When they told me their idea at first I was fucking incredulous. "You girls are fourteen!" I laughed. "You think I'm gonna take you that far?" The tallest of the three, a girl with legs for miles and an affectation for lollipops glared at me. She was their(more) spokesperson, it seemed.
"Look, lady." She sneered. "Either you'll take us or someone else will. We don't care if it's some middle aged soccer mom or some lonely trucker skeev ok?"
I looked at her askance from the driver's seat of my station wagon. I wanted to drive off now and leave them in the dark and the dust. Soccer mom? Who the fuck did this little cunt think she was? I had six tattoos and a cigarette burn or two under this pastel blouse. They all three had on their school uniforms--from the catholic school up the street no less--and that pretty much guaranteed that it would be some lonely trucker skeev who stopped for them next.
"Why vegas?" I questioned further, looking at the other two girls and how they cast their eyes to the ground. "Wouldn't you prefer LA or some nice California beach?" The girls exchanged a glance so quick I almost missed it. Lollipop frowned thoughtfully and hefted her backpack.
"Okay. LA, then." I blinked slowly as three teenagers piled into the back of my car. I thought about the casserole in the oven at home. Mark would surely fail to take it out on time an it would burn; maybe even catch fire. He was probably parked in front of the TV in his filthy cave, watching sports or the porn he thought he was keeping a secret from me. Part of me hoped the house burned with him in it.
"LA, then. Take me along."(less)
Take a book along everywhere you go.
Read it on the bus, in the back where no one else is sitting. Read it over lunch at a place with fresh baked bread. Read it with your headphones in, but with the music off. Read it in the park, after(more) feeding the stray cats. Read it til it gets all dog-eared and water stained. Stuff it in your backpack when you're running late. Read it late at night when no one else will share your bed. Read it under the stars during a bout of depression. Read it when you're restless, but have nowhere to go. Read it when you don't want to seem uncomfortable being alone. Read it after you've closed your laptop and turned your tv off. Read it even after you've met the last page with tears in your eyes.
Out to conquer the monster, neh?
Out to conquer your demons.
But before you go, take these along.
A sword, which is your wits and ambitions.
A shield, which is your knowledge and patience.
(more) This armor, which is made of sense.
Take your open-mindedness, and these books. They are your food.
Your dreams are your water; you can't live without it, but linger too long and you drown.
Take this candle of clarity. It'll help when life gets dark.
You've done a lot. Are you ready yet? Are you who you are?
Perhaps not. But you will be when you get there.
Before you is the insane world that we all dwell in, whether or not we accept it for what it is.
So take along your courage, and don't forget your hat.
Take along your character, and your manners, too.
I know at times you think you're the best,
and let your ego get to you.
Other times you think you're so small
in a mad, mad world that is so busy and big and wild,
so much so that you might disappear beneath the surface of the vast ocean in the worst of the storms.
On your way to defeat your own Jabberwocky.
So here. Take this little vial. It's a bit of me.
A gentle voice. A warm embrace. A comforting whisper in your ear.
A healing serum, perhaps? I know not what useful qualities it has, but I know I am giving it to you. A piece of me to take along on your journey.
And me? I'll be on my way soon enough. To meet my own shadow. To meet my own Jabberwocky. But we'll still be together, neh?
It's a mad, mad world. That doesn't mean we have to be alone.