Friday, March 24, 2006

Ode to Miss Texas: Pt. VI

An unadorned, unexaggerated account of real life intrigue

I turned up the phone machine’s volume just in time to screen a call from Miss Texas. Some twelve hours early, she explained that a couple of suspicious-looking people in Oklahoma made her nervous. She snuck past them, and called her father, who picked her up at a nearby hotel and drove her back to her parents’ house in Lubbock. She gave me the Lubbock phone number in case I needed it for something, and reminded me about the disc.

I had to go down to the university’s computer lab to run the floppy. At the time, I only owned an Apple IIc, and that wouldn’t take a 3.5 inch disc. Carefully disconnecting a pre-Windows PC, I searched its contents. It consisted of several subdirectories bearing women’s names. Each required a password to open. I sought help from the resident hacker. He got so far as getting a listing of the subdirectories’s files, each of which contained between five to seven word processing documents, also titled with women’s names.. I thanked the friendly geek, waited for him to leave and reconnected the PC to the mainframe.

She came back in town the day before my birthday, and crashed at my place. On the sixth day of her visit, I told her that my building had forbidding visitors from staying over seven days. The apartments were subsidized to allow students to live there for under half the rent they normally went for. My lease came with a number of restrictions, including that one. I guess, nobody would have minded if she stayed two or three more days. I could tolerate the situation for two or three more days. But she’d begun settling down as if she lived there. I meant it more to let her know that this arrangement couldn’t go on indefinitely. She understood it as a request to get out immediately.

She arranged to stay in Queens with a single friend who had a two-bedroom apartment. Why she didn’t stay there to begin with, I don’t know. Maybe she had worn out her welcome. Miss Texas displayed no bitterness, however. She left a few things in my apartment, including a nice, beige women’s coat. She usually wore a plain navy one. This other one seemed more for dress up.

She said that her first order of business when arriving in Queens would be to find the password for the disc. If I didn’t hear from her in ”a few weeks” I would give her a call. A week went by, and I heard nothing from her. Although her Queens friend didn’t seem nearly as creepy as the one from New Jersey, I still worried. I dialed this friend’s number. To my surprise, I found that Miss Texas went home to Denton the day after she left my place.

Confused, I tried calling her in Denton, and at her parents’ house in Lubbock. Both times, all I got were three chimes followed by a disjunct, feminine voice saying, “The number you have dialed, has been disconnected.”

I tried to call the alleged CIA agent in New Jersey. His number was disconnected as well. I couldn’t remember the exact name of his office. I called a few places listed in the telephone directory that had ‘AIDS’ in their title, but couldn’t find him. My ex-spy friend said that he hadn’t heard from her in a while, and didn’t know how else to reach her.

Miss Texas had vanished into thin air, just as she always feared.


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