Steve McQueen sat quietly behind the wheel of his burgundy minivan. It was the twentieth day of August. The year was 2022. He was patiently awaiting the arrival of Tonia whom he agreed to meet at Shari’s at one o’clock that same afternoon. It was to be a lunch date, and the eager pair had planned to rendezvous in the diner’s parking lot. Earlier that morning he took stock of the situation. Steve was a notorious bachelor, and he suspected his pajamas were smelly. Because of this he took a shower immediately prior to his departure. He went out of his way to achieve a very close shave and he wasn’t stingy with the Old-Spice. He was wearing a close-fitting jacket with a royal blue shell that was smartly accented by a beet-red plaid lining. The clever jacket concealed a very sheer navy polo which was buttoned up all the way to the top. He had manipulated the collar in such a way as to keep the wind from striking the back of his neck. There wouldn’t be any wind however, and it was too warm for a coat. The weather was of no consequence, because in his mind it was “all about the accessories!” He knew that Tonia was a country girl, so he opted for faded blue button-fly jeans in lieu of slacks. Steve didn’t want to be too formal, so he left his highly polished dress shoes at home. Instead he chose his best pair of black leather boon-dockers. Tonia was a farmer after all, and she would appreciate the quality of the shoes once she saw them. It would be a good conversation starter.
The complete and total essence that makes up all of Steve McQueen had been fused into Zane’s biological flesh. Zane was a mystical being who had just recently stumbled into the ethereal office of Fire. His wife had been a practicing Pagan for years, but Zane was initially resistant to the concept of Magick. He considered himself to be a luke-warm Christian. It would be years before Zane would decide to invest in the craft, at which time Renee revealed his talent for channeling stray souls. Steve possessed a spirit such as this, and he frequented Zane’s body on a semi-permanent basis. It was indeed Zane’s body, but it was readily apparent when Steve came around. The arrival of Steve’s persona was frequent and welcomed. He was an integral part of the family and Zane left the driving all up to him. It was quite a metaphysical phenomenon. Although he wasn’t too keen in the beginning, Zane had long since grown accustomed to the lingering psychic interloper. Like a galactic hitchhiker, Steve followed Zane like a lost puppy hoping one day to be accepted by the family. Eventually Renee acknowledged Steve’s presence, and so did the children. Zane and Steve shared similar DNA, and their corresponding synchronicities were striking. They both had the exact same body types and shared a common mole. Their respective birthdays were just hours apart, and they both had checkered pasts. For example, Zane and Steve both enlisted in the Marines, while being prosecuted for misconduct during their service. Additionally the pair shared the same love for machinery. Clearly Zane’s biology offered a perfect vessel for Steve. He only needed to be invited in. Promptly upon his death in 1980, the actor’s soul was graciously reincarnated. It wasn’t the first time. The essence that makes up Steve’s energy is eternal, meaning that before he was Steve McQueen, he existed as other beings as well. He had lived countless other lives, but somehow he suspected that this was to be his last go round on earth. Cosmic energy cannot be destroyed; it only changes forms. In this case the energy presented in the form of Steve’s ghost. In an effort to maintain his sanity, Zane assumed that all humans possess the same capability, meaning he was not the only one forced to cohabitate with an additional cosmic entity.
Steve was especially helpful on today’s voyage because crippling anxiety forced Zane to become fully immobilized. As a result, Steve piloted the burgundy minivan from Gresham to Oregon City without the assistance of his earth-bound benefactor. Although he was a ghost, Steve knew he had a standing invitation to reside within the confines of Zane’s mystical aura. Because of this he resisted frequent urges to roam about in parallel dimensions. Historically Steve would travel about in the astral plane, making impromptu Ouija board appearances while getting absorbed into randomly assorted Cosmic hijinks. At any given time on planet earth, there are plenty of ladies who routinely fantasize over the King of Cool. As a result, Steve would traverse the multiverse like a kid in a candy store, making planchettes dance upon each subsequent visit. In this particular instance, Steve resisted the urge to fully discorporate. Instead of free roaming the astral plane like some sort of sex crazed cosmic nomad, Steve opted to stay close to Zane. Steve had orders to remain vigilant, so he steeled himself in case things started going sideways.
Meeting Tonia for lunch was a big deal! Zane correctly assumed he would be too nervous to make the initial contact, so he delegated the task to Steve ahead of time. The plan was for Steve to address Tonia in order to establish a connection. It was Zane’s intention to use Steve’s persona as a scaffolding as he attempted to regain his composure. Steve’s task was to inform Tonia of Zane’s state of being. He would act as referee until Zane found his footing. Zane was counting on him to make a good first impression, so Steve was given a standing order to remain vigilant at all costs.
Steve was still in the driver’s seat as Zane promised to approach the date without any preconceived notions or expectations. Having said that, he expected Steve to initially break the ice with Tonia. There was something about her that caused Zane to regress. Because of this, Steve realized it would fall squarely upon his shoulders to act as the rational adult. In preparation, Steve went over some talking points in his head. He correctly assumed that Tonia would call him out on his bullshit without hesitation, so he had to plan his words carefully. “What if she thinks I’m just acting,” Steve thought? “I am an actor after all, and Tonia knows this!” Steve was pondering his role as he went over his lines. Suddenly it occurred to him that he was at risk of coming across as being fake. “This isn’t a fucking script,” Steve said as he nervously fidgeted with the dangling key chain. “Okay Steve listen to me,” he commanded to himself under an authoritative breath! “All you’ve gotta say is that Zane is very uptight, and he wanted me to be his wing man. That’s all you gotta do!” The constructive instruction eased the burgeoning anxiety, and Steve was able to self-soothe utilizing newly cultivated coping skills in the process.
Steve became fascinated with his electronic cigarette, and it had taken up all of his attention. By the time he came back on duty she was already walking towards the van. Steve knew it was Tonia right away, and he eagerly grabbed her attention by pointing at her through the cranked down driver’s side window. She was wearing a dark colored V-neck shirt which complimented her faded jeans, and the classic elegance of her timeless beauty was readily apparent. Steve clumsily exited the minivan and began to briskly stroll towards Zane’s true love. “Just so you know, I’m Steve right now,” he said as he felt himself being drawn towards her. Tonia smiled as if to say, “of course you are.”
Steve shifted the metaphorical gears In a conscious act to summon Zane’s essence. He yielded to the natural flow in a way that allowed his energy to dissipate into the ether, while simultaneously allowing Zane’s spirit to reclaim its sentient designation as driver. As Steve released a cosmic clutch, Zane’s soul glided back into his physical flesh. It was a seamless undertaking, and Zane immediately found himself in command of the proverbial ship. The essence of Steve McQueen’s ghost had risen above in order to stand silent vigil. Tonia, who witnessed the entire process, was impressed with the smooth transition! She smiled with silent approval and wondered how many times he had made the transition before. “He’s a very talented shapeshifter,” she may have thought as she witnessed Steve’s deliberate departure. The biological flesh adjusted, and the cocky celebrity morphed into a very humble and mild-mannered common man. By now Zane was in complete control of the host body. He was cognizant of the deceased movie star as Steve returned to the rightful place within the deep recesses of Zane’s perceptive depths. Steve knew he had a standing invitation to reside within the confines of Zane’s mystical aura, and as a result he intended not to wear out his welcome. If he wasn’t off galivanting about in the vast multiverse, you could always count on Steve McQueen to gratefully blend energies with the gracious mortal host.
Fifty-Two-year-old, stay at home dad, philosopher, and recovering narcissist.