I like this section much better than the previous ones, which you can read here. I think it is because we're back into a more comfortable place to write about; we're not joking about people misinterpreting a car accident for physical violence or anything like that. We're just at good, clean old misunderstandings and giving Lucy a character moment. We've gotten to see Sam a lot from inside Lucy's head, but I don't feel like we got to see much of the reverse until now. Plus, its kind of a sweet moment between them before he goes out to have his interview. I haven't been this productive in what seems like forever; I think getting past the parts of the story I didn't think I could execute well has really freed me up to do the parts I'm going to enjoy writing.
* * *
I was now wearing the ugliest tie known to man. Or woman. Really, I was only wearing it because when Peter Pothead came in this morning to tell me I had an interview with this magazine, he handed it to me. “Look,” He had said, “You need to look a bit more professional. This is the first step to getting some good buzz to help expand the bowling alley.”
Since I liked Kenny, I dealt with the indignity of wearing a tie. “So, who is going to be interviewing me, again?”
“A woman from Frontiers,” He said.
“Frontiers? I don’t really get out much.” Which was an understatement. I wasn’t an outdoorsman. The one time I took a girl on a hike, we had to be evacuated from the bike path because I was overwhelmed by the pollen and the constant chittering of the things that lurked in the bushes. Or because Kenny spiked my morning coffee. Maybe a little of column A, a little of column B. But, what’s a little poisoning between friends?
“Don’t worry,” Peter Pothead told me. “It’ll be an easy interview. Just stick to what you did, don’t be too controversial, and you should do fine.”
Then he left without showing me how to actually tie the damned thing. I looked around to take stock of my options for help. Fiona was still sore about me telling her it was awful rotten of her to be going out with my mechanic. She said I should learn the value of sharing; I don’t think Lucy would view it the same way, but I don’t get between women. That’s just a rule: When men fight, someone gets hurt. When women fight, civilizations end.
I thought about asking Annette, but then I had visions of her strangling me to death with my own tie. Well, Peter’s tie. That and I was afraid it might smell like pot. It didn’t smell funny to me, but neither did Kenny’s place. But I knew better. I really couldn’t wait for Heather to get in; she might be lazy and bad at her job, but I’m sure she could at least tie a tie. Besides, she was late. It really was inconsiderate of her to be late on her second day. That woman is never going to learn to fish.
So, I went to Lucy. I tried to get her to come out of her shell, but she didn’t seem to want to hear anything about it. She spent a few minutes tying and retying my tie. It probably was helping her get her mind off things. Finally she yanked it and told me to stop squirming. Then she said “Also, no fidgeting. No moving. Stand still. That? That was a fidget. I know a fidget when I see one. Do you want me to tie this? That! That was a squirm.”
She’s really high strung lately. I thanked her by patting her on the head. It wasn’t as amusing as it was with shorter people, and I think she may have wanted to stab my eyes out for it, but it was worth it.
When I got back outside, the O.G. was still quiet. It would probably be quiet for a few more hours. Lucy came out after me, wiping her eyes. “You aren’t a Boy Scout.”
“Lulu, I’m just trying to give the public what they want.”
“The truth will set you free Sam,” Lucy said. “You really did save that kid, right? So you don’t need to lie about it. Just tell them the truth. I bet you weren’t even a Webelo.”
“I have no idea what those cookie making elves have to do with anything.” Then, for the first time that morning, she laughed.