Monday, October 10, 2016

The Importance of Being Ernest

"Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes..."
Only slightly surprised, I sat up from my book, took off my reading glasses, and rubbed my eyes. I swear to God every time I get to an interesting part, the world shoves a stop sign in my face. Nonetheless, I was quite curious. I headed toward the door, and when I opened it, I was greeted by a man who seemed to be wearing a little too much makeup. I looked outside of my apartment to see if I was a special case, but I saw a file of similarly-dressed people either furiously knocking on doors or furiously entering them. It was a scene reminiscent of the scare floor from Monster's Inc. Haha! I shouldn't be laughing, though. My scanning eyes were unfortunate enough to lock with Autumn's; she looked as though she had just been captured by the antagonist in one of those slasher thrillers, while I still had the chance to escape.
"May I ask you a couple questions? I'm Michael Bessemer with Southern Living."
"Yes", I replied, not seeing the harm that my neighbors so clearly expressed.
The dude seemed nice enough, so I granted him entry. Besides, this must be the biggest thing in this city since that rat outbreak at Los Tacos back in '09. I retreated to my chair, and Michael assumed a neutral stance in the center of the room.
"You can take a seat if you want", I offered. I was surprised to find a reporter as shy as this one, but he accepted my offer and we kicked off the interview.
Rather, he noticed my copy of The Old Man and the Sea and said, "I'm surprised to see a book in this apartment building". Ok. So he was a bit snobby, but what else can you expect from a guy who writes about living in the South? 
"Well for the same reason, I'm just as surprised to be sitting here talking to you right now", I sighed. 
"I can understand where you're coming from, Mr. Johnson." 
I didn't question that he knew my name. I just wanted to start the interview.
Instead of asking me about what I do on a daily basis, or what I think about this "turn around" town, Michael told me what he thought about Hemingway. We ended up conversing about Hemingway's strange style, the motifs of his novels, and even some conspiracy theories that I wasn't aware of. 
We were so deep in conversation that I hardly heard a knock on my door. 
"Henry, are you ok?, shouted Autumn".
I replied at a similar volume: "Yeah I'm ok what's up"? 
"It's 4:00!"

Time sure flies when two literarily-inclined folk strike up a conversation.


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  2. We've been paired up for this next blog post. I've pasted my entry below so that you can read it.
    Rainbow Clothes
    He only became aware of the problem when the washing machine didn’t fill up with water.

    “What the-” he swore. “No water? Really? And I thought this town couldn’t get any worse.” The only other water sources were Rainbow River and the fishing pond, and he was not about to wash - no, soil - his clothes in such dirty water. Then, it clicked. The gas station. It sells bottled water. He left his clothes in the machine and sprinted out the door, hoping no one else had had the same idea.

    A soft ringing signaled his entrance into the Exxon gas station. Dashing to the back where the drinks were sold, he was confronted with the sad image of a refrigerator stripped of its contents. Just like the town, there wasn’t a single drop of clean water.

    There were only the river and pond left. A simple coin flip decided his fate. Rainbow River it is. After a couple minutes of searching, he found a bucket. Bucket in hand, he sprinted out of the gas station, eyes fixed on the chaos unfolding around him. People were rushing in all directions, either hauling full buckets of water back to their residences or trying to take back the water that had been stolen from them. Clothes were scattered everywhere from when people had dropped them. It was worse than when the power went out.

    Despite the cool fall breeze, his shirt was already drenched in sweat. He’d have to wash that too. When he finally arrived at the river, he began scouting out a spot with the least amount of oil slick.

    “Hey, can you help me?”

    He turned around sharply. It was someone he had never seen before, although that honestly didn’t surprise him. “Who are you and what do you want?” he quipped.

    “I’m Henry Johnson. I dropped my book in the river. It’s really important to me, but I can’t afford to get my clothes dirty.” He pointed to a small book floating amidst the sludge.

    Lucien was about to say no and walk off, but Henry’s simultaneously distressed and hopeful expression made him consider otherwise.

    “Sure, why not.” I need to wash these clothes anyway, what’s the big deal. Wading into the murky water, he gingerly picked up the book. He could barely make out the title, it was so ruined.

    “Here’s your book,” Lucien said, handing it to Henry.

    “Oh my gosh, thank you!” he said, putting the book back into his pocket. “I’m so sorry about your clothes.”

    Lucien looked down. His pants and shoes were soiled beyond repair, but no matter. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”

    When he arrived back at the Victorian, full bucket in hand, he went straight to the public washing machines to wash his clothes.

    Except they weren’t there.