Like a hook hanging on your car door.
Like the car flashing its brights behind you.
Like the pet alligator that you flushed to get rid of.
I’m all of them, gorgeous, baby, darling, and when you hear the stories about the friend of a friend of a friend, make sure you listen close and careful, because you’re the friend of a friend of a friend to someone.
And I? I am Urban Legend.
I’m calling from inside the house, precious, and I’m the million tiny spiders nesting cozy in your cheek. And no matter what you chant, doll, don’t look for Bloody Mary in the mirror: that’s me too. You thought you’d found a hairless dog, but soon enough you’ll get bitten. And when the doctor tells you it’s nothing but a rat, that boiling you feel creeping, sliding, trickling through your veins isn’t rabies: I’m inside of you.
You guessed it, honey, I’m the Viper. And I’ll vipe and vash your vindows ’til you see all too clearly what exactly is going on here. When the old man’s hand grabs you and you die of fright, I’m the pen-knife you accidentally staked through your skirt.
Let’s be clear about this, sweetheart. I’m a fable, I’m a myth, I’m a superstition and a cautionary tale. I’m the crack that broke your mother’s back. You’re Miss Mary Mack, all dressed in black, and I’m the silver buttons all down your back. I’m the bubblegum, bubblegum in the dish and no matter what piece you wish, what you get is me.
Ashes. Ashes. You’re about to fall down:
Late night, somenight, gliding and twisting down the wrenches of a highway in the woods, and here’s you, listening to the hollow ghosts on the radio and watching the sleepy wipers struggle with the fog. Here’s your headlights, or fog lamps, cutting useless beams through the cold. Look out for the shape on the side of the road. He’s been walking, walking and waiting for someone just like you, and he’s so grateful and he’s so quiet as he settles into shotgun.
Drive on. You’re thankful for the company, unexplainably secure in his presence. There’s no conversation, but you understand eachother all right. Once or twice you turn to him with that small smile, making sure it’s all right, he’s all right, you’re all right and you’re crawling closer to home.
And then he’s gone. But, oh, my dove, I am not that man.. You’ll find out soon enough he’s been dead for a good ten years. That hand in your chest cavity, clenching down tight on your lungs and cracking out across your mind as you turn to the empty passenger’s seat: oh, darling, see me; there I am!
Hurtling down Blood Alley, I’m a Green Phantom and I’m the dead girl screaming in the cabin of your truck! I’m at Disneyland, crawling through the ashes of all the mothers who scatter their cremated in the middle of the rides! At the late-night restaurant I’m the silhouette in the rear-view mirror, and out on your favorite coast I’m a blue lady in a white dress who one day walked west into the Ocean and just couldn’t stop.
So you could stay out of the sewer if you don’t want to get eaten.
And you should let that car flash its brights, but don’t look in the back seat.
But wherever you drive, there’s still that ghost in your seat. And those spiders in your cheek. And that hook in your door.
Because you are a friend of a friend of a friend to somebody. And for that, honey, baby, sweetie, darling, dear: I will always be your Urban legend.