The box sits unbidden, almost unobtrusive, nearly fading into the background sunday through thursday. Friday, its presence becomes inescapable, that it exists is as incontrovertible a truth as that the sun must come up or everyone likes boobs (we are programmed to from birth, after all). That’s right, it’s time for another fortune cookie friday.
Today’s prompt is:
Modesty is the art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it.
“Of course it’s false, you don’t imagine she’d grow that much that quickly at her age, now do you?”
“No, I suppose not, it–”
“No, one suppose not.”
Ms. Eders, though she preferrs to be called, spuriously, one might add, “Lady Edersly” has all the charm and polish of an A&E day player. A union one, transplanted form New Jersey.
“And your mother? How is she?”
Fine, I say, or something to the effect.
“Is that all? ‘Fine?’ You would do to hold your mother in better regard, you are her only son and…”
Her tedious litany might go on for several minutes, maybe several weeks. It might be months. It’s hard to tell with Ms. Eders. I’ve often thought of contacting Neil deGrasse Tyson, I’m fairly certain the inner portions of Ms. Eders’s mouth contain a black hole, or a gravity well, or some other sort of time warping thing. Whenever her mouth is open time seems to stall, and with all the red one sees, it’s not hard to imagine he’s trapped in the interminable spaghettification that comes before dissolution into an atom thick chain of Robert. Or John, or whatever your name was before Ms. Eders insatiable star god devoured your being and reason to be.
“Bob. Robert! You would do well to listen when your elders are speaking?”
Is that an endorsement of eavesdropping, I’d like to ask, but instead, “I apologize, I assure you you’ve my undivided attention. My mother is staying in for the holiday. The crowds bother her nearly as much as they bother me.”
“You both really must learn to get over this silly phobia you share. I was a nervous child but I overcame it through sheer–”
Ah, another distortion, perhaps she’d not notice if I went and got a Sudoku. Or if I bludgeoned her with… well, nothing here but doilies and demi-tasses. One really needs at least a full pint glass to bludgeon someone with, even someone so seemingly ancient as Eders.
It’s bizarre how old she’s always seemed. The lines on her face aren’t particularly deep, yet she powders herself as if mortaring stucco. Her hair might be greying, but were she to let it so she might add to her appearance a slight touch of the gravitas of age she’s affected since departing her twenties. This strangled red she’s applied only adds to the sens of her decrepitude. I can’t imagine she’s over fifty-five. Perhaps housing that dead star takes a toll on her outer shell.
I say, that I to call me Bob when I prefer Robert is a persistent rudeness. I say, that in the U.S., to pronounce my name bah-BUH, is an affectation. I say, that for all your performance and pretension, you’re an arrogant joke, one that wasn’t funny to begin with, and that has only grown more painfully unamusing the longer it’s told. I say:
“Lady Edersly, you’re absolutely right. But, it’s really not my mother, she’s got her friends coming and it wouldn’t make much sense for everyone to drive out to the hoary hinterlands of Alzabet City only to drive another hour off just to watch a few fireworks. Especially when she’s got only the one guest room. Almost everyone would have to drive back that night, which wouldn’t be much fun or fair to them. As for me, I’ve no excuse, I–”
“Yes, yes. Well, if she’s having guests, of course she must do what is best as hostess. And I know you have your reasons and will do your best to work through them, I only wish–”
Ah, a nurse, my savior.
“Your four o’clock is here.”
Thank you, Maddie. Well, Lady Eders, I must be off. I’ll give my mother your best.”
“See that you do dear. Good day.”
“Good day, Lady Eders.”
Well, today proved to be an exercise in unnecessary interjections. I think of scenes and dialogue cinematically, I imagine Ms. Eders the sort of pushy person to imagine she knows what everyone is going to say before he or she says it and is thus impatient to get through it say that she can give her response. Even while I constructed the scene in my head she was cutting off the protagonist. She’s not a great listener. Robert Kingsinger (notably the first character to get a full name in a F.C.F.) is more of a mystery. He was meant to be the charming figure, but he seems less charming and more diplomatic. I failed to show him demonstrating himself to be pleasant and enjoyable, playful and likeable, and instead only showed him to have rude thoughts but enough tact not to voice them.
I’m working on incorporating some of the “advice” (yes the quotation marks are a childish jab, so sue me, I’m still annoyed by the manner of my rejection) the Jawbone-men sent me. I was tempted to add Robert’s thoughts on why or what he was thinking, rather than just having him think or say they things. I realize that that is a habit for me. Perhaps my rejection wasn’t all bad. If my writing improves, I suppose I owe that journal a bit of thanks. Not that they’ll get it, I’ll just acknowledge it’s owed.
That’s it for today, as always, thinks for reading. If you have any comments, wish to play along, or have any writing suggestions (preferably devoid of “likes” and “y’knows”… ahem) feel free to comment them.
Have a fun forth of july. May your drinks be strong, your explosions entertaining, and the number of your digits remain unaffected by both.