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She Don't Mean Rhinestones by Elizabeth Walker

02/01/2006

We’re not like Bonnie and Clyde, but that’s mostly because we’re not gonna get ourselves shot. That and Jeff is cuter than Clyde anyway…
   That reminds me: “Don’t you think you need an edgier name than Jeff?” I say. I think I’m right. Stupid name; Jeff.
   “Nah, Jeff’s my name. My name is Jeff. Let’s not confuse the matter by calling me something else.” Makes sense, don’t ya think?
   “Okay, but can we call me Jazz now. I like the sound of it.”
   “Sure thing, Jazz. It’s all you.” Aww, Jeff. That Jeff sure is a sweetie. Couldn’t you just die?
   “And all that jazz…” I sing, but it doesn’t come out that good because I’m pouring malted milk balls into my mouth from the milk-carton type wax container, and I don’t bother stopping to give myself any mouth to sing with. Plus my feet are up on the car dashboard, (could that have something to do with it?) as I am about to paint my toenails purple. I mean, violet. No, defiantly purple.
   And did I mention that we just robbed a store? It was a cosmetics store. I mean, it still is a cosmetics store, it just has a lot less cosmetics inside now. See, that’s where the nail polish came from. It’s Anna Sui. This stupid, little paint costs something like twenty dollars a bottle but for me it was free free FREE. Unless, well, I pay for it in jail time but let’s not discuss that now…
   Now, Jeff and I are having sex. It’s pretty amazing. I mean, wow. Wow. If you were to drum a rhythm to it, I think it would sound something like this: Bang Bang Moan Sigh and a Squeak plus a Boom Boom Boom, Rattle. I ask Jeff if he thinks that’s what we sound like right now and he says, “No, no.” He says we sound like this: Shake Shake Moan Sigh Moan and a Bang Bang Bang BOOM. But longer. He’s probably right, cause Jeff is a really smart guy. And when Jeff is inside me, it’s like the whole world is inside me, like I’m bigger and greater and more beautiful than anything else and that’s exactly how I want to feel all the time. That’s exactly what any girl wants.
   Part of the reason its so, so good is that I still have my boots on. They’re my brown, leather cowboy boots and I just love ‘em ‘til death do us part. I make Jeff pretend he has some shoe-foot-fetish-thing as excuse for having ‘em on. Mostly I think it’s pretty funny. Plus they’re leather. Leather. I say leather all sexy like that, but in reality I’m allergic to leather. Ain’t that a bitch. Wearing these boots gives me a rash around my calves and I can’t really say there’s anything sexy about that. But, “At least I’m not allergic to diamonds!” as my sister used to say. And that gives me an idea.
   “Jeff! We should steal diamonds!”
   “Diamonds?”
   Jeff comes.
   Perfect, untraceable sparkling little diamonds all for me me me. Made out of carbon, just like us, but perfect. And mine. And perfect. There’s some song that goes, “I want a diamond/ I really do/ I think that you/ Should get me one…” and while I agree with it, it’s still pretty weird and I heard it on a college radio station and I don’t really like it.
   “Diamonds! Doll, you’re incredible. Of course you deserve diamonds.” You bet I do.
   Oh Jeff. “I love fucking you,” I sigh. “I fucking you love,” he sighs. And that’s exactly what makes us the most perfect couple in the whole entire buzzing planet…
   So, naturally, we hop back in the car, all full, with the insides washed over in a sea of cosmetics, slip slip sliding under the seats and gears and silly car things cars have. We’re in the car, cause now we’re gonna go find where the diamonds are and we’re gonna steal ‘em while they’re ripe for the taking. Which is now…
   I’m sorting through all the pretty makeup looking for glosses (Don’t worry – Jeff is driving). I want something that tastes like strawberries or wine or caviar or something I’ve never had. Of course, I’ve never had caviar, so that makes it a pretty good choice. Chanel probably makes it, or Fendi, if only Fendi made cosmetics, which they don’t. And thinking off all the those perfect little eggs twinking and winking and smiling and costing a fortune under the sea, reminds me of something else, and I make sure to tell Jeff right away.
   “And pearls too, Jeff. I want me a strand of loveliest pearls.”
   “I won’t forget your pearls, Jazz. Consider them yours.” That Jeff. Good swell Jeff. He’s gonna spoil me rotten, because that’s what love is. And maybe one of these days I’ll spoil him right back…
   We go to Tiffany’s, because that’s where the diamonds live. Audrey Hepburn told me so. Maybe while we’re there we can pick up one of those blue-green-bird’s-egg colored boxes, big enough to live in. That way the whole house can be the color of rich.
   The robbery starts with us walking into Tiffany & Co., carefree and smiling, through the spin spin revolving door. I want to go back around one more time, just for fun, but I remember that we’ve got work to do. This is our job now, so we had better be a little serious about matters, ya know? Jeff hangs out by the front, and I walk over, real lady like, to the nice old man behind the engagement rings.
   (This is why everybody loves Tiffany’s: they treat you like the queen you should be no matter what. Who knows – you could marry into money any moment. Anyone can win the lottery and they know that. They know – they’ve always been nice as pie to me.)
   So I walk up, still smiling this cute little shepherdess smile, and that nice old man says to me, “May I assist you?”
   “Why sure,” I say. “That would be divine.” He’s happy now too.
   “Wonderful. What can I get you?”
   “Oh,” I say calmly, “I’d like one of everything.”
   He starts to laugh. I start to laugh. But that’s cut off by me saying, “No, I’m serious,” and sticking a gun in his face. He’s not so happy now.
   By this point, Jeff’s already got his gun pointed at the security guard by the door, and this is a smallish place, so I think there’s only the one. We’re cool. Everybody gets down, just like I tell them to. I blow Jeff a kiss and grins the sun back at me. We are the future.
   I fill up color-of-rich bags with gold flower necklaces, dangling diamond princess earnings, pearls upon pearls upon pearls. I’m not selfish – I only take what I truly want, as opposed to everything in sight. This is robbery in the name of me, not in the name of profit.
   “Do you have crowns?” I ask. No, no they don’t.
   Really, it’s like we’re shopping. Only we weren’t born into a situation where we’re allowed to shop here, so we changed the rules ever so slightly. Okay, really it’s robbery. But so what?
   “Do you want this?” Jeff asks. “This would look lovely on you. It’ll all look lovely on you!” That’s right – Jeff is the greatest! We take our time and don’t worry if there’s some kind of silent alarm, because we won’t be able to hear it for it to worry us anyway. We know we’ve got all the time in the world.
   “Is there anything Jeffy wants?” He takes a vase to sell to get the cash to get us to the next town. And that’s smart thinking – cause there’s no way I’m giving up a single one of my baby darling pearls. They belong to me now, as should everything.
   I bow before we exit, right back out the front door…
   I know if my mother was here she’d say, “Jazz…” Well she wouldn’t say “Jazz”, because it isn’t my real name, but she would say… “What on earth do you think you’re doing? What fool’s idea got into your head? You’re gonna go and get yourself caught.” But the more I think about it, the jail time for armed robbery, out here with the sun and me looking out the car window and wearing pink and my cowboy boots and with Jeff beside me, blushing, I simply can’t picture it. Not the slightest bit. The idea of any cop, or anyone, catching us doesn’t fit into the grand scheme of things. If something were to go wrong, and I can’t even imagine what, but if something were to go wrong and we were to get caught, I don’t see how we could suffer any consequences. All I can picture is the cops standing still, guns in their hands, ducking behind cars and whatnot, and Jeff and I, as Jeff and I just walk on past, without a care in the world, and maybe wink back as we fade into the sunlight. Not the POP dazzle POP you might associate with the sun, neither. More of a gentle slllliiide, and maybe a click, before swooooosh. And then, us just gone. All gone! Now that sounds more natural than anything else in the entire electric world…

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Elizabeth Walker lives in Chicago with her husband and a guinea pig named Possum, where she divides her time between eating, sleeping, and watching far too much TV. Occasionally she writes and paints silly things.

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