An Assistant & A Lingerer

An Assistant & A Lingerer

“It is not a matter of good versus bad, nor is it a matter of what might be better or best. The issue revolves solely around determining what proves to be the most productive way to not only disseminate but also, to communicate the story.”

“That sounds like a matter of best-ness, ma’am.”

“Assuredly, it is not.”

“Why then am I here at all?”

“Everyone ought to be given a chance, if only one. Do you not agree?”

“I agree.”

“Perfect. Pray tell then how it is that you shared this story with people who have repeatedly shown that they do not deserve to know this story.”

“I didn’t tell anyone. I would never point at that which ought not be pointed.”

“Then who pointed?”

“Ma’am, I promise that I do not know who would do such a thing.”

“I believe you.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”

“There is one small problem, however.”

“Ma’am?”

“Stop right here.”

“I thought … ”

“Go ahead, look through the window into that room there.”

“ … ”

“Ah, but now you know the problem.”

“ … ”

“Who is that?”

“I … I can’t remember.”

“I believe you.”

“You do?”

“Of course not.”

“Honestly, ma’am, I do not remember.”

“Which is it? You do not remember, or you cannot remember?”

“Please. I … I just … What do you want from me?”

“Nothing, Lingerer. We’ve already discussed how this apparently has nothing to do with you.”

“No?”

“No.”

“Then why am I here?”

“Well, it’s simple really. The story was told, and of course, by now, you must have some small insight into who it is who must have told. No?”

“Yes, I do believe I understand.”

“Good. So, if you do not know that person sitting but a few feet away, then you’ll gladly enter the space to gather a more-rounded sense of his account.”

“Yes. Anything for you ma’am.”

“Excellent.”

“Am I to question him now?”

“Of course.”

“I see.”

“Is there a problem?”

“ … No … ma’am … I … what … What is it exactly am I supposed to ask him?”

“That is why you are here.”

“Understood.”

“One other quick thing, Lingerer.”

“Yes.”

“Be quite quick.”

“But I don’t know what it is that you want.”

“You can imagine what it might be, however, yes?”

Not The Listmaker (according to Attila)

Not The Listmaker (according to Attila)

“I don’t know who she is, and I don’t know what she is, and I don’t know where she’s from, and I don’t know anything about the why. I am here to inform you of my knowledge of her existence, but the truth of the matter is that I do not know who she is, at all. She never came up on my list before the disappearance, and nobody seems to really know who she is, and yet, everyone knows her, now. It was the perfect scheme, perhaps, or the perfect plan, I guess. Again, something I do not know, for which I traveled to your front door in search of answers.” The person to whom I am speaking sits back and mulls over the words. She is looking at me, and I don’t really know what to make of her look.

And then, he sees us off in the distance. Well, us is loosely defined at this point. She has made green. He sees me, and just as I realize that he has indeed seen me, I decide to leave, but as I’m leaving, Attila rounds the corner. Luckily, she sees me seeing her and immediately looks for him and then, quickly sees him too. He sees us seeing him now and freezes, mid-step, on some plushy grass just north of the fountain around which he must still walk in order to reach us. Calmly, Attila reaches me as I curl at her feet under a table. “Don’t order anything, please,” I plead. “He will not make his way over here. We’re in public. Relax,” she coos. “I will do the cooing, thank you very much, and now is not exactly the time for such relaxation, lady!” I whisper-scorn. She uncrosses and re-crosses her legs, inconveniencing me greatly so that I must reposition myself.

“At least order the eggs benedict,” I suggest as I curl down into my best surveillance loaf and keep watch for him. Attila’s foot begins to tap. “Please,” I paw at her. “My god,” she responds, exasperated. I see him just as a motor vehicle of some sort passes by on the street a few short meters from the table we’re seated at now. “Attil,” I mutter as I stand and slowly walk back, away. “It’s alright. I think it’s alright,” she attempts. “She isn’t here anymore,” I inform. “Thank you, I do know this,” Attila informs. He definitely means to make his way toward us, but I do not know what he hopes to do. Of course he has to be absolutely gorgeous, dressed in a frothy summer gown, hair flowing, almost floating on the air with the lightheartedness of a lover as opposed to my Listmaker. “That is not the Listmaker,” Attila whispers. “Oh,” I squeak and then wonder, “Are you going to let him come over here?” “Of course, that is what he intends.” But then what happens? I wonder again but to myself. “Nothing will happen if he does nothing,” Attila answers. “That was private,” I scold.

Slowly, he crosses the threshold of the restaurant’s outdoor patio space. Gliding on air, he holds out an arm burdened with a small silk purse adorned in sequins, hand sewn, no doubt. He sits. His toes need some work, but his heels look good, and overall, he smells fresh. “Darling,” he begins. “She’s not here,” Attila answers. “Of course I know this,” he states. He pauses as if taking a beat for a hit of a cigarette, but he is not smoking. “Where is she? Tell me this, and I will be gone in a flash. Nice suit, by the way. Who made you that one?” Another airy beat. “She is supposed to be here,” Attila answers, truthfully, amazingly enough.

They both simultaneously switch their top legs and bottom legs in a cross-legged switcharoo. “You are so fascinating, you, Attila, darling,” he swoons. “And you bore me, Sir,” Attila smirks. “The older woman would be disappointed, but, of course, you already know this,” he smiles with a smug air of one-upmanship. “But she is no man,” he spits. Attila sits back and crosses her arms in front of her chest. “What the hell do you want?” “But you already know, dear.” “Fine, take the cat.” What? Me? “Yes, you,” Attila states as she reaches down and picks me up and sets me on the top of the table. “Her name is Tuna, and she’s a novice, but she’s done well so far,” Attila explains. But I thought that I was yours, I mew to myself, confused. “I’m sure she’s wonderful, but I want HER,” he shouts with a slap on the table and a quick, chair-squeaking rise. “You cannot avoid my messages, Attila. Everyone knows you did it,” he offers in finality. Gracefully, he turns and walks away. Once in the street again, he disappears.

I’m Ketchup

I’m Ketchup

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-THREE

2017 March 03 [Friday]

Friday Fable

Years ago, when my age finally allowed me to participate within the democracy I had so fortunately been born, the first opportunity for me to vote for the next president of my country happened not for another two years. This, of course, does not really pertain so much to the point of this story. Nevertheless, when the time came, I voted and the person for whom I voted became the next president, and officially, that person became my first president. I only share this bit of information now in light of a recent television show I watched within which this president guest appeared. To my hopeful delight, my president exuded a cool unmatched by any of his predecessors. And then, a strange revelation befell me.

03-17-ketchup

As an exuberant consumer of ketchup, I was thrilled when the topic of conversation between this president of mine and the host revolved around ketchup! He recounted with the host of the television show that he forbade ketchup as a condiment upon eggs after the age of eight. The host heartily agreed, and with that enlightened tidbit I realized that I, apparently, possessed a childlike palate. Immediately, to the surprise of those close to me, I gave up ketchup. No longer eating the stuff on eggs or any other food for that matter, I felt my life garner a new level of sophistication with which I quickly became quite proud. Despite this newfound sense of dignity, I pressed on as a recovering addict of immature tastes, all grown and confident in knowing that I, too, could exist in the world as a smart connoisseur of greater things. And then another revelation befell me.

Like people tend to do, admittedly or not, I soon became obsessed with a particular writer after reading one of her books for the first time. The obsession pushed me to discover as much information as I could about the writer. What I found ranged from the truly profound to the seriously trivial. The trivial, however, interested me most once I discovered that this writer, whom I began loving so much through her writings, ate ketchup on everything from the expected, like french fries, to the odd, like celery. Feeling bonded to this writer I held in such steep regard made me feel as though, if I were to consider myself an intellectual, I, too, could openly embrace my love for the condiment. But how would my respect for the president’s stance on the use of ketchup as being solely for the immature resonate through my decision about what it means to like, nay love, the stuff?

I had much to think about with regards to how two people, whom I adored and respected, loathed and loved such a seemingly harmless sauce. I had no other choice but to continue my search for what or how I should think or use the condiment. Therefore, I made a list of every person I deemed important, intelligent, relevant, &c., and then sought whatever information I could about each person’s views on ketchup. Surprisingly, there’s little to no information about such a topic. To this day, I still don’t know how to feel about this condiment I enjoy so dearly yet am too embarrassed to ingest, at least in public. The compromise I have settled upon within myself makes me an avid supporter of ketchup in private spheres while public opinion of the condiment labels the stuff unpalatable. Until, of course, evidence of either side ruling the other more respectable, I will remain decidedly undecided.