Chapter 1: Passing through
Many of the cows on the field knew what was going on. This was a common occurrence. Some got out of the way. Others mooed their disapproval. Mothers pushed their calves calmly, lovingly urging them to get to safer places. Some socially responsible cows mooed to the less experienced cows that a car was storming through the field in which they were currently grassing, and that it would be commendable if they would stay on their figurative toes. Their vocabulary was varied. They were mostly quadrupeds.
Johnny had never understood mooing, though. His 2005 Ford Focus had just smashed against the fence, sending pieces of wood flying in several directions. “Again”, Johnny thought as he struggled to regain control of the car. He had fallen asleep while cruising on the I-9 on his way to Andy’s house. By way of divine intervention, he had taken exit 23-A. Divine intervention was provided by his car. Andy was a woman.
He would not get to Andy’s house that evening. “And that’s probably for the best”, Johnny said to himself, in a flash of rationality. “We agree”, the telepathic cows transmitted at once. They had known Johnny since the first time he had crashed against their fence in one of his late night drives to Andrea’s house.
Some of the cows were mind readers. They knew Johnny liked drinking J&B whisky as he drank beer, before he moved on to vodka. They also knew that wasn’t his fault. They understood that the limits of his humanity were slowly ganging up on him. He thought too much. Alcohol made him think less. At least he was not doing cocaine.
Johnny frequently thought about this. Alcohol and cocaine. He thought about pills and painkillers and how medicine was supposed to work. He thought we were all just a step up from witch doctors. He tried to contain millennia in his mind, one year at a time. He thought trees and birds and fish and cans of olives. When he blew his nose, he waited until someone else got up so he could get up and throw it away. He wanted to look inconspicuous. He thought about british spelling and children’s toys.
There was a tree in the way and a certain cow made sure Johnny missed it. Some of the cows were telekinetics. The first time he was about to hit that tree, Johnny had sobered fast. Grabbed the wheel. Turned it. It was a beautiful half second. The wheel moved on its own beneath his hands. He attributed this to adrenaline. Now, he knew he would never hit anything in that field. Not the tree, not the cows, and definitely not the barn. The fence would magically reconstruct itself every time he crashed against it. Trees stepped out of the way. Sometimes, he floated. Often, he would go to sleep.
This was, of course, the cow´s doing.
Andy was pretty. Wonderfully pretty. This is what Johnny thought. She was universes and dropped snow cones. She owned a small house about a mile from the field. She drove a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta. She drank beer. Her hair was blonde and curled the way the sun’s rays are when it’s raining. Her eyes refracted light in light honey hues and held twenty five years of emotional baggage. She ate healthy.
“Kind-of healthy,” she would tell her friends.