David, Missing

It’s worse than you think it is.

David was supposed to visit today but I haven’t heard anything. I’ve been listening to the radio for tornado reports as I drive be all the hospitals, looking for his car in the parking lots. I haven’t eaten all day and the house is a mess. I bought a drill so I could hang some of the pictures he gave me before he got here. I tried to use it today to distract myself and accidently put a hole through my fingernail. It didn’t bleed but I could see the skin beneath. I thought if this is a sign, it’s the most unnecessary sign ever. I took six ibuprofens before the pain started. A pre-emptive. That’s when I had to get out of the house and do something.

Do people just disappear? I don’t have any of his relatives phone numbers. I don’t know if he even has a cell phone.

One time I went to visit him while he was living in London. I brought sleeping pills to knock me out on the flight over, but it turned out the guy I sat next to was a film director. His name was Dean and he’d done a few low-budget indie horror movies, Evil Dead type things. He was going to London for the film fest; he was showing his latest film there. So I wanted to talk to him the whole way over. Nothing came of it though. I thought he would see my love for film and offer me a job as a

When I got to Heathrow the customs guy grilled me and I didn’t think I’d even get into the country. Single male, traveling light and alone, for just a long weekend. I am as suspicious as it gets. How much money did I have. Where was I staying. I realized I had absolutely no clue where I was staying, where David lived. Camden somewhere? I lied and gave him an address I knew in Kensington. I hadn’t even bothered to bring his phone number, it dawned on me, so I really had no way to contact him. The customs guy eventually let me through (You know I used to live here, I said as not-crabbily as I could.) but David wasn’t where we had planned on meeting. I tried to remember a cheap hotel in Bloomsbury. There were kids hanging out of windows and a restaurant I liked nearby.

I decided to drive back home to start making calls to the state and local police. Were there any major accidents on any of the roads leading into town. Anything that might have killed him, or just held him up. Were there fires in the forests, or toxic leaks racing across the lanes.

That time at Heathrow I waited for an hour, not even sitting, not even putting my bags down, just standing there, scanning each face, trying to send mental signals out over the buildings, over the hills, through the row houses, into the city. With each second I was getting progressively more nervous and less confident in my ability to handle the weekend and the city alone. Was I going to be stuck at the airport all weekend. Was I just going to get on a plane and go back. Would the airport security get suspicious if I just stood there too long? When he finally did turn up, not by melting out of the crowd but by just appearing, standing right in front of me, all of that was suddenly erased. It was as though that had been the plan all along, to make everything better by making it terrifying.