Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Poking Around in the Attic

I have taken some time away from writing to search through my attic, hoping to find another story or two.  I strolled at twilight along a deserted urban street in the northwest corner of my mind.  As I approached the middle of the block, a skinny little man, unkempt and ragged, stepped from the alley and accosted me.  “Pssst,” he hissed, “you like some  dirty pictures, some filthy stories?” 

“Not interested,” I said. “Here,” I handed him a dollar bill, “go buy yourself some soap. And get your mind out of the gutter while you are at it.  Scram.”

The café on the next corner was still open.  I stepped inside, took a stool at the counter.  A buxom woman well past life’s midpoint ambled along behind the counter, slopped a glass of water and a setup in front of me.  “Whadda ya want?”  she asked.  I noted her mustard-colored, not to mention mustard-stained dress, her name tag on her left breast, “Maizie.”

Looking into her clear, pale blue eyes, I replied, “I want stories; or even one story.  But you look a little weary.  Guess I’d settle for a cuppa joe and that last slice of apple pie there.”

“Mister, you don’t know from stories.  Look at me.  No, really.  Look at me.  I am fifty-nine years old last week, and here I am after eight o’clock on Tuesday night  sloppin’ coffee ‘n slingin’ hash.  You think I don’t know from stories?  Well, sir, you ain’t lived long, then.”

“Do tell.” 

She narrowed her eyes. “I ain’t into no funny business, Mister.  I work hard, I go home.  That’s it. You want stories, you’re barkin’ up the wrong tree.”

I was disappointed because I really thought she might have a tale to tell.  I took the last bite of pie, swallowed the last swig of java.  I swung off the stool, laid a ten spot on the counter and said, “The change is yours, Maizie.  Have a nice night.”  

As I tripped the panic bar to open the door, Maizie spoke to me again. “Wait.”  I stopped, let the door drift closed.  “I get off work in ten minutes.  We can sit right here in a booth and talk a bit if a story is really all you want.”

“All right, then.  A story is exactly what I am looking for, and the only thing I am looking for.  Why else would a man be rummaging around in the recesses of his mind at this time of life?”  I slipped into the vacant booth nearest the kitchen.  Maizie put another cup of coffee in front of me.  

I waited while she finished her shift.

©2015 David W. Lacy

7 comments:

Shelly said...

Can't wait- what a stage you've set for us!

Secondary Roads said...

Nice set up. The hard part is waiting for the tale to be told.

Maizie, Maizie, tell me your story, do.

Grace said...

Oh this should be good...

vanilla said...

Shelly, thus running the risk that the stage will be the best part of the play.

Chuck, hope it's worth the wait. Thursday, I think.

Grace, we hope.

Sharkbytes said...

Very interesting... now we may hear what Maizie has to say.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, Maizie may tell all. Or not?

vanilla said...

Sharkey, Maizie may tell all. Or not?