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Winter 2001.

Beth, What Can I Do?

by Norman Kee

February 13th - I remember this girl in 8th grade, April, told me I was kind of dull after we went out a few times. She was pretty, we kissed, but then, like every time I called her house, she had to go. Then her sister would say she wasn't home. Anyway, one time, I waited outside of school until her student council meeting got done. I nearly fuckin' froze. So, I rushed up to her as she was walking to her Mom's car, because her Mom came to pick her up, you know? So I asked her why she didn't want to talk to me anymore? Was I a bad kisser? She said I wasn't that interesting. I asked her how I could get more interesting and stuff and she said 'keep a journal'. To this day, I have no idea what that means. Then she said, "Try writing in a diary. Do it just like you're talking to someone. It will help you think about new stuff." Well, I'm finally going to do that, because I'm just sick of being mad and angry at Beth. Last night, I went to the mall, I went to Spencer's and I got a diary. I also got a pack of dirty playing cards, but that's my business, not yours.

I wonder what April's up to these days. I gotta check that out.

February 14th - She's in the book! April Fairbanks! She's in the book. I called and left a message!

February 15th - April called me back and left a message. She said it was nice to hear from me, but I don't think she meant it. She said my restored Camaro sounded cool, but I don't think she meant that either. She did say she was surprised that I still lived at home. What the fuck does that mean?

February 16th - I found the address listed in the phonebook for April. It's an apartment complex. I waited there all night to see if I saw her. I figured I would follow her to her place and maybe she would just talk for a bit. I'd tell her all about the diary. I bet she wants to get back with me. I never saw her, but I think I dozed off for a couple of hours; I'm not sure.

February 17th - Nothing. I think I fell asleep again.

February 18th - Really, it's early the 19th. Tonight I drank some coffee and brought a thermos with me. Damn, I kept having to pee! I'm in the middle of like the third time I'm peeing I, and I hear something. Some chick says, "Heh, are you Tommy?". It was fuckin' April!! I think my car was a tip off; there are not too many hot electric blue 81 Camaros around. She was walkin' her dog. She invited me in, but it was probably a mistake. She kept talkin' about feelings, and how she needed to find herself, blah-blah-blah. She kept asking me if I knew who I really was. I said, "Yeah, I'm Tommy!" April used to be smart in school, but she sure seems dumb now. Plus, she got all her hair cut off. I can't believe I used to go out with her.

February 25th - I didn't write because I just kept going out with Tommy and Henry. It's a different Tommy, not me. Not like I'm a schizo, I mean it's a different guy. They kept saying, "Fuck Beth, she was no good. You gotta go out and get something new." They just don't get. They're not sensitive like me. All week long I just got drunk. Damn, that Beth makes me act like a moron! When she sees just how bad it is for me since she left, she's gonna feel real bad and take me back. I just gotta find her and tell her.

February 27th - Henry may not be sensitive, but he's pretty smart. He can fix almost anything. Like one time, we were out riding around and the drive shaft to his car got all fucked up, and he fixed it with an ace bandage! He's just like that McMiser Guy. He said the way to find Beth is through the internet, which is like all these computers hooked into one. First, I gotta get a computer though.

March 2nd - I got a computer! I went after work to the mall, to the computer store. I had money I was saving for new tires, you know those big wide ones. They grip good, but I'm not sure they're legal, you know, street legal. That's all right, I got a cousin who's a trooper. Anyway, I got to the mall and I tell this lady who is the sales. I don't know, person, that I need a computer that can let me log in to the World Wide Web so I can find somebody. She gave a fuckin' look like I can't believe. She's the one who should be getting a look! First of all, if this web is so wide it covers the whole world, it also has to be tall, right? It can't just be wide, otherwise, those countries north of here, like Canada, and England, couldn't get it. It needs to be tall too. So, she starts to ask me about spread sheets and tools!! That's like what I talk to Tommy (not me) and Henry about! That's not what you talk to a girl about. I think she was into me, but she looked kind of fucked-up. She had short hair and two earrings in each ear. I just got my computer and went home.

March 3rd - My computer doesn't work. I can't log on.

March 4th - That girl at the computer store, Joanne I think her name is, said I need an ISP. I said, "Yeah, yeah of course. I thought it came with one." I don't what an ISP is, but I felt too stupid to ask. I mean, she was kind of weird looking, but I don't want her to think I'm stupid. I wonder what Joanne's last name is. When I get the time, I'm gonna find out, and check her out. I think she is into me.

March 6th - I still haven't looked in to the ISP thing. I found out there's solitaire on this thing! It is so fucking cool - it has all the cards on it. I tried Free Cell, but I don't get it.

March 7th - I got a disc in the mail! I didn't know what to do with it, but Henry said that it would hook me up to the Internet! It did! Plus I get 70 free hours from AWOL. Like when I was in the Army!

March 8th - I went to something called Anyhow to try to find Beth. Henry said it would work. Do you know how many Beth's there are!!! A lot! Henry said try using her last name too, but still there's a lot of Beth Ward's.

March 13th - I called almost every Beth Ward, but nothing. She would call back, right? I mean, I never cheated on her or anything. The Internet sucks.

March 15th - Henry says that she might be listed as Elizabeth Ward, or E. Ward, or B. Ward. Isn't B Ward where they put the crazies? I'll have to check it out.

March 17th - There's way too many of those Elizabeth's, E's, & B's for me to call. Henry showed me how my computer can make postcards, and how to make all the addresses get typed automatically on the front. He seems real interested in finding Beth too. I'm not sure why.

March 18th - I went to Kinko's to get my postcards printed. They all say, "Are you the Beth that left me for no reason and made me do stupid things like sending this card. If so please call me." The guy at Kinko's just looked at me all fucked up. Maybe he was into me; he looked kind of gay. It cost a shit load to mail them. Goodbye tires.

March 22nd - No call so far. Well, I got one call from a Bill Ward. Says he's a drummer and famous. Yeah right. No Beth.

March 24th - I got a lot of the cards back in the mail. Return to Sender, whatever that means.

March 26th - Check it out!!!! I ran into April at the mall again! I asked her out, but she said no. I think she might not be into guys. Once again, she started talking about feelings and who I was and what I felt. I told her I felt like I was gonna explode if I didn't find Beth Ward. Guess the fuck what? SHE USED TO LIVE WITH BETH!!! She seemed real interested in finding Beth too, just like Henry. Man, I'm lucky to have two friends helping me, so I can get back together with Beth. April said she would call me.

March 27th - April called me and said their friend Terry said she saw Beth at some club called The Anvil and that Beth said she was moving to Springfield. Cool. How many Beth's in Springfield can there be?

March 28th - The computer says there's like 60 Springfield's in the US. Some states have two. How can that be - like you tell someone you live in Springfield, and they don't even know what you mean.

March 30th - I got another card back from some guy named Evan. He said he wanted to get together with me! He thinks Beth might be his cousin! We're going to meet at The Anvil - he knew the place!!

April 2nd - I didn't like The Anvil, or Evan. He kept wanting to dance. He don't know no Beth. A lot of guys asked me where I worked out - I might have some new spotting buddies!

April 5th - Those guys from The Anvil are cool! And can they lift! Thank god I met some normal guys to take my mind off of Beth. A couple of them invited me out with them, to someplace called Strokers. Sounds cool, they have wings specials on Tuesdays.

April 8th - The wings at Strokers suck. I don't know why all those guys from the gym hang out there.

April 9th - There's a Springfield in Massachusetts. It's not too far away from here. I bet that is where Beth moved. I gotta check it out.

April 11th - I am such an idiot. That girl makes me so fuckin' stupid. I drove out to Springfield, ready to go to stake out The Limiteds in the malls around there, or else just cruise the streets. I doubt she got a new car. Anyway, I got an early start, so I decide to go to the Basketball Hall of Fame while I'm there. So I go in, and it's all right, not great. Too much shit about Bob Cousy and nowhere near enough stuff about Pete Marivich. Who cares about that crew cutted play-maker Cousy from the 40's; Pistol Pete was the man! Plus Havlicek?! Who gives a rats ass about 'Hondo'? Must just be some Massachusetts thing. So I go to Arby's after the Hall, get a couple of those cheese steak-like things, which I SWEAR are horse meat but I gotta admit they are not half-bad. Maybe having two makes them all the way good, or maybe bad, you know, 'cause they're half-bad and there are two of them? So anyway, I eat, get in the car, and I'm still miffed about the way they just did not give Pete Marivich his proper respect. I mean, the fuckin' guy the fuckin' all time NCAA leading scorer! You got to go to college to get that! So I'm thinking and cursin' and next thing I realize, I am slowing down for the toll booth and about to go back into New York. I FORGOT TO GO TO THE FUCKIN' MALL! Anyway, it's kind of late and I'm starting to feel drowsy. I'll just go home and get a fresh start tomorrow.

April 12th - Again, that bitch makes me fuck up! When I get her back, and she sees how much she means to me, she's going to be sorry for all the shit she's done to me. Last night when I got home, I got to feeling so bad about how she fucked up my life, I started to drinkin'. I think I drank like 8 Jagermeisters and at least 3 Mai Tai's and a couple of Bailey's - I swear I got so shit-faced I forgot to count. You see what she does to me? I ended up sleeping to past fuckin' noon! It was just too late to drive out to Springfield, so I went to the mall and hassled some chick at The Limited Beth used to work at. While I was out there, I also picked up two packages of Hanes pocket tee's, one white and one light blue. On the way home I stopped and rented The Matrix again. It's good, but not as good as The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Next weekend, Beth doesn't know it yet, but I'm gonna get her back for sure.

April 16th - No time to go to Springfield. April sure is the busy season.

April 19th - I decided not to go to Springfield, because it's raining so hard. During a late spring storm, the Turnpike can be very treacherous, even in the rain. At least that's what Mom said. Instead go to a few 'chat rooms'. A couple of guys from the gym told me about them. I go and see if any one knows Beth Ward. No one does. I tell them they are lucky because she is a bitch and she makes me fuck up everything.

April 20th - These chat rooms are kind of cool, but they don't help me find Beth yet. I went to one, and it was all guys talking about guitars and drums and stuff. I figured, they might know Beth. I mean, a few of my old buddies who are in bands now said they would like to see Beth again if I found her, and they gave me their number. No one at the music place did.

April 21st - Another chat room, where they all seemed to be talking about fat guys and how they liked them. Seemed sick to me, but it reminded me of this time when I was in the Army when I was in San Francisco, which I liked a lot, not because I'm gay or anything, but there's all these hills and gets real foggy sometimes. So anyway, I'm in this restaurant, it was like, Chinese, but they were no Chinese people in there at all. Maybe like a Filipino, but that's it. So this guy comes in, and he's SO FUCKIN' FAT! He's not Chinese or nothing, but he's at least as fat as one of those sambo wrestlers or that guy Rich Limbaugh. So he sits down, get this, and he's so fat he breaks the fuckin' chair! He's trying to get, he's trying to get up, but he can't 'cause he's fat, you know? So while he's doing this, his shirt starts to like climb, so soon you can see this monster fuckin' belly; man that was a fat fuckin' guy. And I can see he's got this tattoo! Right on his stomach! It's like of some chick and she's dancing or playing handball or something, but you know it's hard to tell cause she's like all stretched out cause this guy is so fat! It was like when I had, what's that shit, Silly Putty, and I got the Sunday funnies and you press the Silly Putty on a picture and then you stretch it all out? Remember "Nancy"? I used to love to stretch out Sluggo's head until it was way too big for his body, so like he had a big fuckin' head, just all stubble and that cap. What was with that kid? He had stubble on his head and wore that hat but he was just a kid. I think he might have been a fag.

April 22nd - Do you see this? That fuckin' Beth makes me think like a retard! I'm talking about some fat guy and Sluggo and not making any sense. When she sees just how much bad she has done to me, she's gonna feel so fuckin' sorry.

NORMAN KEE is not really a stalker..