Thursday, March 19, 2009

Works Every Time

Saint Starosta was a young Christian woman, forced by her father to marry a pagan. She prayed for deliverance, and God blessed her with a beard to free her from the marriage, which it did when the paganish fiance crucified her. Saint Starosta is the patron saint of unhappily married women.
***

Stella was not attracted to the young man, Jake, who laughed at her weak joke (she herself forgot the joke within three minutes) at the party neither of them seemed to be enjoying. But he asked if she liked the same things that he liked (he did bother to dress it up; he didn't say, "Do you like the same things that I like;" he said, "Do you like Watchmen? The comic book." She said, "Yes.") She knew that he was going to ask out, and she knew that she didn't want to and that she would say yes.
She dressed carefully for the date although she didn't know why she bothered. Perhaps it showed a fundamental respect for this young man as a person (she was considering his feelings, right?) or perhaps it was a sign of nothing but a basic respect for keeping up appearances. She was dreading the awkwardness, the painful silences as Jake realized that there was nothing between them. Or worse, he wouldn't realize, and she would have to feel awkward for both of them. But it would end. It couldn't be more than a few hours. Unless he asked her on a second date. And she accepted. Why would she accept? Stella didn't know. What a stupid girl, she was. How could Jake like her? How could she dare to reject him when clearly he was far better than she deserved. What if he asked her on a third date? And she said yes. And then they slept together. And she said it was great. And they moved in and had a pregnancy scare and it turned out to be nothing and they got engaged and married and had three kids.
And then she was hit by a taxi.
It didn't hit her hard. It bumped up against her knees like a rambunctious puppy. She woke up in the hospital. Her legs seemed to be balancing a hot fire poker on them, and her head seemed to be rattling around like a dry pea inside the balloon of her headache. Her face itched. She put her hand up to scratch it, and it scratched her hand.
A man said, "You've had an accident."
"I know," said Stella. She'd gathered this man was a doctor, but he didn't seem very helpful.
"You've a small degree of brain damage."
"Oh dear."
"Yes."
"It's made you grow a beard."
"What?"
"It's made you grow a beard."
"Oh."
"You see," the doctor explained. Stella thought she heard him squeaking a marker across a white board in fervent explanation, but she'd closed her eyes to better locate her head inside the headache. "In fact, at all times all people have a beard waiting to grow as quickly as possible. But the lambascar region of the frontal cortex functions as an inhibitor. 'No, no, no, don't grow, no, no,' it says (for woman). For men, it just says, 'No, no, slow down, don't grow so fast, no, no."
"So it's like your conscience," said Stella.
"You could say that. If you had issues."
Stella thought that she did have issues.
"So I'm going to have to shave now?"
"Oh no. Your lambascar region has entirely ceased to function. The beard will grow back within minutes."
"Oh. What time is it?"
"6:27."
"Oh dear. I was supposed to meet my date at 6:00."
"Well, you'd better hurry then."
Stella hurried to the restaurant, where Jake was still waiting politely.
He'd gotten a table, drunk three glasses of promptly refilled water, and eaten half a roll. He was now plucking crumbs from the roll and dabbing them across the tablecloth.
"I'm so sorry," said Stella. "I was bumped by a taxi and got brain damage, which made me grow a bread."
"That's okay," said Jake.
In fact, Jake wasn't too keen on the beard. It made him realize that he really didn't like this girl so much. It sat on her face like a little creature, saying, "You don't have anything to talk about." But he'd asked her out on a date, and she'd been kind enough to accept, and he couldn't leave just because she got brain damage and grew a beard.
They ordered. They ate. It was awkward. At one point, they were forced to cannibalize their neighbor's conversation and discuss the relative merits of income versus sales tax. "So do you like taxes?" Jake asked. "Which are your favorite?"
"I guess it's only fair I pay my share. I don't have a favorite."
At one point, they concocted a false history of chopsticks. But they didn't enjoy it. Like people in love would.
They finished eating, but dinner didn't end. Finally, Jake had to crucify Stella. "So I guess you'll have a early morning," he said as he pounded in the nails. "Sorry," he said, "Does that hurt?"
"Oh no, that's fine," she said. She didn't even want to go on the date in the first place.
"I guess I'll call you."
"That's okay."
They might have had a second date but certainly not a third.
______________
This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Metamorphosis'.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ideas Man, Ph.D. said...

I love the idea that hair growth is governed by some cognitive function.

8:37 AM  

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