Three Stages of Her

Posted: February 14, 2015 in Lit Gems


I saw her by the treadmills, on the
second floor, overlooking the gym. I spied
from the basketball courts, watching her
sprint with a sexy, long legged gate. She was
a Mulatta owning a great ass, long brown
and blond curly hair draped over her slender
shoulders. She had big green eyes and a
large round face that had a tinge of crazy
gleaming in the corners. I made my way up
the stairs as she finished running. While
patting her face with a small towel, I greeted
her with a smile and newly discovered
“Hey my name is Dave,” I sang like a
stone cold playboy.
“Lisa,” She responded cool as mountain
“Where you from?”
“Near San Francisco, you?”
“New Jersey.”
Lisa was friendly: much friendlier
than she appeared at the front desk earlier
that evening.
“What do you do down here?”
“School. I’m studying
Environmental engineering.”
I was impressed but not surprised.
Her diction was neutrally perfect without
regional accent and she handled hundred
dollar words like a 5th year scholar from
I had to beat Dubs to the punch. We
always contested for the new Y-
chromosomes. She gave me her number. I
played it cool as though that happened all
the time. I watched her healthy thighs exit
the cardio room, and then glanced through
the large windows, down to the basketball
court were Dubs: my 5’10 iron jawed,
bronze skinned friend and smoking buddy
was playing ball.
I smiled and proudly held up the small
piece of paper with the digits. He shrugged
apathetically while shooting a three pointer
at the far basket. I imagined her among the
Northern Redwoods, engineering the
environment, whatever that was. Little did I
know that would be the last time I saw her
A week later, I called. She wasn’t very
forthcoming with information, but told me
she lived close.
How great it would be go over for easy sex,
able to come home, and shower in my own
During, our first conversation Lisa
was drinking wine, but I received no
invitation. On second call my potential new
friend was heading for the night at Key Club
in Hollywood with her girlfriends. That was
a red flag she might be into the
Hollywood life
, which killed the illusion
of a serious Engineer.
It didn’t mix well. Hollywood
was the land of the pretty, stupid people.
Once her mouth opened the pretty
mannequins would oust her. I called once
more but got the answering machine. She
never called back. Getting the hint, I
returned to a couple sure things, but still felt
the sting of rejection.
I dismissed her and never saw her in
the gym again but a year later, while
walking Pacific Avenue I saw her: pregnant
and disheveled. I was caught off guard at
the sight of her. Life had slapped her
around pretty hard.
On that hot, August afternoon; I
pretended not to see her and crossed the
street. Lisa was caught in her own world. I
gazed at her, blocking the afternoon rays
from my eye, amazed, she had done a
savage three sixty. I felt for her: in the
harbor city with child and out of her gourd.
I wondered if she was still in school. I
wondered who the father was. I wonder
what guy sang the right words in her ear.
Maybe it was the night I called, while she
was drinking wine waiting for a friend.
In the harbor city it wasn’t
uncommon to see lonely women and their
children strolling the streets, the mothers
crazed: yelling in phones, threatening,
crying, and begging. At that moment all
the memories seemed to run through my
head like a collage of feminine insanity. I
turned away disappointed, feeling the
struggle radiating from her bloated body. I
continued up the street and forgot about
I didn’t see her again
until a year later, marching
below Pacific on my way to
the Sixth Street coffeehouse
to work on a screenplay. I’d
become a caged beast in the
harbor city and the only
escape was at the ends of my
fingertips. It was the early
evening and the rough
neighborhood below Pacific
Ave was oddly quiet. I was
stuck in my own mental
misery: dreaming of a future,
cursing a horrible past that
kept creeping up on me.
heard strange mumbling behind
me, as if someone was having
a conversation. I turned and
noticed her, looking to the
left having a full-blown talk
with the empty space. I
recognized Lisa right away.
Her eyes bugged out their
sockets as if the words had
reached a fever pitch.

Another victim of the harbor
demons, the same ones that’s
made people jump off the
cliffs at Point Fermin: the
same ones that made the
homeless scream at the beach:
the same ones that ask to be
fed alcohol and drugs at the
local bars. I let her pass.
To the Engineer I was the
invisible and her friend
real. She headed down the
street to Harbor Avenue where
all the crazies stayed in a:
six floor, pink building,
which served as some sort of
asylum. I saw her a few more
times, wandering the streets
while talking out loud.
How does a once pretty girl fall into such
madness? Was she already halfway there and
the city pushed her the rest of the way?
questions attacked my mind.
It was a complex conundrum:
to watch a fully functioning,
intelligent person’s mind
cascade to the street as the
devil took down the for sale
What happened to the baby? What happened to
school? What happened to her?
stories that my brain
invented were horrible and I
prayed fiction.
This fucking place reeled them in and
destroyed them all.
She wouldn’t be the
first nor last to fall victim
to those streets. I’d seen a
few go through the triple
stage metamorphosis: The
Saint, Lucky, and Dave the
Sailor. First the normal
stage: normal as any average
person or an average person
pretended to be. Paying
taxes. Watching Dodger games.
Dollars Tacos enjoyed on Taco
Tuesday. The second stage:
something odd starts to
happen. There is a slight
unfolding. Talking to
themselves: Wild stares:
Manic movement. The breaking
begins only they can’t see
it. Stage three they lose
their freaking mind. The
brain snaps and they are on
another planet as king or a
god yelling orders at a race
of small orange people. The
triple stage breakdown was a
common dress rehearsal for
the final act. Which was to
be found dead in a dark cold
alley by people digging for
cans in the trash.
One evening
Dubs brought her up out of
nowhere during a 420 session.
“I saw that girl walking the
streets. Remember the one
from the Y?”
“Yeah man. She was pregnant. I
saw her last year with a
giant tummy!”
He took a hard drag of the
ceramic pipe and passed it.
“That’s fucked up man. What
do you think happened to the
Dread and grief seized my soul,
“I don’t know.”

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  1. johncoyote says:

    I enjoyed the story my friend.. I remember reading this one a long time ago. One of my favorite. It is amazing how people and things change.

  2. johncoyote says:

    Reblogged this on johncoyote and commented:
    A amazing story by a talented writer. Please read and enjoy his tales. They are alive and real.

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