This is part three of what I'm anticipating to be a four part series comprised of a self-indulgent short story. I suggest you start from the beginning, and part one is here. Part two, if you are so inclined, can be found here.
Now, you might wonder how two halves of people can work together to drive a car and the answer is, frankly, they can’t. Lefty has never been through driver’s ed. So in order to get us places, I had to trade in my beloved stick shift in order to buy a used automatic. Now I survive by driving with only one had while Lefty does… well whatever he wants, really. Mostly, he tries and retries to pop his knuckles. Watching me drive makes him nervous.
If our by-weekly trips to the grocery store scared him that bad, I was not looking forward to what chasing a leg-thief was going to do to his nerves. Lefty’s arm was stuck out the window, looking to be simply enjoying the breeze, but his charade was revealed for what it was by a clicking of his nails on the car’s body. The nails themselves were getting too long, as it had been awhile since we had both had the open schedules to arrange a time to cut them. I bite mine to keep from bothering him too much.
Oh yes, the chase. You’re probably dying to hear about us weaving in and out of traffic at a high speed, barely beating trains, and maybe even jumping a ramp or two. Unfortunately for you, nothing so exciting happened during our tailing of what we hoped was the correct car. The red sedan had no vanity plate or bumper stickers, which would have made finding it even in the suburbs difficult, but thankfully for Lefty’s curiosity, the leg thief had gotten stuck trying to turn left on a major road. As we approached, the car made no effort to skid out in front of cars dangerously. He didn’t recognize the car behind him, which made my life a whole lot easier.
What didn’t make my life easier was Lefty’s incessant pointing, as if I couldn’t sit behind the sedan without his help. Even while we were still waiting for a break in the traffic, Lefty could hardly keep still. Finally the car pulled out onto the main street, and I followed behind. I mean, I didn’t jet out into traffic any more than he did. There was just naturally a hole in the stream of traffic, as sometimes happens. I’m not going to go into traffic-pattern analysis here, folks. Lefty was happy to be on the move, like a dog in a neighborhood it recognizes.
We trailed the car across a large section of the town, feeling very super-spy-ish. Finally the red sedan pulled into the parking lot of a large warehouse. I kept our car going straight, despite Lefty turning his shoulder in an effort to get me to turn and visually follow the thief we had been trailing this entire time. But I resisted, and pulled in to the very next parking lot. Unfortunately for my reputation, the sign next to the entrance read “Adults Only,” so I was going to have to make it pretty quick, lest I be seen. Then I realized I was one of two men living in the same body, and decided I had bigger problems with my reputation than being a regular customer of this particular shop.
Exiting my car, Lefty and I quickly realized we had very different feelings on how to proceed. He began walking at a hurried pace, in a rush to shove this mystery into the light. I, on the other hand, was more concerned about coming face-to-face with the type of person who would cut off someone’s legs.
Eventually, we compromised on a pace, although his leg was always taking bigger steps than mine. Walking over the small patch of grass that separated the warehouse’s parking lot, I began to have second thoughts.
“Maybe we should just head on back. This looks suspiciously like a machete factory,” I whispered to Lefty under my breath, “Like the kind of machetes made for leg chopping.”
“Fine. But if they cut off your leg, you can’t blame me.”
Swallowing hard, we walked across the lines painted on the concrete as confidently as two men can. We reached the stall where the red sedan was parked, now empty of all passengers, whether living person or estranged leg. Lefty twirled his hand, urging me to continue, and we walked on.
Arriving at the plain concrete wall of the factory, we walked alongside it until we found a door. I hesitated, but unfortunately for my cautiousness, my body had another resident. Lefty opened the metal door and stepped inside.
Read on, dawg.