Yet another sampling of my book for your reading pleasure. The writing has been going well, and things are finally starting to make a little bit more sense to me, which is comforting considering I only have two and a half months left before I'm supposed to be finished! I'm confident that things will work out and I will be able to work non-stop until I'm done, so the fears of going back to work so to speak have subsided nicely!
“I told you, you couldn’t refuse Kohrs!” Pen said. We were looking out over the ocean even though we couldn’t see it by this time of the night.
“I’m fully capable of refusing Kohrs Pen, I’m not a freaking heifer,” I regretted it as soon as it came out of my mouth.
“Cause I was calling you a heifer?” Pen said sounding exasperated. “What the hell Eddie?”
“No, I know you weren’t. But when you say I’m incapable of refusing ice cream it just makes me feel like I’m fat and totally unable to turn down junk food,” I said, trying to make my voice sound calm in an effort to turn the placating on Pen.
“You are not fat at all, you look great! You didn’t even gain weight when you quit smoking! That’s amazing everyone gains weight when they quit smoking. Seriously, you are not fat,” she said, taking a lick of her vanilla custard.
“Here’s what I don’t get Pen,” I said, a stroke of brilliance smacking me in the forehead. “If you say I’m not fat, then how can you go around acting like you are? You weigh 108 pounds! I weigh thirty more pounds then you, thirty pounds, and yet you say I look great. How am I supposed to believe you when you go around talking about how fat you are?”
Pen momentarily froze, the spoon still in her mouth. It was then scary how astonishingly fast she was able to regain her composure and turn things around to suit her own purpose. “I’m not fat, I know that. But I’m skinny fat. I’m not toned at all, my body is all flabby and I have cellulite all over the place.”
“Every woman alive has cellulite Pen,” I interjected.
“That’s not true, look at her, her thighs have no cellulite on them, and,” she sighed “they don’t even touch,” Pen said, pointing to a passerby.
“First of all, it’s night time, so I cannot actually tell if she has cellulite or not. Second of all, and most importantly, she was like 14 years-old! What the hell, you are 33! Your a woman, not a girl. Why the hell would you want the body of a 14-year-old girl?” I stammered.
“Listen,” Pen said, sounding as if she were my boss and not my sister. “When you get around to getting a husband, you will understand what I’m talking about. You have to be perfect all the time. People tell you that once you are married, you can relax, it’s not true. Trust me, you’ll figure this all out when you get married.”
It was another one of those Ally McBeal moments in life, where you swear you can hear the arrow come whistling towards you, and then thud, it lands directly in your already bleeding heart. When I get around to getting a husband, as if it’s as simple as taking out the trash. When I get around to getting a husband. I wanted to vomit my peanut butter and chocolate mixed custard all over the brand spanking new Ipe boards that were under my feet. A roll of thunder sounded far off to sea, as if nature was backing up my angry, hurt emotions.
Pen having no idea of the damaged she has just caused, continued on. “And besides, I’m holding myself to a different set of standards then I do other people. I do think you look great, I just judge myself differently.”
I threw my half eaten ice cream cone in the trash can conveniently placed right next to our bench, and stared at the back of the no thigh touching 14-year-old girl as she walked, unaware, down the boardwalk. I knew in my heart that it was asinine to compare myself to her, especially since I had just been railroading Pen for doing the same, but for a brief moment I wondered if I would be married if my thighs didn’t, in fact, touch.
We sat there, not saying anything, the thunder becoming louder, for at least five minutes before Pen simply said, “I love you.”
I smiled despite myself, and said “I love you too,” as Pen ate her last spoonful of ice cream, before throwing the cup away in the garbage can on her side of the bench, making me wish I hadn’t thrown mine out already. I thought briefly about going back for more, but the idea of facing that stick figure, snooty teenage girl working the counter again made my desire to vomit return, so I opted not to.
“Let’s go back,” I said, hearing defeat in my own voice.
“Alright,” Pen said.
We both stood up and headed down the boardwalk to the closest ramp to the house. As we neared the darkened windows of the psychic storefront, Pen looked pensively at the sign and said, “Don’t go this year.”
“Why?” I questioned.
“Because, you guys get all caught up in what they say. It just freaks me out, I don’t get why you want to know what’s going to happen,” she answered.
“First off, I don’t get caught up in it, and neither do mom and dad. And second, it’s fun. It’s not like they ever tell you something bad. They just say a bunch of ambiguous stuff that could be true for most people. I don’t get why you are so afraid of it,” I said.
We were back down on the street as the first few raindrops began to fall. A large, fat drop landed directly on my right eye, leading my to quickly wipe it away for fear that my mascara would begin to run. That of course led to wondering why I care if my mascara runs in the rain because it’s raining – everyone is getting wet for Christ’s sake! Why do I care so much?
“I’m not afraid of it. I just think it’s wrong somehow. I don’t know, I just have no desire to hear what they think is going on in my life,” she said as she pulled the small hood of her thin sweatshirt up over her head.
“Well, I get a kick out it. Besides, she might very well tell me that I’m going to marry George Clooney, and I certainly want to be on the look out if there’s any possibility in that!” I said with a straight face.
“Well now that would be useful information wouldn’t it!” Pen said laughing.
We stopped on the sidewalk across from the house and waited for traffic to pass so we could run across the street. The rain had grown heavier in the last few moments, and by the time we made it on to the covered porch we were soaked to the bone and laughing.
– Copyright 2008 Shoo Elephant Shoo
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