There was a day I was almost like Jesus. ‘Cept Jerusalem was
See, Jake and Wilbur lived in the same dorm, on the same floor as me, my sophomore year of college. I'll cut to the chase and tell you right now, they were real sickos. I may not speak the truth in love, but I promise you this, I speak the truth.
Some folks thought Jake and Wilbur were brothers ‘cause they both had buzz cuts the color of straw. Jake was taller though. His eyes reminded me of blue copier paper. Wilbur 's face was best friends with Clearasil. His eyes looked like puddles.
When Jake and Wilbur were bored and/or drunk, they'd drive around
, in search of roadkills. Jake kept a coathanger in his truck at all times. Whenever he or Wilbur saw a roadkill, whoever was driving would pull over, and they’d jump out. Take the coathanger and a camera. Wilbur would lift the roadkill as best he could with the coathanger. Jake would snap a picture. The corkboard on the door of their dorm room was covered with candid camera roadkill shots. It was for this reason I renamed Jake and Wilbur. I called Jake Warped and Wilbur Twisted. The names stuck. Pretty soon everyone in our dorm called ‘em Warped and Twisted. Morgantown
One day, Warped and Twisted turned their attention to me. I don't know what got into them. Not sure if they did what they did because they liked me, or 'cause they didn't.
It was almost dark. Seems like most bad stuff happens when it's dark or pert near. I walked off the elevator and into the common area. There they were. Waiting. For me. They didn’t have on their usual attire--jeans and flannel shirts. That day they both wore camo. They had a weird look in their eyes too. Like the zombie dancers in Michael Jackson's Thriller video.
Without a word, they positioned themselves on either side of me. They each grabbed an arm, firmly but not gently. They dragged me over to, then pushed me down on, a chair they'd placed nearby. They used electrical tape to secure me to the chair. Next they sprayed me in the face with whipped cream. When I opened my eyes there were little white puffs on my eyelashes. They shook bottles of beer and opened them with their teeth, a favorite party trick of theirs. As soon as the beer started to spray, they aimed the bottles at me. Doused me head to toe. My flesh popped out in goosebumps as the cold beer drenched my clothes.
I decided early on stillness was my best strategy. I didn't think I was in danger, per se. My guess was they just wanted to do a real good job of humiliating me. If I whooped and hollered for help, it would attract a crowd. Exactly what they wanted. Definitely not what I wanted.
Warped knelt down and fished a string of Christmas lights out from under the sofa. Twisted chuckled, but to me it sounded like a donkey with a carrot caught in its throat. Warped walked around me. Wrapped me in Christmas lights. I pulled my lips in. Looked at my knees.
Warped and Twisted shoved me across the floor of the common room. I waited for the chair to get hung up on a crack in the floor or a snag in the carpet. I envisioned the chair falling forward. There’d be a loud thunk as my head encountered the floor. Surely my nose would shatter. Blood would spray everywhere.
Warped and Twisted continued to inch me in the direction of their goal. I peeked from under whipped cream lashes. Saw they were headed for an electrical outlet. My broken nose concern was replaced by the possibility that fluids and electricity might terminate me. Snap! Crackle! Pop! Smells like chicken.
I held my breath as they jammed the plug into the socket. Twinkle, twinkle! Sparkle, sparkle! I picked a spot on the ceiling and stared at it. Would death be fast or slow? Neither. Something, God's hand maybe, spared me.
Warped and Twisted weren't finished. They pushed me back across the common room. Onto the elevator. My fractured nose fear returned with each whiplash jerk of the chair. The guys leaned down and in and grabbed the underside of the chair seat. I smelled beer and chili dogs with raw onions on their breath. I held mine. Shut my eyes tight. I will not cry. I will not cry.
"Uh, uh, uh," came out of Warped. On the third uh, they lifted me up and into the elevator. They held me for a minute, a foot off the floor, then let go. My teeth made a snapping sound. Twisted kept his middle finger on the open door button. Warped produced the roadkill coat hanger from his back pocket. Handed it to Twisted. He stepped backward off the elevator and reached into the cargo pocket of his pants. Pulled out a camera.
Warped's eyes narrowed. The right corner of his upper lip twitched.
"Lift her up," he said.
"Lift her up," he said.
Twisted hooked a belt loop of my
. With both hands, he yanked up. I thought the crotch seam of my jeans was gonna split me in two. Levis
Warped grinned. A rare exposure of his big, corn-colored teeth. "Smile."
I turned my head as far as I could. Away from the camera. Flash! I blinked several times to get rid of the spots on my eyes. Warped and Twisted guffawed--a choking donkey and a goose on coke. They pointed under my chair.
"Looks like she wet herself," Warped said.
I wondered if I had, then realized it was beer dripping off me.
Warped stepped back on the elevator. He leaned across me and hit all the buttons--G-9. We rode up. The doors opened at each floor. People stared. The doors closed. We went down. Stopped at each floor. People gawked. The doors shut. Then we did it again.
I was almost Christ-like that night. Like him, I was abused. Mocked. Stared at. Not rescued. People looked away. So they wouldn't have to be responsible. Some even laughed. And me? I remained silent. Lamb led to the slaughter, no sound does it make, silent.
(Formerly known as Warped and Twisted)