Her Own Private Rapture – By Philip Gaber
She’d be sitting alone, smoking a cigarette or drinking a glass of red wine in some sparsely-populated bar somewhere uptown, staring into the strained and obvious light.
Inevitably, some guy with beer nuts and Budweiser on his breath would accost her with some line like, “Let’s be laughing together next year,” and flash her a smile that usually reminded
her of those photographs her dentist would show her, depicting the beginnings of periodontal disease.
“Thanks,” she’d say, “but it’s not the right time in my life to be lowering my standards.”
Sometimes the guy would laugh.
Which was fine with her.
What did she care if she pissed some guy off?
It was her life’s work, in some ways.
After sitting and drinking for several hours, she’d gather her stuff, and walk to a coffee shop or
an all-night movie theater.
Sometimes she’d go home and get her pocket-size Bible, bring it with her and during especially boring moments, turn to the Psalms or the Book of Daniel, chapter 6, which opens with the tribulation days, when the anti-Christ comes on the scene riding a red horse, and ask the nearest stranger, “Have you had your own private rapture yet?”
Most people would squint hard, shake their aching heads, and mutter something over their breath like, “what a tormented soul.”
She’d smirk at them, sometimes show a toothy little grin, and close the Bible, walk to the nearest payphone, and dial her latest lover; usually a guy without disposable income, often on disability from some accident on the job or while serving their country.
“Yo,” they’d say.
“What’s goin’ on?” she’d say.
“I dunno – just lookin’ for a little good news…”
“Good luck,” they’d say.
“Sounds like it…”
“Little wine’s good for the heart…”
Usually a long pause here, followed by a silence known only to lonely women and fallen idols.
“I’ll be home in a few minutes…” she’d say.
“Take your time…”
“Did you feed Roscoe?”
“Half a can of Alpo, half a scoop of the dried food?”
Small pause here.
“I’ll talk to you later…”
She’d hang up, go back to the sparsely-populated bar somewhere uptown, waiting for the next
guy with Budweiser and beer nuts on his breath to buy her a drink and say, “Doesn’t the rain make you blue…?”