Monday, February 20, 2012
This week's challenge: Use the third definition exactly as it appears below and weave it into a stunning work of art of between 33 and 333 words.
3 a : a harmlessly deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding
1 : a person lacking in judgment or prudence
2 a : a retainer formerly kept in great households to provide casual entertainment and commonly dressed in motley with cap, bells, and bauble
b : one who is victimized or made to appear foolish : dupe
I was stuck next to our coats. She was opposite me, having slid into the booth beside my husband.
I appraised her with an experienced eye: mid-30s, pert breasts, tight ringlets. I almost said, “1985 wants its hair back,” but that was trite and besides, I was tired.
Poodle Perm touched his hard bicep. “How does he bathe his wings in hot sauce and still stay in this shape?” Her finger lingers in an intimate, possessive gesture. But I don’t think they’ve had sex yet. Probably just a Clintonian moment in the front seat of our car.
I was going to ask how she knew we’d be here tonight, but I realize he told her. He wanted this confrontation. He's enjoying it.
They both work at the airport. He’s a baggage handler, she’s a secretary. Oh, the tales she told me about my mate of more than 25 years. In the breakroom, his favorite song came on and he started dancing with such abandon he didn’t realize he was in front of the dartboard! Lucky she pulled him out of the way! He called her from the runway but by the time she picked up, he forgot what he wanted to ask her. So he stammered and then sang, “I just called to say I love you, I just called to say how much I care.” He often sneaks offsight for beers, and she lowers her voice as she explains how she takes care of his timecard for him.
“Honey,” I almost say, “I know he’s high maintenance. I work a 70-hour week to support this functioning alcoholic so he can waste his pay on booze and blow. By the time I get home he’s encouraging our son to join him, farting around on Facebook, ignoring his homework and disregarding me as a workaday drudge. If you think you can handle my husband, you’re welcome to him. You may be enchanted by a boyish fool, but I live the corrosive reality.”