i was all set up to leave.
i sat square in the center of the large open-air classroom mini-half-auditorium. the classroom cubicles were just starting to get tech-friendly, so there were sockets for your headphones but no holes for your laptops yet. the large double door to the right of me was barricaded, the one to the left was open, i turned my attention from the lecture to the white sky outside, above to the clouds, i was about to...but i needed a push.
Riplaise provided that push, her hand touched my left shoulder unexpectedly. i turned my head to greet her, and i looked into her face. nothing would have happened if it was my right shoulder, but it was my left. my smile came later, at first all i saw was her soft face. she looked exactly like my mother, a younger version of my mother, except with tan skin and longer hair. and her eyes still glowed. that was all that was needed, the slightest of touches from her on my body sparked me, directed me to my escape from the boring and the college. before the dual acknowledement of each other, Riplaise mentioned under her breath something about taking the girls with her skiing, and we were off.
Hans Footcher was a professor. a professor of something, English, Rhetoric, Philosophy, one of those useless degrees. Hans didn't have to worry about a job, he was locked up in the ivory tower with a 30-year tenure, it was the students who took his class who would be on the streets in four years. Footcher was a skinny Chris Farley. he was funny like Chris Farley, he thought so. he would relate to his young students by bringing up buzzwords he'd glean off MTV.com quickly before class, he would never read the full articles, just a quick scan to ensure he'd be armed, he would sprinkle his boring lectures with some pop-culture flavor in order to be cool. as long as he got "Gaga" and "YOLO" in there, he'd done his job. sometimes he wore the gray vest instead of the brown, just 'cause. his one claim to fame was when he was a little boy, he was an extra in the "group scene" of The Neverending Story film, and he made sure each new batch of students knew it by the end of the first lecture of the semester.
"remember that horse? that horse scene?" he asked the class.
"Artax," an astute student answered. maybe not so much astute as filled to the brim with pop-culture knowledge thanks to tv and trivial pursuit.
"that was so sad, wasn't it? that was so sad i cry tears even now." and then Hans cried, he really cried, not fake stage-crying, those were real, big, salty tears coming down his gaunt face. "it's like i'm seeing this for the first time." for Hans, today was yesterday, there was only his glory days of his youth when he was famous, the present sucked.
"hey, remember, um, who was the main star of that film, the boy?" Hans continued.
"Bastian," the collective chant in response.
"yes, yes, Bastian!" said Hans as if this was the first time he had heard the name, "isn't that the best name? it's so different, so magical, fits right into the grandeur of the film. i hear the actor gave up acting or something after that and is now a college professor in a tucked-away unknown university. hehe, i know the feeling..."
he thought that one would land, but the students just sat there with their ever-blank looks. some were even looking down.
"and the other boy, y'know, the one Bastian finds in the magical world and helps out? i can't quite put my finger..."
"it's a band," a smartass volunteered. probably the same dude with all the pop-culture knowledge.
"ha ha!" Hans laughed heartily. the class laughed, too. both for different reasons. poor Hans, he always seemed to be hiding a downtrodden secret, his life didn't turn out the way he had imagined it, especially after that fast start with being in the movie, it always seemed a large weight was on his shoulder. i sincerely hoped that laugh was genuine, he needed an actual physiological release, it would do his small frail body good.
"hey, remember the Childlike Empress?" a student decided to take the reigns of this frivolous conversation. hey, it was better than a lecture. "she was my first crush."
"i wanted to be her when i was little," a female student chimed in enthusiastically.
"oh yes, oh yes, the Childlike Empress." Hans made sure to butt in, no measly student would supplant the king, the one everyone had to pay attention to, it was his class, he talked, they listened, he was the only one on stage every MWF, the spotlight was on him, the students were but the darkened audience, "yes, i remember her, in beween takes, while the film crew were getting ready to take the next shot, she and i would hold hands. i was an extra in the group scene, y'know, that shot in the movie, remember? where there's a lot of people and the Empress, i was there in the crowd, i was one of her loyal subjects, so i was near her the whole time that was filmed, and we held hands, it was all so very cute and precious."
my eyes laser-focused outside, i had left the words of Hans and traveled on top of that huge fluffy cloud in the sky. i lightly held Riplaise's hand, guiding her onto the cloud with me.
"this is cool, huh?" i asked.
"yes. not everyday that you are able to see the wild blue yonder from a cloud."
"do you want to have sex up here?"
"no. i mean, not yet, we women like a bit of talk first."
"oh yeah, forgot." i had no earthly clue what to talk about. then i snapped my fingers. "oh yeah, the ski trip. so that ski trip's gonna be fucking cool for you guys, huh?"
i didn't hear her response, for that flowing of the conversation made the cloud start to flow, and soon the two of us were flying gently on a ski lift, just the two of us in a wooden-planked carriage traveling slowly up up up the mountain. before we left, i turned back one last time at the lecture hall i was distancing myself from.
Hans was at the doorframe, leaning up against it, arms folded. he then looked up at me, not Riplaise, me, and formed a gun shape with his fingers. "SHOOT!" he mouthed. i'm sure he really said it, even yelled it, but i was so far away it came off as him mouthing it, silently saying it, the tv volume knob was turned all the way down. you'd expect it to be "BANG!", not SHOOT!, but it was SHOOT!. that was Hans.
probably ominous, i thought, but i was too horny at the moment to care, too fixated on fucking this beautiful, gorgeous, college student who looked like...well, anyway, she was hot and she loved to ski, she looked so cute in her snow-bunny outfit with the hat with the poof at the top and the mittens and everything.
i was comfortable with her now, she we talked like i'd talk to a confidante of five years:
"one time, when i was at the campus bus station waiting to go home after class, i was so bored i imagined myself on top of a cloud. in that privacy, i ate a gorgeous double-cheeseburger at the same time i was cumming into a gorgeous blonde's mouth after her blowjob of my penis. it was like the ultimate combination all-time manly-man moment or something."
"that's disgusting," Riplaise replied.
"that's male," i countered solemnly. "male i'm afraid. whoa, i just realized, i began that story talking about the imagining of me on a cloud, and we're already on this thought cloud and this dreamspace ski lift, so that's like a double stream of consciousness there."
"it's like a Lost flashback," Riplaise surmised.
"or a Lost flashforward, it's hard to keep track of time. it's Inception!" i laughed.
it was strange that we used those references, for that tv show and that film hadn't come out yet.
i was all ready for sex. i had prepared mightily. in my schoolbag were a copy of James Joyce, some Proust, and a bottle of Crisco vegetable oil. i kept the Crisco in the back pocket of the satchel so no one could spot it and ask questions. i learned form a movie that anal was the most exciting sex, and that everything had to be nice and lubricated for it to work out. don't remember if it was a dirty scene in an otherwise fine, noble movie or just a dirty movie.
Riplaise and i started fucking. it was everything i could have imagined, i was imagining this. i was a stud at it even with this being my first time, and her grunts were all pleasurable, none were painful for her, that was good, i learned about that, too, always make the woman comfortable, make sure she's having a good time as i ram my rod back and forth into her butt and toss her around like a rag doll. all stuff learned from the movie, i had no independent sex skills of my own. thrusting hard and soft, alternating...and oh yeah, making sure to fondle her breasts while fucking her from behind, that's a must, checked that off the list, holding onto her bouncing tits as the back-and-forth went up-and-down, all of this on top of the moving chair lift.
i was about to cum, it was time. i pulled my penis out waiting to coat her back, but it wasn't semen, it was clouds and ice and wind and snow...
...i turned around at the sound of a sharp noise, i turned my head back towards the rest of the chair lifts coming up on the line with us. four chairs down, sitting there in the middle all alone, was Hans.
his face was like stone. he wasn't stoned, his face was like stone. his mouth was expressionless, he stared intently at me, i could see the whites of his eyes even from that distance and even through white snow flurries, he laser-focused straight on me, on us. i forgot about the angle that he was a pervert for looking at a young couple fucking---something i'm sure passed him by long ago and he was jealous---i was more concerned about the danger aspect, the creep aspect, that he was gonna murder us, he would finally play another role, but this was real life, he would star as the classic wronged villain getting his revenge. after a few minutes of indecision, Hans lifted his finger gun again, pointed it at me, and
the bullet just missed my penis and nicked the top of the chair-lift. it just went over Riplaise's butt, centimeters from grazing it.
that was my cue, i'd seen the movie, i knew what this was.
"quick, Riplaise, we have to flee. violence and sex have officially been combined! time for the chase scene!"
i realized pretty quickly that our only viable means of escape would be to drop down from the lift and continue from there, but it was high up.
"we have to jump, Riplaise, it's the only way. do you trust me?"
i jumped, Riplaise didn't. as i fell to my death?, skis formed where my feet used to be. i landed with a snowy thud, but i survived, and i could ski to safety now! Riplaise joined me later, she grew skis on her feet, too.
"ready? let's go!" she and i raced on our new body-skis down an incline until we reached the bottom of a basin. i had never skied before, but i was good enough to carve a quick turn just before hitting the lodge. i sprayed up a mound of snow like you see in movies. really cool.
"let's hide in here. let's just stay at this lodge until Hans blows over. he doesn't know we're here, we'll lose him soon enough."
we entered the lodge and crouched ourselves down away from view at the back of the front counter. the pimply-faced teenage boy who was manning the counter played along and crouched down with the two of us.
no talk, just crouch and hide
ten minutes in, i darted my eyes to the boy to see if he was okay. he took off his mask. he took off his mask? rubber mask, the boy was Hans the whole time! Hans quickly forcibly grabbed my wrist and was about to say something or do something when i punched him in the nose, grabbed Riplaise's hand and bolted out of there like a bull.
"wait," implored Hans, "i have a message for you..."
"we have to climb this mountain," i calculated as the two of us were out-of-breath at the foot of a mountain we raced to, the mountain we had to climb.
we climbed the mountain and made it to the top. we were both so exhausted, we had never experienced such exhaustion, the sex we had didn't come close. Hans followed us on the mountain the whole way, he was always two steps behind because he had to ask for directions first.
Hans finally made it up with us. his face was bloody and his eyes were sunken, not from anything i did to him, he had cut himself shaving this morning.
"what's your deal?" i had to ask Hans. we were still both breathing hard, but we managed a few coherent words, "are you here to kill me? to kill us?"
"no, no," panted Hans, "i'm here to simply pass on a message i received..."
suddenly i felt cornered, trapped, paranoid. i felt i couldn't trust anyone anymore, not even Riplaise, it was suddenly TWO AGAINST ONE, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK. my frantic mind raced, swimming in possibilities, in all those film endings where there's a traitorous betrayal.
"yeah, right," i interrupted, "i know how this movie ends, i wrote this movie after all, this is my head! your name is Footcher. clearly, you are my future self, you are how i end up, a person who peaked too soon in childhood and was never able to live up to the adult everyone expected." i turned to my snow bunny."Riplaise? Riplaise? yeah, well, obviously you're the replacement for my mom, you look like her and everything...so, yeah, i guess i just fucked my mom..."
"that's disgusting," Riplaise and Hans said in unison.
"no, in the Freudian sense."
"oh." each nodded their head.
"no, your mom isn't fucked, Phoenix," Hans smiled for the first time, "Phoenix, my boy, your mother made it out of surgery, she's going to be okay."
Riplaise smiled softly, too.
i looked at my feet. yellow roses were sprouting up in a particularly hard patch of icy dirt.
my mind wandered
wandered back to the class and the lecture and the lecture hall and Hans spouting away about his glorious past life. for the first time, i fixated on him and paid attention to the words coming out of his mouth, i was attuned to the lecture, i was listening.
Hans took a breath, a pause, looked out to me in the center of the classroom, his audience, and exclaimed:
"it's all a neverending adventure."
then, he pointed his finger gun at me: