by LJ Frank
New York City. The Guggenheim Museum. Saturday Afternoon. We were to meet at 3pm. I was her blind date arranged through a friend of a friend. I had seen her picture on the side of a bus years ago. She had seen mine in the Columbia Daily Spectator among other places.
As I was gazing at an abstract painting I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked over to see a woman with long black hair, black eyes, dressed in blue jeans, black boots, a black t shirt and charcoal grey sweater coat. She looked like an artist. In turn, she sized me up and down and merely smiled. I guess I passed the initial test. I was wearing almost the same kind of clothes she was wearing. I’m unsure how coincidence works.
“Hello,” She said with a mysterious grin spread across her lips.
“Hello,“ I smiled.
“Listen, I don’t want this to entail endless rituals.”
“Oh? What did you have in mind?”
“I’m here to abduct you.”
“You mean like kidnap?”
“Not in this instance. Abduct for my purposes means to lead you away from one place to another place. Whereas, kidnap would mean to steal you and would also imply me holding you for ransom. But since having checked your background…well, I‘m in better financial shape than you.”
“Think of yourself as a gift.”
“Me, a gift?”
“Don’t you think you’re worth it?”
“Though I rather not take you back to my place.”
“You have a roommate?”
“Almost the same. I have a new digital oven and refrigerator and they have miniature cameras and recording devices. They know what I eat, drink and who I sleep with. They judge me when I’m eating what’s considered as the wrong food. A light goes on and a voice is heard clearing their throat.”
“Well, that’s rude. Guess it’s all part of the Age of Surveillance.”
“I know. And to be honest I don’t want my appliances judging my sex life and what my needs are simply by my grunts and groans and then reporting back to the manufacturer about me or the police if they hear a scream. All that information also gets back to some corporate lobbyist who influences politicians.”
“Hmm. I have old appliances,” I said in my defense.
“Perhaps I could abduct you and take you to your place. I mean I don’t even trust hotels anymore for privacy.”
“Why did you want to meet here with cameras all over the place?”
“It’s public…or kind of public. And there’s something else.”
“There’s a time and place for everything. I wanted to meet here knowing full well there are cameras and it wouldn’t seem unusual considering my work.”
“I’m a corporate agent. We infiltrate non-for-profit institutions to get copies of their donor lists.”
“Isn’t it though?”
“Still…why me in particular?”
“You have something that’s specific to what I personally want and in return….” She then whispered in my ear.