Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sneak Peek- Chapter 32 Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?


The roommate slunk in bearing a pile of mail. She brushed her teeth with her tongue as she sorted through it and it was the most annoying sound I’d heard in ages. I turned the radio on and set the volume up higher than I would have liked. Especially since they were playing Christmas Carols already. Singing Chipmunks.

Obviously, this in turn annoyed the roommate since she heaved a stack of mail in my direction and ran up the stairs to her lair. Most of the mail did land on the coffee table, but I had to get up and reach for the few pieces that missed. The first thing to catch my eye was a reminder notice from the meth clinic. Er, I mean the deli. They had potato salad ready for me and if I didn’t pick it up by yesterday they would throw it to the cats in the alleys and never make any for me again.

Normally, this would have made me really mad. In the scheme of things, though, it seemed about the only normal thing going on. The deli owner had both a temper and an usual sense of justice.

Justice. That reminded me. As soon as Tommy made an appearance, Tim and Mom both had orders to bring him to my castle to stand in judgement. I would have to have on hand several dozen rotten tomatoes if he were to be given proper Vegetable Justice. I would also need several semi athletic people to help toss them at him. I really don’t know too many people around here. Kenjl maybe. I wasn’t sure if Tim would participate. Pregnant Pattie was too swollen to invite her, although she might enjoy it. She could be our judge and keep score.

Cynde from the library probably would disapprove, but on the other hand I could ask. She might even bring her kids! I needed more recruits. I had an AHA moment. The Aging Hippies Volleyball Team! I typed up a flyer to post on the beach where they play.

The specifics weren’t important, but just that they show up at my house in clothes worth getting stained for some Vegetable Justice fun. I left my phone number and instructions to call for the final details of date/time. Now all I had to do was find a way to get this posted. I thought and thought and thought some more. I got a brain cramp. The obvious answer was one that might not go over well. I’d have to ask Mom. I could probably persuade her with the argument that Vegetable Justice was better than me having Tommy arrested and thrown in the clink.
Her mother’s instinct to protect her young might work. After all, a few rotten vegetables weren’t going to hurt him, right? I gave up the idea of asking the volleyball team to participate.

The telephone rang and nearly gave me heart failure. It had been so quiet just a few minutes before that I nearly fell asleep in the middle of the book I was reading. I think I did, I felt some drool sliding down my chin.

As I wiped it off and simultaneously answered the phone, my “hello” came out more like “elmo?” It was Cynde at the library calling to say she had a new book I’d likely be interested in. She only chuckled at the “elmo” assuming it was just me being me. Weird, that is. I asked what the book was, and she said it was called “The Secret Lives of a Chinese Fortune Cookie Maker”.

I guess I’d rambled on some of my strange tale when taking out the Chinese Translation book. I did agree it sounded good and asked her to please hold it for me. Without even hesitating to think any further, I grabbed my cell phone and hit the speed dial for Tim.

“Elmo” he said. Or at least that is what I heard. How could he have known? “Tim?” “Yeah it’s me. Oh hi.” “Did you just say Elmo?” “No. I said Hello. Why would I say Elmo?” I shrugged my shoulders then light dawned that he couldn’t see me. “No reason. My ears must be plugged. Wanna go for a ride to the library?”
“Ok. I have books to return.” He sighed slightly.
“Ok then. I think I can walk this time.” I sighed in turn.
“Good enough. I’ll be there after a fashion.” He clicked off. What the hell did after a fashion mean? I’d best get ready. I had two books to return myself. They were mysteries that I solved in the first fifty pages. That was always disappointing to me.

I put the books in my book bag and went outside to sit on the front steps and wait. The sun was warm for mid November, which meant we’d likely have snow for Thanksgiving. I don’t know how long I waited, but it couldn’t have been too long since I didn’t have time too think too much.
Tim pulled in, this time driving a Prius. It belonged to Stanley he said. “Is Stanley your Mom’s boyfriend who I hear so much about?” I asked. “Yeah. The rich dude.”
I put my book bag down and looked in the mini back seat. It was full of library books. “Tim, er, did you read all of those.” “Yeah”he said. “We have a lot of books at school and stuff, but when you have had library withdrawal syndrome for years, once you get a taste of library books again there is no going back.”

“I am thinking of asking if there is a way I can work off the error of my ways as a youth. Do some pennance as a volunteer or something.” Good for Tim! I smiled and said “I tell you what. You ask Cynde when we get there and I’ll back you up and maybe even volunteer with you.”

Half way to the library we spotted a lanky figure on a ten speed bicycle. Wearing a baseball cap and flip flops. I knew it was Tom! Tim pretended he didn’t see him, but I rolled down my window to call out to him, when he raised his fist in the air and shook it at us, yelling at the top of his lungs “MR IAN WOON!
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON”. I spun around in my seat and yelled at Tim, “TIM!!! TIM! That was Tom!!! Tom!!! Why didn’t you pull over?” Tim was whistling and playing innocent. “Huh? Did you say something? I had the wind in my ears.”

1 comment:

jbstanley said...

I am looking forward to reading your book! Thanks for the treat!