A Tale of Two Elas – Ela 6JINH2098

There’s a thing in fiction or storytelling.  The call to action.  You’re just fishing with your brother and then Jesus walks by and says “mount up assholes it’s time to ride”.  Or you’re just sitting in your Hobbit-hole getting super duper high and Gandalf shows up and says “it’s go time mother fucker”.  And so forth. 

It’s not super important why the hero goes on the adventure, for the story to happen they have to go.  I had a friend (no really I did!) whose boyfriend cheated on her and she hated her job and this and that and the other things about her life that she didn’t like.  She decided she wanted to blow up her life, have a little excitement.  She got involved with one of a charity outfit of some kind working in one of the machete countries. 

I wouldn’t say it out loud of course because you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead (for some reason) but I always thought to myself that her motivation was the worst one you could come up with for risking your life.  You were bored?  Seriously?  Talk about entitlement. 

And yet here we are.  I drove halfway across the country and a complete stranger shows me a portal to another dimension, which is accessed by a roller-coaster for some reason, and she wants me to check it out.  My response, the only reasonable response to this, should be “hell no!” and/or “no way! Are you crazy?!”   Another dimension?  What are we even talking about? 

But I didn’t do that.  Instead I said “sure”.  And I really honestly truly I have no strong reason why I said that other than that I don’t have anything that I care about waiting for me at home.  My life is fine.  I work.  I make good money.  I get to sing.  I have sort of friends that I hang out with from time to time.  I go on dates once in a while.  I thank things.  Nothing that sticks though.  You know what I mean? 

I have nothing to worry about but sometimes I lay awake at night and I worry, have I lived a moment of my life for me?  Is my life living me?  In the dark hours of the night I wonder, what is it all for?  You’re born, you life, you die.  And for what?  What does any of it mean? 

So I said yes.  Talk about entitlement. 

I asked Martialla a million questions that she had no answers to.  The first time she went through she just went to the end of the cave and then back.  The second time she came back with supplies and that’s when she saw and killed an orc and found that they had gold on them.  The third time she just camped out and waited for more orcs to get more gold.  The fourth time was with me.  Her expertise amounted to a total of fifty-seven minutes more than me. 

When I asked her why she didn’t go more often her response freaked me out “I was too scared.”

I guess I built her up too much in my mind.  Of course she was scared.  Why wouldn’t she be?  She’s just a flesh and blood woman like me.  Well not like me exactly, but you know what I mean.  She’s not . . . uh . . . I’m having trouble thinking of a badass female action hero.  Wonder Woman?  That doesn’t sound quite right.  Choose your own female action star, Martialla is not her, she’s just a woman.

I also asked her why she didn’t get some of her Navy Seal buddies to go with her instead of a commercial jingle singer.  She said that she didn’t know any Seals and she didn’t really have any “buddies” from her time in the service.  And she explained that even if she did she have those kind of friends she wouldn’t have trusted them with this.

“Can you think of one dude you know who wouldn’t stab you in the back over what is almost literally a free gold mine?”

“Absolutely” was my response. 

She gave me the “really?” eyebrow and thinking about it more I see what she means.  You find some alpha male NRA types to help you with this kind of operation and what are the chances that they don’t take over the whole thing?  If you’re lucky they don’t slit your throat when they do it.  That’s the best case scenario, that they don’t kill you when they steal your dimensional roller coaster.

I went back home for a couple of months to finish up a couple jobs and cancel a few more jobs I had scheduled, not to mention getting vaccinated for hepatitis, typhus, meningosomthingorother, yellow fever, rabies, encephalitis, measles, and a bunch of other crap we don’t have in the states.  They probably have a whole other set of diseases over there but why not right?

Martialla suggested that I take shooting lessons, I told her that I already know how to shoot.  She was surprised by that.  

“I’m from Missouri” I told her. 

Missouri lacks all foundational gun violence prevention laws and has a high rate of gun violence in case you were wondering what that means.  Still, I hadn’t actually fired a shot since college or shortly thereafter so I did join a gun club to brush up on the basics.  

And now I’m back in New Jersey sitting in Martialla’s trailer outside of an old theme park that I now own, eating frozen pizza and chatting about how tomorrow we’re going to go to another dimensions and just sort of roam around and see what’s up. 

So that’s something.

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