by Madeline laughs
Darlene smiled at the little chat window glowing on her screen. She blinked her eyes slowly like a cat that had just swallowed the canary. Pushing back on her desk she spun her chair around and around while squealing in a high pitched voice “Help me! Help me! Help me!” and waved her arms over her head like a drowning victim. Then she laughed so hard it made her belly hurt.
She wasn’t going to fall for this cry for help! She had no intention of helping him! He could think she was going to, but she wouldn’t. She’d make it worse for him, if she did anything at all.
She stopped spinning her chair and felt the giddiness of being exuberantly thrilled with herself for the first time in years. This felt glorious! It had all been so easy to accomplish and she was high on her success.
She had to pee, but she loathed leaving her computer screen for one second. This victory was still fresh and she only wanted to bask. Briefly she debated just pissing herself right there so she wouldn’t have to move. She spun her chair around and around a few more times.
Finally common sense overwhelmed her inner psycho rantings and she relented just in time to make a run to the toilet. Tugging the waistband of her threadbare sweat pants, she got them down around her ankles and nearly fell butt first onto the toilet just as piss started streaming down her unshaven legs.
She felt good. Maybe today she would actually shower for the first time in a week and make herself a nice dinner.
She sat there listening to the sound of her urine splashing in the water below and thought about how much better it would have been a few years ago if she had only let her freak flag fly sooner.
Maybe she wouldn’t have the numerous hang-ups she had now if she had acted on some of the vengeful feelings she had when her boyfriend had announced he was breaking it off with her and marrying that bimbo. She had tamped down the murderous rage she felt daily until it became a rock hard spot in her heart. If all she had done was act on some of that anger, she might be a normal human being now.
Now there’s a thought! She could power her way back to normalcy by taking out all of her pent up bitterness on Barney! This was brilliant! Why had this never occurred to her before today?
In her head she started making a mental list that she would transfer to the numerous lists already living inside of her computer. She would carefully type out each task and number them. Then she could print it out and pin it to her bulletin board amongst all the other lists. This way it would always be right in front of her and she could always be thinking about ways she could accomplish one of the tasks so she could scratch it off with one of her ballpoint pens.
She listed each horrid detail in her mind as she angrily ripped off several sheets from the toilet paper roll and dabbed herself dry. Then she yanked up her sweat pants and ran to the computer, excited to get started on her newest project.
The small chat window was still displayed, but nothing new had been added. It still said, “Help me!” but underneath of it the other 7 or 8 chat windows were writhing with activity. Activity she had spurred. Activity she had set in motion. The feeling of omnipotence filled her to the brim. She was a force to be reckoned with and Barney was in for the ride of his life!
She clicked over to a Word document and started building her list. She leaned back and carefully considered a good title for it.
Her fingers played over the keyboard as she considered what to call it. She typed:
The Deconstruction of Barney
Hmmm, no, she decided and clicked backspace, backspace, backspace. Then she typed:
Nope, she decided this sounded stupid and she highlighted the title and clicked Delete. How about…
Burning Down the Barney!
Seeing this one typed out made her laugh out loud so she added LOLOLOL to the end of it before deleting it too.
She scratched her head and watched as a snow drift of dandruff wafted onto her lamp. Then she brought her ragged fingernails up to her face for inspection and used the cap from her ink pen to pry the crusty scalp deposits from under her nails. She wiped the cap on her shirt after cleaning each nail and thought about a good name for the list.
She finally decided that simplicity was best and typed:
She was happy with that title and added the first task to her new project.
1. Call Barney’s employer.
She hit Enter to add number 2 and grinned. When Carol had told her about visiting the police department where Barney worked, no one was more surprised than she was to find out it was located right in the same town where she lived.
Darlene was smart and she knew where Carol lived and she knew it was close enough to Barney’s house that Carol constantly asked him to get together for coffee or drinks. She knew where some of the people on the chat board lived too, but not everyone. She had never pressed Barney about exactly where he lived, but she knew it was on the west coast, same as her.
Darlene had always listed her old South Carolina address on her profile and had never thought to change it. When everyone assumed she was on east coast time, she just went along with them.
So Barney thought she lived on the east coast too, on the beach. The mansion on the beach had been another one of her invented pasts. In reality, she grew up in a trailer park on the outskirts of podunk nowhere in South Carolina.
She clicked over to Google and entered the name of the town where she lived now and looked up the number for the local police department. Copying the number on a piece of paper, she clicked back to her list in Word and entered the numbers, banging each number key with a smile of smug satisfaction on her face.
Barney’s List was starting to take shape and she worked through the rest of the night and well into the next morning before finally passing out from sheer exhaustion. There she sat, upright in her desk chair, her hands still resting on her keyboard. A tiny strand of drool dripped down her chin and came to a stop on one of the numerous black whiskers she no longer plucked.
Barney’s List now had ten new tasks, all of them horrifyingly devastating to a man whose only transgression against her was lying. Hell hath no fury…
- Introduction to Socially Distorted (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)