Dee Dee watched the digital numbers scroll on the gas pump and gingerly lessened the pressure on finger trigger of the nozzle. “Twenty-two and nineteen… Twenty-two and twenty… Twenty-two and twenty-one… Twenty-two dollars and twenty-two cents exactly!” she exclaimed as she returned the pump to its cradle and waited for her receipt to print. It was going to be a good day.
Born Diana Marie Duo, Dee Dee had developed a fondness for the number ‘2’ in her pre-teen years which had grown each year until now, in her thirties, she was almost incapacitated by the need to do things in twos, be surrounded by twos or have the number somehow involved in her environment. This, of course, made her life quite ‘interesting’ and everyday tasks were somewhat more time consuming. For instance, if Dee Dee wanted to go to the grocery she would need to go twice- that or buy two of everything, which wasn’t very cost effective. Even if she went just to pick out a dessert from the bakery and came out empty-handed, she would go back in and repeat the visit. If Dee Dee wanted a donut, she would order two; her favorite phrase was “Give me your two cents” and she insisted on pronouncing ‘tomato’ as ‘two-mato’.
Several days before her thirty-fourth birthday, Dee Dee decided to grab a bite at her favorite Cajun restaurant ‘TuTus’ before heading home to prepare for the two parties she’d be throwing herself the following weekend. Since she ate at Tutu’s last night, ordering the chicken gumbo, she knew they would be expecting her again tonight and most likely have her favorite table waiting for her, as it was her normal routine to dine in the same establishment two nights in a row- for reasons already explained. Arriving at the restaurant, Dee Dee didn’t initially notice anything amiss until walking up to the double doors and finding them locked. “What the-?” she thought as she tried the doors a second time. Again, they would not budge.
That’s when she saw it- pasted haphazardly to the glass in the left door was a hand-written sign: “After twenty years in business we have had to close our doors. Thank you to all of our loyal customers, we will always cherish your patronage. ~The TuTus family.”
“No, no… this cannot be happening…” Dee Dee felt like her world had been spun off its atlas. What was she going to do? She needed to have her second dinner, just like the first, or everything would come crumbling down around her- she was sure of it. She felt her face go hot and tears began to stream down her face. Without knowing it, or caring, Dee Dee slumped to the ground and began to rock… and moan. She felt out-of-control, desperate and unable to function. What sacred her most was the realization that she had dissolved into such a two-dependent state without really knowing how bad it had gotten. Now that she was at the bottom, she didn’t know if she could scrape herself off the ground and go on.
“Lady, what’s wrong with you?” a tiny voice said a few feet from where Dee Dee lay prostrate on the concrete in front of what had been TuTus. Looking up, Dee Dee saw a very small child- probably no more than two, looking down at her with an expression somewhere between amusement and confusion.
Dee Dee prepared to answer the little guy, who seemed to have some sort of frosting smeared on his mouth when she realized- she didn’t have an answer that wouldn’t make her sound like a complete Looney Tune. Instead she asked, “How old are you?”
Grinning broadly, the child held out two grubby little fingers which also had received a healthy dousing of icing and answered proudly, “I’m two years old!”
“Maybe it’s a sign…” Dee Dee said to herself out loud, “…maybe this child has been sent to me to snap me out of this obsession before it’s too late…”
“Ha ha, lady you’re crazy. Want my cupcake?” the little boy ran over to where Dee Dee was still lying on the ground and before waiting for an answer set his half-eaten cupcake on her stomach and ran off towards the woman who Dee Dee could only assume was his mother.
Closing her eyes, Dee Dee thought to herself, “If this cupcake has anything to do with the number two, if it’s double chocolate or vanilla with vanilla frosting or anything like that, I’ll know that all this hasn’t been for nothing and I should continue living my life by ‘twos’”. Peeking open her eyes, Dee Dee lifted her head and peering down at the abandoned cupcake, she picked it up with her right hand as she used her left to push into a sitting position. Well, it wasn’t double chocolate or vanilla… deciding she’d better be sure, Dee Dee peeled down the part of the moist paper wrapper that was still intact and took a large bite. Just what she thought- red velvet. No twos about that…
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Ok, so this story has taken me two days to write (I swear)… as you may have read in the last post, I fell asleep before finishing this one last night and my clever boyfriend thought he’d “help” by ‘guest writing’ for me. Yesterday and today, the number 2 seemed to following me around, for example yesterday we went into Publix twice to get a dessert, both times leaving empty handed. Then there was dinner, perhaps for the first time (that I can remember anyway) I ate at the same place two times in a row and ordered the exact same thing both times- it was that good. Abita Purple Haze and Shrimp and andouille cheddar grits at Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen. Holy cow, I honestly think it’s my new favorite thing to eat.
TWO: I have a rather large red velvet cupcake waiting for me in the fridge- a treat I’m allowing myself only after I’ve finished writing, so…. Goodnight!
Love & Squirrels.