Friday, November 6, 2009

Chapter Four: The Chronicles of Tulip Touzie

*Disclaimer: If you are just now beginning to follow this blog, scroll down and begin with Chapter 1 for your enjoyment.*


Meanwhile in the panhandle, Tulip had gotten in touch with some Mennonites in Spain via Craigslist. She saw their advertisement for a comfy efficiency in exchange for light home labor and emailed them immediately. She felt like the stars were in perfect alignment because when she searched for plane tickets, SimonAir had a ticket for only eight dollars plus taxes and fees. She had heard of these amazingly low priced airlines but had no idea that they existed in the United States! What fortune for Tulip that SimonAir departed from Tallahassee, Florida on a by-weekly basis. She could catch the next flight tomorrow afternoon if she packed quickly enough. Tulip figured that the Mennonites were probably just as excited as she was and would surely e-mail her back by tomorrow. If not, she’d just hit up an Internet cafĂ© in Santiago Del Sorio. Tulip figured it’d probably take like two days to get to Spain anyway. You know, because it’s really far away, and because of time differences and such. Surely three and a half days was sufficient time for the Mennonites to e-mail Tulip.

Tulip Touzie couldn’t speak a lick of Spanish so Freddie Hornito offered to give her a crash course the night before her big departure from the working world. Freddie was excited to have gained Tulip’s last evening in America, even if she was just using him for the Spanish. He collected several books from his childhood, a conversational Spanish cassette tape, and a few apples, and headed over to Burrito’s.

Tulip was in the kitchen cutting up corn tortillas when he arrived. Freddie Hornito walked in the door, took a good look at Tulip, and sighed, “Tulip. I’m seriously gonna’ miss walking into this kitchen and seein’ you here.”

“Freddie,” Tulip smiled, “I am seriously gonna’ miss frying up chimichongas with you.”

She walked slowly towards him and gave him a big bear hug. She loved hugging his big round belly. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. He smelled like Old Spice and freshly shampooed hair. He always smelled like that. Tulip imagined that this was probably what Dads smelled like, because of Old Spice’s combination of affordability and popularity. She thought Dad hugs probably felt a lot like Freddie’s too; big-solid bear hugs.

“You know, Freddie, you always smell exactly the same. There’s something comforting about that”.

“So what does that say about you, Tulip? I don’t think you’ve ever smelled the same twice. Whadduhya’ have? Like two hundred perfumes?”

Tulip lifted her arms towards the ceiling and looked up. “I think it says I am a woman of many dimensions…” she twirled in a circle and danced like a hippie at Burning Man. “I have many more smells to discover on my journey across the world, Freddie”.

Freddie’s look said with no words, are you fo’ reals?

“What are you wearing today, Tulip?”

Tulip sniffed her forearm, then her biceps, and then her armpit and replied, “Today I am wearing tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil. I find it’s the only scent that makes me smell clean after three days of not showering.” She laughed.

“If smelling the same everyday is comforting, Tulip, then I think we can go ahead and say that the opposite is true of the opposite”.

Tulip took a big rip from the apple core.
“Are you saying I make people uncomfortable Freddie?” She exhaled a huge puff of smoke in his face and laughed.Freddie fanned his face in an exaggerated movement, snatched the apple core, and air kicked Tulip in the crotch. Tulip feigned fatal pain and then picked up a taco shell and started to prepare a chicken taco.

“Hey Freddie- Shit! I mean, Meirda! I meant, Hola Eddie, quiero uno taco de pollo?” Tulip smirked with pride.

Freddie’s belly bounced as he chuckled, “Have you been studying without me? Shit Tulip, you’re full of surprises! Except for you botched that one up you know. You told me that you wanted a chicken taco. I assume that was an attempt to offer me one?”

“Is that what I said? Hmm.”
Tulip put the taco in a basket on the counter. She walked out of the kitchen and sat at a table. She reclined and kicked her feet up on the table. “Nope that sounds about right to me. Quiero una cerveza por favor. Retirement begins now, Freddie. I’m not gonna’ be making the any more food tonight. It’s all you old man.”

Freddie brought her the taco and a Corona.

Muchos gracias.” Tulip attempted an accent along with it this time.

“Nice accent Tulip but you sound like a damn gringo. I’ll put my tape on while I cook, maybe you’ll absorb some of it.”

Tulip remembered the time she incorrectly attempted to absorb information for her final exam in advanced costume history. She thought that if she slept with her head on her book, she would remember all of the information through the complicated brain process called osmosis. She slept on her advanced costume history book for three weeks; diligently turning the pages nightly so that she would have the entire book memorized by exam time. She couldn’t understand why the shit she didn’t recall one single answer on her practice exam. Except for “cod piece” a late fifteenth century flap that attached to men’s trousers to cover their nads. She recalled this one because of an autistic student named Anthony who yelled “crotch piece” every time her professor pointed one out. At least she got that one. Too bad modern pharmaceuticals had masked most verbal disabilities; she may have gotten a few more right. Tulip figured she’d play Freddie’s tape while she slept tonight, making it entirely unnecessary to actively listen now. Besides, she knew the god Osmosious quite well at this point. She’d ask him to do her a huge favor and cram that nonsense into her medium-sized brain overnight.

Tulip and Freddie agreed not to say good-bye. They were pretty stoned at this point and the permanence gave them anxiety. Instead they sadly said, “See you later”. And parted ways.

Freddie wondered if he’d ever see Tulip again. Logically speaking, no employee who moved out of Tallahassee had ever returned to Burrito’s, but then Freddie added a ‘yet’ to that thought and felt comforted in that possibility.

Tulip never considered the thought that she might never see Freddie again. She was a ‘big picture’ thinker and always considered the afterlife. She returned home to pack the last of her belongings, never once looking back.

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