In the Dreams of Goats, part 2
Lois hadn’t been expecting Jeff Goldblum that night—she hadn’t been expecting anyone. Lois lived alone in the small house on the corner. She’d recently moved for work and she knew virtually no one in town. No one had any reason to visit her.
When the doorbell rang, Lois was just finishing dinner. She quickly put her dishes in the sink and hurried out the kitchen, through the front room, and to the door. Rising up onto her toes to look through the peephole, Lois was surprised to see Jeff Goldblum standing at her door. Lois had never met Jeff Goldblum before, but there was no doubt in her mind that this was really him. Goldblum was smiling directly into his end of the peephole. His right arm cradled a large bouquet of roses. With his left, he held up a Louis Vuitton shoulder bag just below eye level. Sensing her presence on the other side, his smile widened, and he jiggled the bag as if offering it to her. His whole face seemed alive and, despite herself, Lois could almost believe that he was watching her through the door. Jeff Goldblum had beautiful eyes.
Perhaps if she had stood there longer, studying Goldblum through the peephole, Lois might have caught some hint of the white-hot anger that she would later see bleeding through his mask. Perhaps she would have kept the door closed. Perhaps not—Jeff Goldblum was a superb actor. At any rate, Lois didn’t hesitate. Almost without thinking, she reached down and opened the door.
“Ms. Lois Steingarten?” In person, Goldblum’s smile was even brighter, his presence even more overpowering. Suddenly the focus of his attention, Lois felt giddy and inarticulate.
“I’m Jeff Goldblum, and I’m very happy to tell you that you’ve just won a trip to Paris Fashion Week, courtesy of Louis Vuitton.”
He stepped forward and offered her the bouquet of roses. Automatically, Lois accepted the roses with both hands while taking a step back to make room for him. This put Goldblum in the doorway. He smelled good, like cookies. Somewhere, at the edge of her consciousness, a voice reminded Lois that Goldblum was, essentially, a strange man entering her home, that in this position, and with her hands full of a ridiculous bouquet, she would be hard-pressed to push him out, should she need to.
“May I come in?” He was inside, still smiling, before he was finished asking the question. His eyes never straying from Lois’ face, Goldblum reached back with his right hand and quietly shut the front door. As the latch clicked, his face went dead.
“You live alone, Ms. Steingarten.” It wasn’t a question.
“There’s no one here but the two of us.” He held up the Louis Vuitton shoulder bag again, opened it, and removed the Barretta, dropping the bag onto the floor.
“You know what this is?”
“No. I mean, it’s a gun.”
“It’s a Barretta 92F semi-automatic pistol fitted with a silencer.”
“At this range, even a mediocre shot could kill you easily.” The radiant smile had vanished. Lois could barely believe it had ever been there. “I am a very good shot.”
“I don’t understand.” She could feel her breath quickening. She struggled to keep it under control.
“Maybe not, but I think you do. Sit down, Ms. Steingarten.” Goldblums eyes darted away from Lois’ face and, for the first time, he seemed to notice the bare front room. “Jesus, do you not have any furniture?”
“I just moved here.”
“I know, but you don’t even have a sofa? Or just some cushions?”
“I,” Lois willed herself to be calm, “I have a table and chairs in the kitchen.”
The dead eyes studied her. “We’ll go there then.”