown man. But whatever. Cops is cops.
Things didn’t really get out of hand until Mary started hollering about being kidnapped again, which is when the cop tases me and I start flopping around in the middle of the bridge like an angry bass pulled up out the Calcasieu.
The cops towed the golf cart and Jeff’s probably gonna get fired. I ain’t seen Mary since the tasing, but Luke showed up at the jail to bail me out, which was nice. I collected my personal effects when they released me, then he drove me on back out to the bridge to find Mary, but she done runned off.
This is my last entry, Journal. You’ve been a good friend, but I can’t take the memories no more. Maybe somebody will find you one day and learn from my mistakes.
For now, I’m leaving you here under the bridge where it all went wrong, with everything I got left from when they hauled my sorry butt to the jailhouse. Mary didn’t want none of it, I guess. Maybe somebody else will like the chocolates. Shame about the roses, though. And my mix tape. I did find a corn dog down here, so I got that going for me. Ain't got much of an appetite, though.
Things were supposed to turn out different.
Oh, well. Luke’s revving his engine at me now to hurry on up, so I guess this is goodbye. If anyone ever finds this, look me up. I’m not in the phone book or anything, but I’ll be staying in my Uncle Ricky’s shed for the time being. I don’t think I want to go back home just yet. Mary knows where the guns are.
Happy Valentine’s Day anyway, Journal.
From Lake Charles With Love,