Awesome Totally Awesome - Freaks & Weirdos Boutique

ACCEPTANCE: FREAKS AND WEIRDO’S BOUTIQUE

Tired of being shunned by “normal” people?
Tired of being tolerated by “understanding” loved ones?
Be tired no more!
Come to the Freaks & Weirdos Boutique
at the corner of Route 2 and Willowbrook.
Acceptance is just one strange trip away...

Randall slowed as he drove by. The placard wasn’t there yesterday, he thought. Funny how things just pop up along the roadside. In his travels, Randall had seen roadside ads for vinyl siding, solar panels, even cheap marriage dissolution, but nothing like this.

Acceptance is just one strange trip away…

Randall checked the time. It just so happened he left early for work today. Willowbrook was just up ahead; he passed by it every morning. But there was an old weigh station at that corner, which was now nothing but cracked concrete and weeds. No way could something be there.

Acceptance is just one strange trip away…

If there was, now that would be strange.

But Randall was used to strange. His mother was a dancer–in a “previous life” she would say. Randall’s father was a musician, a modern day nomad he hardly saw growing up. They moved around a lot. And when word came down that his father had OD’d in some seedy hotel in Vegas, his mother was unfazed, as if she knew that’s how he’d end up all along. “What goes around comes around, I guess,” was her final words to Randall’s father as she poured his ashes out of the station wagon window on the drive back from the desert. That was in 2002. Randall was six years old.

In high school, Randall had adopted his father’s long hair and odd clothes–a rock guitarist’s appearance without the dangerous lifestyle. He played piano and guitar, and flirted with songwriting, but lacked the confidence to do anything with it. His social life was awkward and, for the most part, solitary. For his current job, he dressed plainly and tucked his hair up under a baseball cap. He did what he needed to do to fit in. Although, at times, life’s rigid shoehorn hurt.

Willowbrook was coming up on the left. Randall checked the rearview mirror and pulled into the old weigh station lot. It was just as he thought. Empty, abandoned. But then the morning sun hit him in the eyes and he was momentarily blinded. When he could see again, there it was: a little shop that looked like it had been there for a hundred years. There was a crookedness to it that lent the impression that it was either sinking into the ground below or emerging from some nether region. Above the door hung a sign that read: Freaks & Weirdos Boutique.

Randall parked. He walked up to the shop’s front entrance with the notion that this could all be an elaborate hoax. He kept looking over his shoulder for cameras recording the prank. The words from the roadside placard were carved into the door like a name on a cemetery headstone.

Acceptance is just one strange trip away…