14 September, 2012

Flash Fiction: How Many Times?

            How many times?
            The same guy kept showing up at the cafe, armed with complaints. It never stopped; everything was a target for scrutiny.
            Yet I was stuck with him again. Good old Turner. Man of his word, if that word was in his favor that is. He was also politically passionate, an armchair pundit more or less.
            “So can’t wait for these elections to be over,” He said. “Time to get rid of these clowns and get a real politician.”
            He was on a non-stop tirade about some convention of politicians that ticked him off. It all had to do with the ties, always with the ties.
            “A true politician never wears a snap-on,” Was his favorite lesson. “To tie a tie is true dedication to this country.”
            The fact that he could pinpoint the type of tie a politician was wearing from a television screen would be surprising to most. But I was the only one who knew his TV-watching habits. Always in HD. Always in widescreen. Always on a channel I never heard of.
            How many times?
            His complaints about everything else were exactly the same. He darted the guys from work and school that were different from him from neckwear to personality.
            “So you remember Seamus from Marketing,” He said. “That lazy slob never did work on those group projects.”-He then put on a funny voice.-“I can’t do that. Ma won’t let me.”
            How many times?
            And if he wasn’t complaining politics or putting a bad name on everyone else, he was working on one thing.
            “Look, Ian,” He told me, taking out his tattered notebook. “I’ve got some good stuff going on in Act 3.”
            This was the only time he beamed, telling tales of the characters partying in some pavilion, or how ridiculous they all were on paper.
            “So once Act 1 gets finished then we can finally start that journey to Hollywood,” He said. “I’m still waiting, Ian.”
            How many times?
            That was a question that I’ve asked for years when it came to Turner. The grating finally broke as I snatched that notebook and strolled off back to the house. He never ran after me and I haven’t seen him since then.
            How many times did it take for me to realize? Why did I give myself up in the first place?

For The Knights of Microfiction curated by Kathy and Jessica McKendry

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