Doris showed up early, the sun still setting over her shoulder when she walked into Desmond’s. She had her guitar strapped to her back and was careful not to hit any of the happy hour business crowd enjoying their pints in the last dive bar in Midtown. Someone tried to pet the white fur on her jacket as she made her way through. She didn’t care. Doris smiled at the bartender whose arm was in a sling. He smiled back but after she turned away, his expression quickly changed to loss. Doris took a seat on a ripped leather stool along the wall and listened to the band on stage. They were playing Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. She shook her blonde locks away from her face for a better view. Yes. She remembered those guys from the old days and in doing so, rose a few inches higher than everyone else in the room. After twenty, maybe twenty-five years, they still rocked. She removed her fur vest, revealing thin arms and shades of ink that were once fierce tattoos. Specks of silver polish clung to her nails but the red on her lips was as bright as ever. She asked the bartender for a white wine. The band on stage played two more and then started packing up. Someone fed the jukebox a dollar and a Guns N’ Roses song came on. The happy hour office workers hugged each other and walked out the door one small group after another. Others followed. By the time Doris was ready it was just the bartender and the band who were at the bar having a pitcher. She didn’t care. She stood on stage, struck her guitar and proceeded to rip the room to shreds.
A few inches beneath the final layer of the dig they found a green coffee mug. At this level, they were in the age of stone. When humankind lived in small tribes, still without clothes and using simple tools of sticks and stones. The volunteer who discovered the mug brushed the surface while it was still embedded in dirt and rock. He called the lead researcher over, Bill, who instructed the team to break the stone and release the mug. Once released and cleaned, Bill took a closer look, his eyebrows raised. An illustration of the face of the Incredible Hulk looked back at him. Is this some kind of joke? The radioactive test showed it wasn’t. Apache helicopters appeared as they reviewed the results. What’s this? And a team of SEALs crept fast toward the team of diggers and covered their mouths with cloth rendering them all unconscious. The mug was immediately placed in a black leather briefcase and locked. “The ticket has been purchased” the SEAL said into his collar mic and they disappeared as quickly as they appeared.
Two weeks ago, the New York City bus driver drove off of her usual route along Eighth Avenue, unloaded the angry and confused passengers around the corner, and then drove the bus into the Lincoln Tunnel and out of the city. Four weeks later, the bus and the driver were found in Los Angeles. When the detective asked her why she did it, she looked away and put a finger to her chin. She had a white outline of a heart tattooed on her cheek just beneath her eye. Her dark red lips opened to a bright white smile and she laughed. “I don’t know,” she said. She could see the blue skies and the white fluffy clouds through the windows of the police station. She had never been to California before. She had never been outside of New York before. Over the last four weeks she drove her bus down quiet country roads, colorful main streets and dry, red deserts. She had picked up and dropped off people waiting at random bus stops along the way. For many, it was their first time on a New York City bus. She smiled at them through the rearview mirror and they smiled back. She thought about every moment while gazing into the Californian sky.