2007-03-09: The Shy And The Cerebrally Challenged Show


Alyssa_icon.gif Max_icon.gif

Date It Happened: March 09, 2007

Summary: Last time on our show, Alyssa and Max flirted and almost drove off on Max's bike, but were interrupted by Identity's untimely entrance. And now? Max has been struck with a tragic case of amnesia? WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?!?!

The Shy and the Cerebrally Challenged Show

Enlightenment Books

The day has creeped by without too many heads peeking into the door of Enlightenment books and, left alone for a while on such a slow day, Alyssa must find her own entertainment. Instead of being out amongst the shelves and books, she is perched on a little stool behind the antique register with her legs crossed high and a large book balanced precariously on her one knee. With one hand she steadies the volume and the other is used to occasionally grab for a bag of Cheetos on the wooden desk. From where she's sitting she can see peripherally if anyone comes in the door, which is handy considering her ears are plugged with earbuds blasting something or other that sounds suspiciously like Disney tunes.

Outside the door, Max considerately drains the contents of the disposable coffee cup in his hand and tosses it in the trash before he slips through the door. Though he's never been to Enlightment Books, he feels as if he's walked by it a million times. High time to see what it's about. His head is ducked and his brow furrowed in preoccupied contemplation as his eyes roam from shelf to shelf. Wow. Quite the array of cosmopolitan topics, here.

Movement in the corner of her eye briefly calls Alyssa's attention but she speed-reads to the end of the sentence she's on before sliding the book onto the desk and leaning around the register to see where the customer has went. "Welcome to Enlightenment Books," she calls in her best friendly manner. Then, after a second, she decides to jump off the stool and wander to find this entered person. Much more interesting than waiting at the desk for them. "Anything I can he—- oh, it's you!" Quite the faces this place pulls in, though Alyssa shamefully has no name to put with this particular face, she plenty remembers the last time they were together.

"So it is," Max replies, a little startled. He shakes his head and raises his gaze to meet the storekeeper's. For a moment he's a blank, and his face shows no recognition. Then his blue eyes widen. "Oh! Holy crap, it's you!" Max doesn't have a name to go with the face either, but that's because he can't remember having met Alyssa in the past. Yet for some reason, there's a drawing of her in the sketchbook that's tucked snugly inside his overcoat, as always. Deer in headlights. Unsure how to handle this particular issue, Max does what any sensible person would. He freezes.

"Well— hi," Alyssa blurts, caught off-guard by his greeting though it did not differ all that much from her own. Still, there's a certain kind of shock and urgency to 'holy crap'. Feeling a bit put on the stop, she hesitates, shifting her weight back in a very soft retreat, "It's not /entirely/ impossible to run into people again in New York," she adds when he doesn't seem able to react further, "Though I admit, motorbike fellow, that I did once imagine you'd been run off by the gang or whatever your ex-girlfriend is obviously in." Seeing him again reminds her how put-off she was about how all that turned out; mostly irked at herself, in the end.

"Gang?" If Max wasn't blank before, he definately is now. Though from what little he's been able to piece together, it seems likely that she's talking about Identity. Still, none of the rest of that makes any sense to him. "What? What do you mean?" Confused, Max's query is completely guileless. Crap. Time to improvise. "Uhh.. I was hurt. Conked on the teakettle, I think." Briefly, he raps his knuckles against his head. "Ended up with amnesia." There we go. That's plausible.

It's Alyssa's turn to stare and she does so with immense success. After a long couple of moments— "Are you… serious? That's so…" Tragic would be the word most people would pick, "… soap opera." Not Alyssa. Catching herself at gaping, she gives a quick shake of her head and then kneads her fingers anxiously together, "Well, I was mostly kidding there. I have no idea what happened because I split. Just some gal shows up and tells you to get out of her place. Like she owns the freakin' sandwich shop. Anyway, I—" She pauses. Her cheek twitches, pulling her lip up and then she lets escape a loud giggle, "You said teakettle."

Max lets out a chuckle and a pent-up breath in the same whoosh. "I did say that. It's a pretty outrageous story, isn't it? I can't remember a thing, though. Seems like I'm missing about five years." Then a realization pushes the pending issue of why this girl is in his sketchbook aside. "Um," he begins tenatively. "Did we /know/ each other?" He waggles his eyebrows suggestively, then puts on a politely inquisitive expression.

Ohh, the eyebrow waggle. Alyssa fights hard and is able to keep her expression neutral as she faces off with /that/. She dips down to pull a couple of books off the shelf, as if she's got something very important to do besides talk to him, and adjusts these very serious-like in her arms, "I believe you were on your way to taking me on your bike and having your wild way with me," she delivers, glancing rather casually around the store and then strolling towards the end of the lane where she had come from, "You opted out at the last moment. Very unfortunate." Immediately, she has to duck around to the next line of shelves to hide the way her eyes are suddenly wide and the blush is creeping into her cheeks. Close call!

A slow, slightly self-concious smile spreads across Max's face. Normally bold and brash, his memory loss has made him the tiniest bit hesitant. Still, with herculean effort, he suppresses the urge to blush in kind. "Well I /do/ own a motorcycle. And you /are/ and extremely pretty slice of.. woman. The math makes sense." Grinning winningly, Max steps closer and offers and hand for shaking. "Max Swan. Pleasure to meet you again."

Alyssa has collected herself enough to swivel back around to Max's spot with a soft smile, "Alyssa. Christianson, that is. Nice to meet you again, too. This'll teach you to stay outta those Fight Club meeti— ahh, I already did that joke with you. Oh, whatever, you can't remember it." It is infinitely more comfortable to treat his condition lightly than acknowledge some more compliments, so she opts for the easy out, as sad as that is. "I guess it'd be kind of unfair to insist about the motorcycle ride thing now. Soooo… anything I can help you find here? I do kinda work. You know, when the occasional person hops in looking for— oh! Are you looking for Activating Evolution because I am keeping a running tally of people looking for it versus not— guess which one is winning."

Max blinks under Alyssa's chatty onslaught. Then he lets out another quiet laugh and shakes his head. "Nope. Never heard of it. Maybe you can tell me about it after our motorcycle ride," he teases. And yeah, that's right. Max has never heard of Activating Evolution. He tugs the lapels on his coat straight, then pulls out his sketchbook and flips quickly to the drawing of Alyssa. Turning it around so she can see, he looks her in the eye. "I forgot what I came in for, but now I'm hoping you can tell me about this."

She either seems surprised or disappointed when he mentions never having heard of the book, but Alyssa quickly recovers, leaning in with interest as the sketchbook is removed but then shifting backwards with a soft laugh at the picture. "Oh, that. Funny, is that how you knew me anyway? Jeez, I… let'see…" she squints at the picture then stabs a finger in the air above her drawn one, "It's that, there. I smushed up my sandwich real bad tripping over my own dumb feet and I guess it looked funny or something. Anyway, you drew me. That's what started the whole… favors bit." It seems weird to recap some moment in her life and Alyssa pauses, struggling to make sure she's got everything right. "Jeez, I feel like I'm doing 'Last time on…' ….. I have no idea what our show would be called."

"The Shy and the Cerebrally Challenged?" Max supplies helpfully. Then he smiles and looks down at the drawing again. Tunabread… The word floats around his 'teakettle.' It means something, and near-unconciously he says it out loud. "Tunabread." His voice is quiet and unassuming. Damn! Nothing! Oh well. He picks up, playful and teasing once again. "That's all I remember, I guess. So that's when we decided to trade ride-for-ride? I must've told you about the 'getting on the back of a Harley' rule."

Alyssa lets out a burst of laughter at the term, "Yeah, that's right, heey, lookit that. You /obviously/ took away the most important part." Because, seriously, anything /she/ said was likely not worth it. "There was definitely a whole bike rule mentioned. Oh, and you told me you were dangerous!" At first, it's just as much giggles as before, but Alyssa slowly sobers as she recalls the look that had passed through Max's eyes at that old moment. She bites her cheek thoughtfully and stays quiet for once.

Max raises his eyebrows and peers at Alyssa thoughtfully. Well. If he'd been going around making admissions, the two had probably gotten nice and cozy. That, or Max had already decided to kill her. Then he gives his head a minute shake. Nah. If he was planning to kill her, he wouldn't have offered to give her a ride. Vehicularly or otherwise. "I'm afraid my dangerous days are /mostly/ over," he admits. "I find myself a bit out of sorts since I've left the hospital."

"Well," Alyssa nods, pulling the books she's been randomly holding now tighter to her chest, "That's good to hear. Not about the hospital, I mean, the danger. Me and danger don't mix so well. And it'd be awful to have met twice just to have to forget each other— oh, forget! I'm a horrible person, I've been harping on this the whole time." She isn't usually so apologetic, but the guy's obviously affected demeanor has been throwing her off. "So did the… hospital say what happened? Or where even?"

"All they could tell me was that I appeared to have been beaten by at least two people. We had some… disagreements, though." Disagreements like being tranq'd by a doctor and walking out of the hospital. Still, Max smiles. That /was/ quite an adventure. "Witness accounts were pretty vauge. I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to put the pieces back together, y'know?"

Alyssa winces sympathetically merely at the idea of getting beat on, especially by more than one person which is so obviously unfair. "Jeez, I… /man/. I can't say I have any idea what that kind of thing feels like, not knowing, but it's pretty damn brave of you pulling back through and everything. So what's it like? Total blank for… five years, did you say? That's amazing what can happen. And one pretty powerful blow to the hippocampus. Reportedly, you should be able to get back little tidbits of information from events when they're told to you or something. Anything? Have you got family members around that needed to hear about this?" For a brief moment, she tries to imagine how her parents would flip if anything happened to her. … Or maybe they'd take it as a blessing and try to convince amnesiac!Alyssa that she wasn't a writer at all but studying medicine.

Max lets out a sigh. "No. No family," he replies. Unfortunately, whatever wiped out his memories of New York left behind the ones of growing up in a Tuscon orphanage. "Thus my confusion. I don't have anyone to ask, really." Except Identity, and she sure as hell isn't talking. "Honestly, I was hoping we were bestest friends foreverest and you'd be able to tell me what happened. I'll settle for motorcycle buddies, though." Oh no. There's that eyebrow-waggle again.

Ah! He should have a quota on that thing. Well, now he does. Two is enough. It's over. Glancing briefly away and then back, she fiddles nervously with the cover of the top book she's holding but otherwise keeps it calm. Seriously. Was she this bad the first time they met, too? She can't remember; she's biased against herself. "Welp, sorry to disappoint. We only met the once and it ended pretty fast. But I'm certainly not against being buddies now, especially if it means /motorcycle/. But since you're so out of sorts, wouldn't it be unfair to try and enforce all those bothersome bike rules now?" Plus, you know, your /girlfriend/.

Max cocks his head to the side, curious at the girl's sudden change in attitude. Then he grins, incorrigable to the last. "Nyet. Sorry, but the law's the law. I don't make it, I just enforce it. In the meantime, I'd be glad to meet you for more tunabread sometime." Even sociopaths need friends, after all. "What do you say? I'd still like to hear about that book you mentioned, too."

"Well, sure," Meeting and eating is easy and by then maybe Alyssa will have sorted out how she feels about Mystery Max flirting so heavily and then going and losing his memory. Till then, she's all over the place and she feels it. Carefully, she gestures with her head back towards the front of the shop and then walks there, sliding the books she unshelved onto the desk and digging around until she's got a pen and a ripped piece of paper — /not/ from any of the books. She scribbles on it briefly and then offers him the sheet, "My number. That'll work, right?"

"It most certainly will," His literary errand long forgotten, Max tucks his sketchbook away and glances toward the door. "I should let you get back to work. I'm sure all these books about cattle mutilation are getting extremely lonely in your absence. I'll give you a call soon, eh?" He takes the phone number and tucks it into one of his many pockets, then lifts one hand to wave lazily.

Alyssa gives a light chuckle and glances towards the rows of books, "Oh, yes, you never know what magical incantation will accidentally summon the great wizard Tim to my doorstep at any moment." She waves back, edging towards the stool she had once been sitting on before he came in. Huh. Really, she never would've guessed, sitting there reading, that this meeting had been waiting to happen.

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