Vacation Interruptous

Not panicked Max finds the interurban trolley in Portland, Oregon that bears his name M.A.X. (but to his dismay stands for Metropolitan Area Express) has been hijacked by those fiends of Anarchy, his arch enemy.  Why?

MAX light rail with Pioneer Place (1991) by SJ Morgan
M.A.X Train

Max is enjoying vacation time in the Pacific Northwest with companion and fellow agent Alvida when Chief called, “Max I’ve got some bad news your country needs you ANARCHY has confiscated the blueprint for a battery that never has to be recharged.”

Max feeling the urgency, ” Hold on a second chief the bad news is my country needs me then let me guess that the good news is plans have been stolen.”

Chief becomes confused and irritated always keeping bi-carbonated soda handy when talking to Max, “What, wait, no.  Your country needs you as ANARCHY intends to tinker with the battery layout.  Do you know shat that means, eh?”

Max, distracted by agent Alivada’s blonde hair and blue eyes begs Chief’s pardon, “Sorry Chief something got in my eye, what were you saying.”

Chugging eight ounces of bicarbonate and water Chief pauses then repeats, “Those fiends at ANARCHY have stolen plans for the ‘Never loose charge battery or Nevooseargeery for short. Max this means they can build, install them in vehicles of combat or, whatever.  The country that possesses those plans could go on and on and on forever crushing all that stand in their way!”

Max, with eyes fixated on agent Alvida, “So that is why they hijacked M.A.X.”

Chief again confused eyeing the bicarbonate, “What are you talking about Max?”

“Sorry Chief M.A.X. stands for Metropolitan Area Express.”

Running a hand through his thinning hair Chief’s voice crackles, “You do?”

“The city of Portland has a system of modern interurbans called, coincidentally, MAX and ANARCHY hijacked one,” explains Max.

Chief, head of Madness Management the government agency Max draws a paycheck minus SSI and medical benefits, “Stop them Max!”  

“Right chief!  Ah Chief?”

“Yes Max?”

Stop the Metropolitan Area Express or the bad guys?”

“Mmmaaaxxx,” Chief bellows whilst mixing more bicarbonate soda and water

“I’m on it chief!”

Across the table from Max Alivda takes a bit of the Cedar Plank Salmon, her eyes roll in delight, the warmth of the sun on her skin accents the flavor as if salt and pepper.

Suddenly, “Come on Alvida our country needs us.  Into the Undercover Car we must stop Anarchy.”

max's car
The Undercover Car

Saddness fills Alvida’s eyes as she is yanked from her Cedar Plank Salmon and the romantic setting on the Willamette River and thrust into the Undercover Car to give chase to the M.A.X. train agents of Anarchy now have under control.

Anarchy seized the train at Union Station, Max caught up with them at SW Pine and SW Oak in downtown Portland, and, at a rip roaring speed of 15mph, gives chase.  A side window glass shatters as Anarchy agents fire at Max, Max returns fire; oddly, pedestrians along the route don’t duck for cover instead they stop and in a technology salute arms extend and cell phones record the passing action as bullets whizz pass them smashing into red brick buildings behind.  Alvida is more concerned with the cameras.  Rolling down the window she purses her lips blowing kisses and showing cleavage.

The Undercover Car is gaining Max taps the breaks as people crowd into the street, M.A.X. gets ahead then the Undercover Car, the Undercover Car, then M.A.X., then just as the train and the Undercover Car pass Pioneer Square Max turns hard left in front of the train and braces for impact.

The train halts centimeters away from the Undercover Car. Turning to Alvida, “Whew that was close,”   She heard nor saw Max as the cameras where still rolling more now than when the chase began.  Now the agents of Madness Management that Chief called in swarm over the train secure the Nevooseargeery plans and once again save the world from Anarchy.

A Cherub takes aim

Alejandro, 5’11,’naturally curly, sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, fair complexion is a bookkeeper at Slings and Arrows accounting agency (their motto:  does your company suffer from outrageous misfortune of bad books?) and on this cloudless, warm afternoon is heading back from a meeting with a project manager on the first floor to his cubicle on the third floor.  Nikki, five foot ten inches, shapely figure, hazel-green eyes, and long strawberry blonde hair tied in a ponytail, works for the same agency as an accountant on the first floor on her way to the third floor for a new assignment.

Waiting for the elevator light reflecting from the doors grabs Alejandro attention; off on an ocean breeze seagulls sing, crashing waves, sea air, and the setting sun into the Pacific highlight a stroll along the Ventura pier with friends, body surfing buddies ride challenging waves, biking the Ojai-Ventura bike path on Sunday afternoons.  Ding, doors whoooosh open; so spellbound is Alejandro Nikki’s presences goes undetected, her motion into the elevator pulls him into present time and into the elevator.

Flashing a dazzling smile Nikki asks, “Off somewhere special?”

“Hello, yes I was,” Alejandro continues hands emphasizing, “ with friends on the Ventura Pier not a cloud in the sky, flags fluttering as a warm, evening breeze blows across the pier at sunset the sky all orangey with splashes of purple.”  Peace. “Oh I’m sorry, what floor?”

“Wow quite the vision, ah third please.”

“We’re both going to the same floor.”  Without a prompt Alejandro continues, “Mr. Bunt is pushing hard to complete Jaffe’s Camera and Video’s books by the weekend.  The bookkeeper kept horrible records.”

The doors whisper shut not a word, not a glance.  Ding, third floor!

Nikki smiles, “Good luck,” then walks off down the hall.

Nikki’s long, shapely legs disappearing into a skirt and that ponytail of strawberry blonde hair capture Alejandro’s interest.  Something stirred something he hasn’t felt since…

Two years prior Alejandro declared independence from drinking and the party scene, “I am tired of being tired.” Thus the journey to sobriety and freedom from drinking’s pitfalls and, unexpectedly, from a relationship with one Karen F who had not a drop of temperance in her.  Outside the sun shone one winter day, through breath’s condensation, a hug and best wishes for the future stamped the end.

Alejandro poured new found energy into work, Karen F and drunken revelry behind him even affection towards another until a propitious encounter with a ponytail and attractive legs.  For you see love can blindside, when you least expect it your elected; an endless video of the elevator scene replays in Alejandro’s mind, love has a foothold.  The affection grows Alejandro, a romantic, shies from tradition instead of stepping up and asking Nikki out he is covert placing long stem roses, red, and a card on the windshield of Nikki’s car; one at a time over several evenings.

Cupid takes aim.

Inhaling the sweet fragrance of the rose Nikki studies the card, “Hhhmmm it just says Hello” an eyebrow raises, her mind’s hard-drive warms up, ”The two L’s form a giant U I know this handwriting.” Shuffling through various spreadsheets on her desk, comparing “A-ha,” Nikki’s hand comes down hard startling Debra in the adjacent cubicle, “Alejandro,” she whispers flashing a perfect row of enamels, hazel-green eyes twinkle.

Cupid’s arrow hits home.

“Ahem,” Nikki clears her throat.  Nothing she tries again, “Ahem.”  Alejandro looks up from sheets spread across the desk right into a pair of scintillating hazel-green eyes, a long stem rose and natural, full, red lips, “Did you leave something on my car?”

“Pardon me?”

Eyes lock, moments pass, processing.

Ground is broken love seeds are planted.  The first date Alejandro suggests a Humphrey Bogart triple feature To Have and Have Not, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Casablanca, Nikki a fan of the classics, “Yes I’d love to watch Bogie woo and then wane.”

Other nights they binge 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and a Nikki favorite, Animaniacs, fertile ground, love blooms.

Late April with the aroma of spring floating on air Nikki arrives at her desk and there atop the keyboard a card on the front in big red letters THE END IS NEAR framed with two red roses.  “What?”  Nikki looks closer and sees that after ‘THE END’ the words OF THE YEAR are printed in small type easily missed at first.  Relieved that all is not lost, yet, a flirtatious smile spreads whilst inhaling the sweet fragrance, inside “What are you doing for New Years?”

Nosy Debra noticed the smirk from one cubicle over, “Who’s the card from?”



previously:  Lofty Passion





A title did not come to mind

None but the brave enter.

None but the soul searching for independence enter.

None but the hearty, faithful, and patient enter.

None but the unswerving, mettlesome, insane, nutty, overbold, and, yes, even the impetuous enter.

The roads and freeways are clogged with these emboldened and encouraged souls entombed in air conditioning and swirling (depending on the time of year, that is) heat.