sat there feeling sorry for myself, when I noticed a snail creeping along a rock
in the sun. He turned for a second to face me, and I saw he was wearing a thick-rimmed
pair of glasses. His antennae waved at me, and he smiled and turned back to what
he was doing.
Which was even more bizarre than the fact that a snail was wearing glasses. He
reached back and pulled a page from out of his shell and read it quickly, clicking
enough action," he muttered, making red notations with one of his antennae, and
he flung the page into the breeze. Reaching back, he pulled another one out.
nope. This still isn't going anywhere." A new page. "Much too depressing! You
know what you need," the snail exclaimed, suddenly stopping, and he stared straight
at me. "You need a love interest to liven this up a bit."
"Liven what up?" I stammered.
life, of course." The snail waved his antennae around as if he were whispering
something to himself. "Oh, yeah. Sorry," the snail chuckled, and he took a seat
in a crevice in the rock. "I guess I haven't introduced myself. I'm your editor."
this story, silly. The story of your life."
I rubbed my eyes. But the snail was still there. Editor of my life. "You mean
my life is planned out like a story?"
all in the book," the snail assured me, and pulled out a tattered book, waving
it in front of me. "Of course, it still needs a lot of editing."
He quickly stashed the book back in his shell when he saw me instinctively reach
This is my dream, I thought. So, how come everyone seems to be carrying around
scripts and books and notes, and I don't have anything?
I hadn't said a word, but the snail smiled. He knew everything I was thinking,
of course. It was all in his book.
had part of your story, once," he pointed out.
I remembered the script I had read when I thought my name was Billy.
"Well, yeah," I admitted.
"But it didn't seem to match anyone else's script." I left out that it had matched
Lucy's for a while. I was still trying to block out that "chapter" of my life.
why you only get an occasional glimpse. It wouldn't help anyway, because people
only get more confused when they think they know what's going on."
I sat there like a lump in the grass. I couldn't help wishing that I'd been given
a different story for my life, instead of this one I seemed to be stuck with.
my, my. I do wish you would stop all that philosophical thinking you've been doing.
It won't get you anywhere, you know. Except sad and depressed. And what good is
that! It certainly won't sell tickets at the box office, I can assure you."
I sighed in agreement. If I never had a "deep" thought again, it would be much
definitely need a love interest. And fast!" The snail pulled out some pages and
began writing copious notes with the red-tipped antennae. Then he disappeared
into the grass.
But before he disappeared, and right after he spoke, the breezes started singing,
My face was flushed, and I started to break out in hives.
The flowers swayed, whispering, "Love... Love..."
I felt like I was going to pass out.
And then an arrow whizzed past my ear and I suddenly jumped to attention. There's
nothing like a shot of adrenalin to get you out of depression.
Another arrow rocketed by and I dashed to the left. Arrows were flying everywhere.
I dove to the right and spun, somersaulting in the grass.
"Would ya hold still already!"
a gruff voice grunted from somewhere up in a tree.
I lay still behind a rock, and peered out, cautiously.
"Oi! It's going to be anutta
one of dem days," the voice grumbled, and a rather plump, very short bald man
with wings, completely naked, except for a...a diaper and a bow and arrow in his
hands and a cigar in his mouth, jumped down onto the grass.
"Look, bub, how's I sposed
to getchya if ya keeps movin'?" the winged-short-round-bald guy sighed, and he
pulled the cigar out with his free hand. He flicked ashes onto some flowers, which
started coughing and angrily waved their petals.
Just then a tiny distant squeak whispered in the distance. We both heard it and
turned. "Uhhhh....uhhhhh...uhhhhh..." It echoed like a Tarzan-call, only speeded
up in a chipmunk-voice.
A tiny round-faced cherub was swinging through the trees, and he crashed into
the branches above the squat-bald guy wearing a diaper.
"Oh. Hi Cupid," the tiny cherub
squeaked as he dangled from the branches, his bow wrapped around his tiny wings.
The other took a puff of his cigar and blew a cloud of smoke at the cherub. "Hey
pal. This is my territory, see. Now, scram."
the chipmunk-voice piped. "But I seem to be stuck. Would you be so kind?"
certainly," the diapered man chuckled. He reached up, pulled back the cherub's
bow and let it "boing."
The cherub rocketed through the branches, sailing up into the clouds. "Thaaaankkkk...yoooouuuu...."
he chirped as he disappeared out of sight.
I turned to the cigar-toting frown with the giant belly hanging over a soiled
he say Cupid?" I gasped.
your service," he mumbled, confirming my worst fears. "Well are you coming out,
or ain't you?" Cupid snapped, while he puffed away on the cigar.
"Only if you promise to put
that bow away," I argued safely from behind my rock.
"Whatever you say," Cupid
snorted, and threw it in the bushes, but not so far away that he couldn't get
it rather quickly if he wanted to.
I stepped out from behind the rock, and he lunged forward, grabbed my hand, and
shook me up and down in the air.
His hand was cold as ice, and when he stopped shaking me, I shivered.
"I unnerstand ya looking for
love," he chortled.
that's what the snail, er, my editor, said. And you know," I mused, looking around
at the fields and flowers and trees, "I think he's right. Why this looks like
the place where we met. I mean the girl of my dreams. You see, she sent me this
note. I was supposed to meet her at 11:00. But then I've been here a while, and
I haven't see her yet. You wouldn't happen to know if it's 11 yet, would you?"
While I gushed out what was on my mind, Cupid had fallen asleep on his feet.
I called, waving my hands in front of his face. "You said you were going to help
me find my True Love?"
Cupid woke up. "Love...Huh...Oh yeah. I'm ya man," he agreed, remembering where
He scratched the stubble on his face, reached into the diaper, and pulled out
a book. He thumbed to the appropriate page, and picked his teeth with his tongue
while he read.
Heaya we are. Chaptuh 22. You're supposed to meet the girl of your dreams. Says
it right here." He closed the book, and was about to stick it back in his diaper,
when he thought again, and used the corner of the cover to pick his teeth. He
looked back at the excitement in my eyes.
AM?" I gasped.
thing. In da next chaptuh," Cupid assured me as he flapped his wings and dust
went flying everywhere. He had to flap pretty hard before he rose off the ground.
But then he was looking down at me, and he put his chilly arm around my shoulder.
His breath smelled like garlic and tabasco sauce.
He pulled out a tape measure, and began scribbling measurements down on a little
pad as he measured me from head to toe, and inside-out.
Cupid shook his head disapprovingly and squinted his nose. "Dis ain't gonna be
dat easy," he muttered. "All right, stick out ya hart," he demanded, and gave
me the fakest smile I had ever seen.
I opened my mouth instinctively, thinking he had asked to see my tongue, then
jumped away as the thought flashed through my mind that he was asking to see something
a lot more private.
But he wasn't staring where I thought he was. As it turns out, he was looking
quite a bit lower, at my shoe, and I remembered that's where I was keeping my
heart these days.
I didn't really want to show it to him. Hearts are pretty private too. But then,
if he could help me find my True Love...well, I'd do whatever I had to do.
He looked at my broken heart as I carefully unwrapped it, and made little clicking
sounds. He pulled out his cigar and waved it in the air in little circles. "I
dink I betta start with the PG-sulection for ya's."
Cupid reached into the diaper and pulled out a billfold with a 'PG' stamped on
He held the billfold in the air, and let it unfold down to the ground. On each
card there was a picture of a woman. He motioned me closer, but even from where
I stood I could see that none of them were clothed.
"Which one you want?" Cupid
asked, puffing away as he gazed lustfully at the pictures, one by one.
I pulled away, choking on the cigar smoke.
see here," I retorted. "You said I'm supposed to find love..."
"And what's not to love about
these babes? Granted they ain't as built as some of the better rated mamas. But
I figured this is about all you can handle."
I'm not looking for...Well, I'm looking for the girl of my dreams."
"I must admit," Cupid whispered,
cupping his hand to the side of his mouth. "A couple of these chicks have been
in my dreams." Cupid drooled. "Hey, but if you don't like these, don't worry.
I've got plenty more PGs to choose from."
not going to just pick out some girl from a deck of cards, like a piece of meat.
That's not love. Love takes time. It's something that grows out of fondness and
Now look he-ya. Are you trying to tell me about love? I'm Cupid, remember. Love
is my business. I'll tellya 'bout love. Love is a set a soycumstances. Two people
in da same place at da right time. A simple need that ya gotta fill. That's all
dere is to it."
I hated this guy. He was lying. I knew he was. "There's got to be more to love
than that!" I demanded. "And besides, I've already seen my True Love."
Cupid turned with a start. "Ya have?"
I saw her in a sort of dream once."
That'll save me some trouble. I'm sure I've got her here, somewhere."
"I doubt it. She's not like
Cupid sighed. "Sure bud. Now what does she look like?"
"Well," I started. I tried
to think, but that glass wall had been so hazy, and I didn't really get to see
her all that clearly.
blond, a brunette...a redhead? Blue eyes, brown eyes...?"
"I'm not exactly sure," I
admitted. "But it doesn't matter. It's the person inside that I'm in love with.
Cupid was getting bored. "Look, I understand ya. Ya're looking for a poysonality.
Hey, I've got tapes. Plenty a tapes. They got girls full of poysonality. Why some
of them dolls just reek with da stuff."
He flew over to the tree and yanked down a screen. Then he whipped a video tape
out of his diaper and slid it into a slot in the tree.
I closed my eyes. I had a feeling I knew what kind of tapes he was going to show
I don't want to see any more of your smut..." I shouted. "Just go away!!!"
Cupid was laughing, and I opened my eyes.
don't worry, pal. I ain't gonna waste those on you. I'm saving them for me, for
But I wasn't listening. I was staring at the girl on the screen. Her face was
so familiar. I knew that face. But I couldn't place it. I watched, and listened
to her voice, which seemed to be talking to something inside of me. And then my
eyes lit up. "That's Cassandra!" I blurted. "She's the one I saw through the glass
Cupid mumbled. He had pulled out, and was carefully examining, a magazine with
pages that folded out to life-size.
I pointed at the screen. "That girl up there," I laughed, "that's Cassandra, right?"
He finally tore his eyes from the magazine and looked up at the screen.
"Don't know her name, but
I like your taste, boy. You're not so bad, after all. A little skimpy up top,
but not too shabby...for a first love."
Somehow his sentiments made the wonderful feelings that were gurgling up inside
of me start to choke.
It made me sick to think of dealing with him in any way. But if he knew how I
could find Cassandra...Well at that point I decided I'd sell my soul to find her.
As that thought crossed my mind, I hoped he hadn't heard it. This Cupid seemed
just the type to exact that kind of payment.
Fortunately, he was busy looking at his magazine.
"So, how do I meet her?" I
Oh, yeah. Just go behind that tree. Close your eyes, and count to 50."
"And what? That's it. Now,
if you don't mind, my woyk is done here, and I have much more important matters
to attend to."
The diapered angel pulled out his tape, rolled up the screen, retrieved his bow,
and waved his cigar at me. "ARRIVEDERCI, bub!"
Cupid took a big puff, and when the smoke cleared he was gone.
I looked at the tree. This was ridiculous. Did he expect me to believe that all
I had to do was play hide and seek, and I'd find the girl I'd been searching for,
for all my life!
things have been happening lately," I mumbled to myself, and ran for the tree
as fast as I could. I closed my eyes, and started counting.
"...49...50!" I shouted, spun
around, and opened my eyes.