Help Me, Rhonda

Jim thought he could find his way in a European city but he did not take into account the insane street plan that grew across the ages like a schizophrenic tumor, very few of the streets perpendicular and none of them parallel. He spent hours navigating the maze until he gave up and entered a cafe which was tucked away far from the routes frequented by tourists. He took a seat in the corner and ordered the local coffee specialty.

Returning to the hotel was his main fixation because he had a call to dial into. An early morning in his corporate headquarters was an evening in this holiday retreat and he still had two hours to get there. Nevertheless, it seemed very abstract in his current situation, in this dark cafe.

He found himself lost in thought looking at a painting on the wall in front of him. It was a girl in a white blouse and red skirt, dancing one of the hot dances of the place where he was vacationing. He imagined her come here, to this very cafe, late in the evening, to dance to the music of the local bohemians. He imagined her in love with one of them and several of them in love with her. He was sure she spent longer then necessary preparing to leave her home, eager to get there, yet desperate to make them wait. To make them desire her.

He tried to guess her name, but all that came to mind was Rhonda, which did not fit. The name brought his mind back home, to the land of gasoline, abundant in lawnmowers and bowl-a-ramas. He thought of the afternoon call again, so abstract and distant a second ago. He wanted to return to the reveries about the girl, but he could not, so he paid his bill and left in a hurry.

He was scared the girl’s name would be printed at the bottom of the frame and he would glance it by chance. He became jealous of the painter who made his love for the girl immortal.

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