Monday, April 15, 2013

Return to Fiction

I wrote this while waiting for buses; in general, a pretty meh piece. But, it gave Tanya something to do and helped bring us back to Sam. An... effective-ish transition, I guess. Table of Contents here.

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The closest to acting I've ever been is my pre-school presentation of the Teddy Bear Picnic. My sneaking suspicion is that it is not even a real play, even if we all wore masks like a Greek chorus. I do remember my parents laughing when I said my job was to exit, pursued by a bear.

They told me I'd get it when I was older, but I still don't see it. Maybe it is some sort of dirty parental bonus material? I don't know; that'd be pretty risque stuff to smuggle into a kids production where bears and ants learned to live together or something. I wonder if kids at that age even are cognizant that girls and boys are all that different, except that girls wear dresses and pink and boys don't.

I tried to take Lucy's advice to heart, but these knives just don't excite me. Who buys something like this from a TV huckster anyway? Probably some guy up late at night realizing that there’s a wedding tomorrow and deciding that a toaster is a bit too tacky. When I suggested that to Tanya she explained the concept of wedding registries to me.

I tried to pay attention to her and the knife specifications, but really, what is there to know about a knife? It slices, it dices. Whoop-dee-doo.

She really tried to keep her dignity and composure; a real professional lady. “You’re a salesman tonight, act it.”

“I’m having flashbacks to Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross; I do not have brass balls.”

“Neither do I, but do you see me bitching?”

She made a point there. “Look, I couldn’t even sell our fish specials during Lent to Catholics. I’m just not meant for sales.”

“Do you like fish?”

“No. No one likes fish.”

“You have to like what you’re selling,” She said, handing me a knife carefully. “Love the knife.”

The way she said it was kind of disturbing, and I gingerly took it from her hands. “Why are we excited about the knife? Why do I love the knife? I’m supposed to tell people it cuts tomatoes. All knives do that; that is the essence of knifeness.”

“It doesn’t ‘cut’ tomatoes. It slices clean through them.”

“Same thing.”

“No! One fills more dead air and is impressive.”

“That’s just meaningless fluff Tanya.”

“So’s a decorative pillow, and women buy them buy the dozens; do you think the two in the morning crowd is looking for deep knife philosophy?” She was a woman of many and salient points. She grabbed another knife, flourishing it like a mad butcher. “Sam, look here as these steel-forged Keinlin steel blades slice clean through this tomato. See the enthusiasm? Love the enthusiasm.”

I think Tanya was just a woman filled with love. “I’m not that enthusiastic.”

“I’m not enthusiastic either,” She said. “Do you think I’m some bubbly air head excited about every new doodad attached to my vacuum labeled a Mark 2?”

“I’m just not that good at faking things like that,” I said. “I’ve not got that sort of raw talent; Lucy already tried the pep talk.”

“Well, is there anything you’re good at?”

I thought about that; it was a question that I hadn’t been putting a lot of thought toward in the last few weeks. “Not that I can think of.”

“Did she try the pep talk while holding a knife?”

“Can’t say that she did. I’m good at pissing people off. Can you work with that?” She sighed, nodded and took my knife away from me. This worried me even more, because now she had two.

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