Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Scenarios/experiments in flash fiction, #2

1. After hearing Nic and I discuss the virtues and glories of them for what begins to feel like days on end, you decide it's time to watch a zombie movie. We start with a funny one, just to ease you into it. But after the third decapitation (and fourth graphic disemboweling), you learn that you're a bit more squeamish than you thought. However, you sit through it anyway because you think I might be disappointed with your newly discovered distaste. "I really liked it," you say when it's over. When I ask you your favorite part, you gag and dry heave a little bit. I feel awful. We nurse you back to emotional stability with the first half of Baby Mama before you decide that you'd rather watch Ratatouille, a movie I've heard good things about, purchased, and still don't know how to spell. You finally smile at the combination of its opening credits and the chocolate peanut butter ice cream I got for you. When we finally fall asleep, you don't stir once. I'm relieved.

2. Your phone rings. "Be ready in ten minutes," I say, before you can even say hello. "We're going to tonight's Jazz game. They're playing Cleveland. Shaq in the HOOOOOOOOOOOOOUSE." Click. I hang up before you can counter the invitation--nay, DEMAND--with the three hours of reading you have to do. However, your priorities are straight and you're ready and waiting. We get there, buy two hot dogs, two Cokes, and a massive container of cotton candy that may or may not be old enough to vote. My repressed (and bizarrely existent) knowledge of the intricacies of basketball rears its head and I'm relieved that I know about one thing (besides scotch) that's actually sort of, you know...manly. We're sitting next to two obnoxious Cavaliers fans that keep yelling vulgar things loud enough for Jerry Sloan to hear courtside. I ask them--politely--to keep it down, and they decide to focus their taunting on me. At the end of the third quarter, the Jazz are down fifteen points and it looks like all is lost. Our obnoxious neighbors are hooting and hollering, trying to emasculate me. Cleveland slowly loses their lead, and the Jazz chip away to a pair of foul shots that can call it a win, lose, or draw. Clouds of f-words muddled by drunken Duchesne accents waft over our ears. "The Jazz are so gay," one of them says. "And I bet that skinny fella there paid that pretty girl to come with him to this. He's all fancy. Probably a queer." Boozer takes his final shot, which goes in with a swoosh. Jazz win, crowd goes wild. "F*** the Jazz," they say. "And f*** that stupid asshole," the other says, pointing at me. "Both of them suck." I go from looking right at them to grabbing you and pulling you in a for a kiss intense enough to make most basketball fans uncomfortable. When finished, we pull away and you've got a smile on your face that would be outlawed in some states. I look back at them and, your head on my chest as you catch your breath from my spontaneity, point to the chandelier of big screens hovering above the court. "Check the scoreboard," I tell them. "Then we'll talk about who sucks."

3. We're driving to Seattle. Through the Oregon mountain pass, we get caught in a snowstorm. It's too scary to drive any more. We pull over and plug the electric blanket into the cigarette lighter with the adapter I brought. We watch three episodes of Grey's Anatomy and I get confused about the characters' names. We traverse the storm and find a mini mart where we buy a frozen pizza, which we cook on the engine block (yes, it really does work). It's cold in the car, but we manage to keep warm. We're resourceful like that.

4. I want to make you dinner. I flip through my mental recipe book and decide on jambalaya--something unique, flavorful, deceptively simple to make, etc. I buy everything I need: rice, oil, shrimp, red peppers, carrots, an onion, etc. While I'm preparing it in the kitchen, doing my damndest to make an impressive meal that'll make me all the more irresistible, you're in the living room, organizing the random papers on my desk into something resembling a sensible pile, belting "Does Your Mother Know?" at the top of your beautiful lungs. Fittingly, I decide to take what I can only think to call a "chicka-chance chance" and throw some ground chipotle pepper into the pot for spice. But I throw in too much. You keep trying to eat it, but it's too intense. I add soy sauce, sugar, lime juice--nothing's making it palatable. You're trying so hard to enjoy it, and you're being so sweet about how much you don't like it, so we finally find you a new bowl and drown two cups of Cinnamon Life in 1% milk. You eat heartily. We sit comfortably on a couch I didn't know I needed until you appeared. We talk about everything all night long, draw lines, hypothesize the future. And then I crawl into your arms and it all comes tumbling back down.


emilyf said...

Hooray for Ratatouille, kissing and Life cereal! The world is a happy place.

Kels H. said...

I like this... it feels like reading water drops.

& what's with the cleaned up d**ty words? I like 'em, but... Andy?

Andy said...

Kelsey, sometimes there's not much to curse about. And there are proper and improper ways to curse. Profanity is simply another tool in the linguistic toolbox, and I didn't like how mean those rednecks were to me and her, so they don't get the satisfaction that "uck" so often brings.