The following is a continuation of a story I wrote a few years back called “Johnny Depp” It is filed under The Classics should you wish to refresh your memory.
I have recently become addicted to A.S.M.R. (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – what me and my fellow addicts refer to as ASS-MERE), specifically, I am addicted to: Maria, The Gentle Whisperer. If you check it out, keep an open mind and be prepared for a powerful nap. As ‘they’ say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – and some of the following ABSOLUTELY TRUE story has been blatantly plagiarized from Maria. Thanks Maria, for the inspiration and good naps.
I folded the washcloth like an accordion, flipping small sections back on themselves, and then I folded it in half to create a decorative piece. “A flower, fan looking piece,” I whispered. The perfect finishing touch to go with my already meticulously folded bath and hand towel set. Earlier, I had created a pocket in the hand towel by folding the bottom upwards and pressing on the edge. It was a work of art. To complete my masterpiece, I tucked the decorative washcloth into the hand towel pocket. With a cleansing sigh I took a moment and admired my handiwork. The green hand towel hung over the red bath towel, the floral wash cloth peaked from its pocket like a fan. There’s nothing as soothing as an obsessively folded towel set, I thought.
A loud bang interrupted my reverie. I involuntarily jerked at the sound, my first instinct telling me my cupola had just been hit by lightning. But a second bang rang out, followed by the rat-ti-tat-tat of several small stones hitting my office atop its one hundred foot tower. But of course, it wasn’t stones, it was hail. A storm had descended upon me whilst I was engrossed in my towel folding bliss.
I tucked my towel set onto the shelf beneath my fire finder and moved to the window that looked out to my yard. I needed to determine the size of the hail and report it to the office.
I had only taken a step when a hailstone smashed the window at my back. Shattered glass sprayed into my cupola and peppered me from behind. Luckily, my clothing offered some protection, however I was wearing shorts and the back of my left leg stung as the glass struck it. There was no time to investigate my injuries. The large hail that broke the window was followed by dozens of his smaller minions. I cowered behind my fire finder as rapid fire hailstones ricocheted inside my cupola.
“MY TOWELS!” I shrieked as I remembered them sitting defenseless on the open shelf. The shelf that exposed them to the broken window. Who knows what kind of damage this hail was doing to their crisp folds and to the decorative edge!
The storm passed quickly. I leapt from behind the fire finder and assessed my towel set. It had survived with minimal damage. My cupola, on the other hand, was a different story. There was glass everywhere.
My left calf stung. I twisted around to see four small rivulets of blood trickling down my lower leg. The cuts would have to wait. Ignoring my leg, I grabbed my radio and reported the damage to the office.
Another storm approached; there was no time to linger.
I crunched over the glass strewn floor and focused on the immediate task: To repair the broken window before the next storm hit. I only had about ten minutes. I grabbed what I had on hand: duck tape and a plastic Sobey’s bag.
My phone rang, interrupting my progress on the busted window.
“Spruce Tower.” I answered.
“Hey, Jo. Everything Okay?” It was my boss.
“Yup, just need to get my window taped up before the next storm hits.”
“We are sending someone from Drayton out to look at the window and look at your cuts.”
“Okay.” Fixing the window was important but sending someone out to look at my cuts was overkill. “Who’s coming?” I asked.
Must be the new guy I haven’t met yet. “Okay, thanks.”
I hung up the phone and quickly finished the window. Praise Aphrodite, the plastic bag and duck tape held as the next storm passed.
As that storm grumbled off to the east I took to cleaning up the shards of glass. Last thing I needed was this Johnny getting cut.
By the time Johnny pulled up I had cleaned up the glass. A small man clambered out of the white Ford F250. His greasy, dark shoulder length hair fell around his face, obscuring my view of it.
A few minutes later I heard the familiar clunk of someone clipping into the fall arrest system, followed by the rhythmic whir of them climbing up the one hundred foot ladder.
As the hatch flew open and Johnny ascended the last few rungs into my cupola my mouth dropped open in disbelief. Him. Again.
He kept his eyes down as he unclipped from the fall arrest system. Once again, I marveled at how tiny he was. The fall arrest harness fit snug, and eyeballing his waist I realized it couldn’t be more than eighteen inches.
“Sure am glad it isn’t sunny,” he made conversation as he fumbled with the crotch straps of his harness. He didn’t look up, he hadn’t seen me yet, “I wasn’t looking forward to climbing that ladder in twenty-seven degrees,” he continued. He got the straps undone and glanced up. His eyes popped wide as he took me in.
I recoiled into the far corner, as far away from him as possible. I remembered what had happened the last time we met. How he tried to seduce me and then turned on me with a needle fist to the stomach. As if they could protect me, I instinctively grabbed my towel set and white knuckled their delicate folds.
“YOU!” I hissed.
“You,” he smiled. “I thought you were up on Ram Mountain.”
“That was years ago, Johnny.” I snapped.
“Now, now,” he said as he made his way around the fire finder and closer to me.
I pulled my towel set up and hugged it even tighter.
“Can’t we let bygones be bygones?” He whispered as he lifted his gaze and stared into my eyes. I was relieved to see that time had finally caught up with him. His once flawless olive skin had weathered and was now lined and paper thin. “Give me the towels,” he whispered. Unfortunately, regardless of his age, I was stunned into idiocy by his uncommon beauty. I tried to shake my head ‘no,’ but I was powerless. My mind screamed no, my body sighed yes. He reached forward and lifted the towels from my grasp.
Mechanically, my fingers groped for the downy cotton, he slapped my hand away and tossed the towels onto the filthy floor. His touch set a lightning bolt down my spine. Confused by how my body reacted to his touch, not knowing if it was passion or if it was rage, I backed away and pinned myself against the far window. There was only one thing I knew for certain: I knew I could not trust Johnny. Fucking. Depp.
He stepped closer to me. I stiffened. “I have to take pictures of your leg,” he explained. His deep brown eyes met mine. His lip quivered and a single tear played on his thick, luscious eyelashes. “Why don’t you trust me?” he whispered.
If there is one thing Johnny Depp is, he is a good actor and I knew better than to be fooled by his flawless cheekbones, feminine hands and crocodile tears.
His gaze fell. He reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a camera. He kneeled in front of me. “Could you,” his voice caught and he swallowed hard, “Could you roll up your shorts a bit please?”
I did as he requested and he lifted the camera and snapped a few photos of my quadricep.
“A bit further.” He said.
I rolled my shorts up three more times, each time at his request. Heat crawled into my cheeks as my upper thigh was revealed. With the final roll, my short’s cuff crept dangerously close to my ginch-line.
“Johnny,” a realization dawned on me, “The cuts are on the back of my leg, on my calf.”
“Oh,” he stammered, a flush crept up his chiseled jaw bone. By the chariot of
Aphrodite he was beautiful!
“Jo,” he whispered.
He fiddled with an imaginary button on his camera. “I’m sorry for what happened on Ram Mountain.”
With those words he cracked my armor and stepped right through. I gawked at this tiny beautiful man kneeled in front of me. I had been wrong about Johnny Depp. He looked up, our eyes met and as if my prayers had been answered by Zeus himself, my heart burst open with pure love. “Me too,” were the only words I could find to apologize for what had descended on that hellish peak so many years ago. And I knew that was enough, that with those simple words all of the hurt and anguish of the past five years washed away.
I wondered where we would winter. Of course, I would stay at The Tower in the summers; I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. And, with his millions and free time (let’s face it – his movies haven’t been stellar as of late – it was time for him to retire.), he could come and stay with me in the summers. And then it would be off to Marseilles for Christmas. A smile played at the corner of my mouth.
He smiled in return.
I turned around to show him my calf.
“That’s it?” He uttered with disappointment as he took in my cuts.
I craned my neck around to take in what he saw. The cuts on my leg were still clearly there, each highlighted by a thin trail of crimson blood.
“They’re just kitten scratches,” he mumbled as he lifted the camera to take his photo.
“Oh.” They still stung, but he was right – they were rather small.
As he busied himself with his duties, taking photos and filling out paperwork, a level of comfort settled upon us. As if we had known all along that this was where life would take us, twin souls finally re-united after a lifelong pursuit.
He reached towards the broken window.
“Careful!” I squeaked, thinking of the sharp glass, but it was too late.
“Ouch!” he cried as he jerked his hand back. “I cut myself,” he whined as he popped his finger into his mouth. Speaking around his finger-stuffed mouth he mumbled, “Do you have a band aid?”
“Um,” I frowned. “Can I see?” I reached forward and took his wounded finger in my hand. He averted his gaze skyward and turned away from the offending digit, as if trying to create distance between himself and his horrific injury would ease his pain.
“How bad is it?” he cringed.
A miniscule welt rose in the centre of his fingerprint, the skin wasn’t even broken.
My brow furrowed, I gazed up and studied his cowardly profile. Orion’s Belt! I thought to myself, Johnny Depp was crying. Again. I squeezed his hand, hard, “You don’t need a band-aid.”
“Ow, let go of my hand. It’s cut!” he sputtered as he yanked his hand back.
I stepped away from him and crossed my arms. How is it that a welt without blood is a ‘cut’ and yet the gashes on my leg, streaming with blood, are merely ‘kitten scratches’?
“You need a band aid for that?” I asked, fighting to keep my voice even.
“Yes, of course I do!” He wept.
Him and his fucking tears, “I don’t have a band-aid up here.”
“I can’t climb down with my finger like this!” he barked. He stiffened, his wide eyes darted frantically, scanning the cupola for something, for anything that could help him. There, on the floor, his eyes found their target. A miracle, the meticulously folded washcloth managed to keep its shape when he had so thoughtlessly tossed the towels aside.
A sudden coldness hit my core, a soft “no…” escaped my lips, but the realization dawned on me a second too late.
Johnny bent over and with the delicate fingers of his uninjured hand he snatched up the washcloth with amazing speed for someone so injured. He stood as tall as he could, faced me defiantly and pressed the washcloth to his dubiously injured finger with such drama you would have thought his digit had been severed at the second knuckle.
The coldness leached from my core and my senses rushed back in, Johnny Depp had just made his last mistake. “Not the flower, fan-looking piece!” I screamed. Spittle shot from my rage-fueled word hole and splattered on his wrinkled, decrepit face.
The spit-slap was just the distraction I needed. With lightning reflexes, I sprung on him. He was so small I had no problem forcibly contorting his body into his climbing harness and clipping him into the fall arrest system. He blubbered at the top of the ladder, my ruined washcloth still in his grasp, “Please, not like this.”
I leaned in and spat in his ear, “Get. Out.” Then I stuffed him down the cupola hatch.
He reached the ground, stumbled from the tower with tear blurred vision and leapt into the sanctuary of his truck. As he started the vehicle he rolled down the window and screamed up at me, “I hate you, assmered bitch!” He tore down my road never to be seen again.
I hate you too, Johnny fucking Depp.