I easily drove us the two blocks from Applebee’s to the gas station without crashing.
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “It’s a miracle.”
“No, it’s not,” I said.
Then we went in and got the supplies we needed, and The Admiral got a pack of cigarettes. On the way out a woman behind us shouted “Hey!”
“Goddess of Faith,” I said, “finally.”
But when I turned around it wasn’t her at all. It was shockingly La Renarde from HighSchool. The Admiral laughed and went straight back to the car. I stayed, and she came up and gave me a big hug.
“Jonathan!” La Renarde said. “It’s been so long. I didn’t know you still lived here.”
“I don’t,” I said. “I live in Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains.”
“What do you do there?”
“Oh my god, you’re still Reality Traveling?”
“Of course, I even went to The Reality Travel Training School.”
“I didn’t even know there was one.”
“Yeah, it’s so Reality Travel. You have to mystically receive a Calling Card to get in, and there’s The Professor, and he knows everything about Reality Travel, and he warns you about all the BoobyTraps like TimeWarps and RealityFucks, and you have to take a Vow against War, and, oh yeah, the best part is you get your own Guardian Angel…”
“Wow, sounds like you’ve gone pretty far with this thing.”
“I was just trying to keep up with all the far off and exciting Travels I imagined you must’ve been having.”
“Really? I mean I was in Paris briefly right after HighSchool, but it kinda kicked my ass. I ended up coming back here and going to Ohio Future Adult Training School. Now I’m doing PR for one of the Rubber companies. And the best part is I’m about to get married!”
She showed me the diamond ring on her finger.
“He’s a doctor, and we’re going to move into a big house in the neighborhood your parents used to live,” she said.
“I don’t understand,” I said. “Are you saying you’re an Adult now?”
“Ha, yeah, I guess I am!”
“What about Reality Travel?”
“I don’t know. I realized one day it was just something overly romantic outcast teenagers make up to feel important, and I had to grow out of it.”
“Aren’t you sick with The Malaise?”
“I don’t know what that is, but I feel fine.”
Just then a car horn started honking over and over. I looked over and it was The Admiral.
“That’s the Reality I’m Traveling to tonight,” I said.
“Wow,” she said, “you really do still believe in it.”
The Admiral kept honking.
“You should probably go then,” La Renarde said. “You wouldn’t want him to turn into a MeNotzie, haha.”
“Yeah,” I said. “I guess I should.”
“Now be brave Traveler, and…how’s the rest go?”
“Don’t forget The Gods are on your side.”
“Oh my god, right. The Gods, haha.”
Then she tried to hug me goodbye, but I was so TimeFuck dizzy I could barely hug back. Then I just turned around and headed back to the car.
“What the hell, man!” I said to The Admiral.
“Hahaha,” he said, “you took too long.”
“Well, that was an important conversation. I haven’t seen her since HighSchool.”
“Hahaha, she’s so weird.”
“She’s changed a lot.”
“Hahaha, her sister Red is coming over tonight.”
“That’s her sister?”
“Isn’t she just a little kid?”
“Hahaha, no, she’s grown up and hot now.”
Then we pulled out of the gas station, and I watched La Renarde get into a Porsche with a guy in blue scrub Doctor Uniform. It made me so dizzy my eyes couldn’t work for a second. Suddenly I heard squealing breaks and a loud honk.
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “whoa!”
When my eyes started working again I noticed I’d almost hit another car pulling into the gas station. The Reality inside the car rolled down his window and looked right at me.
“Learn how to drive, asshole!” he said.
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “You still don’t know how!”