Judd Nelson is My Soulmate
A Short Story by Lisa Burstein
Written using the suggestion "Valentine"
Originally featured on 02-14-2007
As part of our series "Anniversaries"

I thought it would be good for me to get my thoughts down on paper. Sort out the real from the imagined; sort out the “me” from the “it”. The problem is pencils and pens are hard to come by in here- too sharp- too tempting to pierce into your jugular or stomach. Even if they do let you have a pencil it’s a little nub of a thing and that’s only under strict supervision. They really don’t allow notebooks either, I suppose it’s the pigtail wire, because I’ve never heard of anyone killing themselves with paper and cardboard, but I suppose anything is possible. I wasn’t about to use purple crayon and construction paper; I do still have some dignity. Thank goodness they allow typewriters. I guess they don’t suppose someone will remove the keys and eat them by the handful until they choke. They don’t suppose someone will throw apple juice directly on the electrical wire and attempt to kill themselves ala radio in the bathtub.

My thoughts always go back to Judd at this time of year. Though they try not to make a big deal about holidays in here, they can’t stop the pink and red envelopes from arriving, or the husbands and boyfriends from bringing chocolates. As much as they try to keep us ignorant, the outside world has a way of creeping in.

Of course my thoughts always go back to Judd. Sometimes it’s something as simple as one of the new girls resembling him. Usually it’s the eyes, or the hair, their bangs hitting mid face and flipping up like a Lily of the Valley in bloom. Though I try to ignore that when it happens- my only love, my soul mate according to the past life reader I gave my $20 to at the psychic fair, is Judd Nelson.

Not the bloated, based on a true story movie of the week Judd Nelson of today, but the boyish, clever Judd Nelson of The Breakfast Club. The past life reader didn’t just come out and say it either, he lead up with the fact that I had been with Judd through all my lives in different ways: as a farmer and a farm hand in medieval Europe, as a father and son working in a steel mill during the industrial revolution, two royal sisters from ancient China.

“You have never been lovers,” he said, looking very much like a spiritual Mr. Clean, “but you must be to fulfill your destiny.”

I laughed, giggled, like someone who has been told she has won the lottery, but first she has to find the cure for cancer.

“That is why you are here isn’t it. You were searching for something.”

Actually, I was there because my best friend Ginny was positive there was some cosmic reason why she kept getting dumped. I thought it had more to do with her excessive eye shadow use. But, I nodded, I mean wasn’t everyone searching for something, or at least pretending they were.

He tapped his fingers against the side of his head, like it was a table and he had nails and he was an impatient girl, “this is it, your life’s quest, you can take it, or live an ordinary life. What do you choose?”

What would you have chosen?

I’d never been obsessed with someone before, but I didn’t really have anything else going on. Being infatuated with Judd Nelson gave me something to think about during my nightly meal of 200 pieces of plain spaghetti and the 15 showers I took everyday.

That first night after the psychic fair, as I counted through and ate each noodle I realized I knew very little about him. So, I did my research. I rented as many movies from his prime that I could find. This turned out to be “St. Elmo’s Fire”, “The Breakfast Club” was out. I watched him over and over again, pausing on his face and looking into his eyes, seeing if there was a glimpse of me in there, a glimpse of us in there, but there was nothing. He had turned off whatever memory and feelings he had for me though his impeccable acting. I had to find the real Judd Nelson.

I started at the top with the President of his fan club, who answered me with a form letter and a signed picture of Juddy, it didn’t get me any closer to him, but looked good in the 8”x10” frame I had by my bed.

I tried his agent next, who told me that unless I had a part for him not to bother calling again.

“I do have a part for him, husband, father, life mate,” I said.

When he asked me how much it paid, I hung up.

Maybe if I would have had the money for Juddy it wouldn’t have turned out this way. I could have bribed him to be my soul mate, fulfilled my life’s destiny, and paid his agent’s bills, but being a lowly middle class office assistant, that was not possible. I had to meet him. I had to go after him with my womanly wiles, which unfortunately for me, were also lowly and middle class. I did however have a plane ticket and a dream, the irony of all the other women who had gone to LA with the same wasn’t lost on me, but did they have someone telling them it was their destiny?

I found Juddy’s address on a star map and instead of going there directly I decided it was best to wait until nightfall, best for romance and best for looking my best. I checked into the Wobbly Knee Motel and Motor Court, and lay on the bed, the comforter shiny like plastic and smelling of fake roses having the conversation with Juddy in my head.

“I am your soul mate,” I said. I figured I should get right to the point, being I needed my life’s destiny to be fulfilled and all.

He leaned on his screen door. It was one of those nice ones with the metal work that looks like curls on cursive letters.

“I’ve been looking for you.”

He pulled at his chin, the baby-bird feather hairs of a beard had started to come in.

“We’ve known each other many times before.”

I agree that my fake conversation was seriously one sided, but honestly I didn’t know what Juddy would say. To this day I don’t know what he would have said. I was never allowed to get that close.

In my head discussion there was no security to get through, so I hadn’t really planned for it. When Juddy’s security lackey wouldn’t let me in, I had to resort to scaling his fence, one of those ones that looks like iron arrows pointing up to the sky. The old me, the office assistant me, would have given up at this obstacle, but not soul mate me.

I scaled the fence, I don’t know how I did it, but they say people put in crucial situations are able to push mind over matter and do amazing things. The problem is I don’t think my body was along for the ride and when I fell to the other side my leg felt like it was sawed off by an evil dwarf with a rusty Swiss army knife, in medical terms I had broken my Tibia.

The hospital was just my first stop, then court, then another more intense hospital, then here, a place they tell me I may never leave. The problem is I won’t admit that I have no affiliation to Judd Nelson, that once I leave I will not agree to keep 50 feet between us at all times as stated in the restraining order. How can I? I need to fulfill my life’s destiny; they can’t fault me for wanting-needing to do what I am supposed to do.

Maybe my past life reader was wrong and in this life Juddy is a famous actor and I am his adoring fan. Maybe in this lifetime is mine for contemplation of our love from a distance. Maybe it’s our next life that we are supposed to be lovers, soul mates. Hopefully that lifetime will be the one that takes.

Read More By Lisa Burstein

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