"Life is complex. You don't have any person who is nice from the beginning until the end. You don't always have the notion of redemption. The bad people don't always pay." --Marjane Satrapi
It didn't end exactly the way I had hoped. The doctors kept me awake until they removed the microchip from my brain but instead of being released from the hospital after my recovery I was released to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and dragged into court on charges of kidnapping and murder.
Of course, with all the media attention that holding a nurse hostage inside a major medical center brings and an operating room full of renown neurosurgeons talking on television about what they had removed from inside my brain the government was having a pretty hard time making it all just go quietly away.
They ended up dropping the murder charges, saying it was self defense even though everyone knew it wasn't but the hostage taking was a different story for which I pulled 2 years at the Alderson, West Virginia Federal Prison Camp. That's right, a luxury prison filled with nothing but white collar criminals. I've never felt so out of place in my life.
When I got out I went home and started trying to get my life back together but all I could think about was Asylumland and my friends there. Spring finally rolled 'round so I fired up my old XS 650 and motored north again to Dillwyn, Virginia.
I stopped on top of the same hill as before and looked down on the asylum. The gates were wide open as were the doors. The grounds appeared to be empty except for an old stray dog. I decided to ride on down and investigate.
Everything was still pretty much inside but it looked as if no one had been there for a very long time. I went through the place looking for anything I thought might burn, rubbing alcohol, cleaning products, you name it and dumped them all on the beds, couches and chairs. Then I lit a match, tossed it onto one of the beds, walked out to my bike and rode back to the top of the hill where I watched the entire place burn almost completely to the ground before the local volunteer fire department had time to get there.
The next afternoon I rode up in front of a biker bar not far from Damascus, Virginia. A bunch of young guys were standing out front trying to look tough just like I did when I was that age. "You call that a motorcycle?" one of the asked.
"No," I replied, "I call it a Yamaha."
"Real men ride Harleys," another said.
"I used to be a real man, used to own a hog," I grinned,"Now I'm just old and in need of a beer while I'm passing through."
"Let him be," another said pointing to my North Carolina license plate, "he's a tourist come to support our local economy."
"Well by all means," the first one said as he held the door open for me.
"Thanks," I smiled.
It was while eating a burger and washing it down with a beer that I noticed a young woman. She looked just like Irene had looked at 25 when I first met her all those years ago. She was with some big blond headed guy who was drunk on his ass and being a real jerk. I tried not to look her way but I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Eventually she looked at me and said, "Hey Old Man, why are you staring at me?"
"I was just wondering if your name is Irene," I said.
"How do you know my name?" she asked. Her friend didn't looked pleased that she was talking with me and not him.
I guess it was a pretty dumb thing to ask but the next question just kind of slipped out, "Do you still have that tattoo of a blue butterfly on the inside of your left thigh?"
"How in the hell do you know about that?" she asked turning red as a beet.
"You Bitch," her boyfriend shouted, "I paid for that tattoo. How in the hell does this old man know about it? Have you been fucking around on me?"
She grabbed her helmet off the table and smashed him in the face knocking him to the floor! "Thor, you sorry bastard, nobody talks to me like that! Besides, just because you paid for a tattoo doesn't mean you own me. I just got that tattoo last night. There's no way this old man could have known about it. Besides, I've been with you every minute since you dumb fuck!"
As the two of us rode away I shouted above the wind, "I told you I'd take you motorcycle riding someday."
"That's good," Irene shouted back, "I've been looking for a better class of snake anyway."
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