Monday, February 19, 2007

Non-disability bitterness

We here at Bitter Inc. are not just bitter about our disability. Sure, that is Raison de Bitter 1, 2 and 3. No. 4 for instance might be modern short stories. Half of them seem even more pointless than free verse. They seem to follow standard conventions: A hook into the story, sometimes interesting, sometimes not. There is always a sex scene, always, even if the writer has to bring in some mystery character to sex up some other character. It apparently is totally OK to bring in random characters at the last minute, too. These people are published. Not me. But that is about to change. Here is my short story:

The tall man jostled past Susan in the ice cream aisle of her Harris Teeter. Not hers, of course, but that was how she thought of it. "Watch it, jerk," Susan muttered under her breath. In fact, though, she didn't really mind. He was not her type -- she liked being the tall one of the couple -- but it was the touch of another human and it had been so long for her. Plus it was a male touch, which was more than she could say for her ... Well, you know.

Susan was at Harris Teeter picking out dessert for her Saturday night alone. She was trying to decide between Chunky Monkey and Cookie Dough ice cream. She knew each would be delicious. at the last minute, though, she grabbed a can of rocky road ice cream. She grimaced as she thought what that might portend.

As she got in the checkout line, she noticed that the tall man was in line one person in front of her. He had bought a pack of pork chops, some broccoli, altoids and an almond joy candy bar.

When she saw the almond joy, Susan thought: "Do they even make those anymore?"

After the cashier had swiped the altoids, the tall man put them in his back pocket and it created a bugle on his left butt cheek. For some reason Susan felt lightheaded and grabbed the rack where all the tabloids are. "Anna Nicole Smith shared White House bedroom with Britney Spears," a headline blared.

when she reached the cashier, Susan knew it was fate. The tall man had left his credit card on the check-writing platform. She glanced around and quickly pocketed it. Then she began to dream of what the tall man was like. She would find his address then go take him his card back. One thing would lead to another. She was sure.

She found a phone book and looked up Arthur Dequater. He lived at 302 Wasaw Street downtown. She was sure if she hurried he would invite her in to eat the dinner he had just bought. She even brought dessert.
Art Dequater heard the knock at his door as he was cooking dinner.

"Mr Dequater? I'm afraid your girlfriend was killed today in a car crash," the police officer said grimly.

"Girlfriend?" said Art confused. "But I'm gay," and he opened the door to show a family portrait of him and his male partner.

Now it was the officer's turn to look confused. "Is this your credit card?"

Art reached for his wallet, but mistakenly grabbed the altoids. Without thinking he popped one in his mouth, found his wallet and slapped his forehead.

"Of course, I left it at the grocery store. She must have picked it up. I wonder what her story was?" he said to no one in particular.

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