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Archimedes, Part 1
Archimedes, Part 1
The days passed slowly. When my nails grew longer I cut them. When my hair grew longer I would take the bus to the barbershop and sit, wrapped in a sheet, while those oh-so-shiny scissors snipped, removing piece after piece of me to fall, littering the cheap, cracked linoleum floor. The surgery complete, I would pay, leave, take the bus back home and wait for my hair to grow again. I don't know how many times I visited that barber before I met Faye.
It was only ten in the morning, but it was already hot. You could just feel that the day was going to be unbearable; a day you pray for rain or cloud or wind or any relief that never comes. The bar was more full than usual for that time of day. Myself and some of the other regulars were there, of course, and Mama Joe behind the well used oak bar as well as a few new faces, mostly sad and confused, who had stumbled into the bar to try and escape the blistering sidewalks.
I saw Faye sitting behind me. I was bored and, as I often do at such times, I looked around, trying to spot the cutest girl of the moment. I usually find the enterprise amusing, as the cutest girl I see is often very plain, any attraction a direct result of her contrast to the surrounding air of stale smoke loneliness and waste. Faye was different. Most people are dull. Faye shone. Her hair fell in little weightless drafts around her face, almost as though afraid to touch her, for fear of damaging something more fragile than they. Her eyes glinted with disinterested laughter. She looked crazy and wonderful and I wanted her almost immediately.
When she got up to leave, I got up to leave. Mama Joe runs a tab for me, so I didn't have to worry about counting my change to pay for my drinks, and I was able to get to the door at the same time as she. I held the door for her and mumbled something quite inaudible which she didn't hear. I tried again, just as she was about to leave and disappear forever I asked her a question I hoped would start a conversation. It was something boring, I didn't care about the answer, but it was something and I've never been clever enough with the ladies to think of witty things to say to them that might make them want to fuck me. To my surprise, the question led to talking which led us to a café two doors down. If the café had been any farther I think I would have given up and gone back to the bar; the heat was horrible.
The café was full. Young men and women in nice suits were lined up to make their purchases while others stood at a rail or sat at tables and talked excitedly into their cell phones or at each other. The sound was terrible. The constant, unpitying, jabber of all those pretty faces crashed into my scull and threatened to push me, screaming, back into the heat of the morning. But one look at Faye and I was rooted to the ground. We stood in line, got our coffees and found a table near the back where, thankfully, the sound was less overwhelming. She talked. She talked while I smoked cigarettes. I smoked and she talked and I wondered how anyone could drink hot coffee on a day like this.
The morning melted away. I don't know how long we sat there like that, her talking and me smoking, but she was several cups into it and my cigarettes were almost gone. It was past noon and had been a more pleasant morning than I could remember having had in a long time. I told her so. That was when I saw her smile for the first time. Her smile was contagious and soon we were both sitting there, just smiling at each other like a couple of retarded school children. We shared a laugh at the absurdity of the moment. She apologized, but she had to go to work. I apologized, but I had to see her again. She asked if she could cook me dinner on the weekend. I'd have been a fool to say no. I've never been clever, but I'm no fool. She went to work and I went back to the bar. Mama Joe gave me a beer and a strange look. I don't think he'd ever seen me happy. I ignored him and smiled and the beer was cold.
Continued tomorrow: Archimedes, Pt. 2
5/13/2005 8:50 pm
you have drawn me in to the story. I know it will not be a happily ever after and I hope the narrator does not do unspeakable things. I know this might happen but I will not like it. I am sometimes an impatient person.|
The opposite of red is green but only because of christmas.