Monday, February 27, 2012

The Big Break (Part 1 of short story)

Edgar awoke and leaned forward to pull up the blanket that had been kicked down while he was sleeping. Judging from the chilly temperature inside the room, he could only assume it was going to be another frigid day. The morning sun shone brightly through the tear in the pull down shade covering his bedroom window and the faint chorus of songbirds could be heard outside, accompanied by the garbled, but much louder, sounds of a Spanish conversation taking place in the adjacent room. He lay there for a moment listening, as the mixture of indecipherable voices gave way to lively Latin music laced with energetic beats that peppered the wall. Someone was having fun in there.

There was no point in trying to tackle anymore sleep, so Edgar rolled out of bed and threw on his sea green terrycloth robe and grabbed a beanie off the nightstand for his messy head. He walked over to the closet and slipped his left foot into a flip-flop, turned and scanned the room for the missing right. Shit, shit, shit. He removed the flip-flop and opted instead for a pair of dirty old running shoes next to the pile of laundry in the corner of the room.
     "Dammit!" he exclaimed as his left foot encountered the cold wet interior of the shoe. He noticed the overturned cup lying on the floor next to it. Shit, shit, shit! There was a knock at his door, "Yeah, it's open!" Edgar said loudly. The door swung open and banged into the nightstand, causing a lamp to fall over and crash to the floor. Jennifer stood in the doorway looking down at the lamp as shards of light bulb scattered across the floor.
     "Shit, Edgar, I'm so sorry," Jennifer remarked.
     "No, no, it's fine. Really, the lamp had it coming," Edgar replied.
     "Well listen, I'm making peanut butter & banana sandwiches downstairs. Do you want one?"
     "Hot damn, Jen, I'd never say no to that." The musical sounds of the fiesta filled the hallway behind her as they heard Sergio's voice cheering enthusiastically.
     Jennifer leaned back and peered down the hall as she spoke, "what the hell is he doing in there?"
     "Jen, it sounds like he's making love to Mexico."
     "Is he.. is Sergio even Mexican?"
     "No, no he is not. I believe our dear friend is half Portuguese and half American Indian, and also one hell of a sculptor. Have you seen his latest?" Edgar asked.
     "Yes, I told him I thought it looked like a sturgeon standing on two legs. Anyway, don't walk barefoot through that glass, Edgar, put some shoes on. Again, sorry about the lamp, your sandwich will be done in ten."

As Jennifer retreated back downstairs, Edgar made his way towards Sergio's room. The door was partially open, but he knocked anyway before entering.
     "Knock, knock.."
     "Heeey Edvaaar! Come in, come in... I make great shape, no?" Sergio exclaimed with an accent. He was standing in front of his sculpture atop a wooden crate. His left hand held a detailing spatula, his right.. a cigarette and beer. He was barefoot and shirtless, but had on a pair of heavily scarred and soiled cargo pants. On the far end of the room the TV was blaring. It was a Mexican game show of sorts, with a heavy mixture of contestants talking and singing to intermittent music. The camera then panned and zoomed in on a gorgeous girl wearing a short skirt and holding a bowling ball. Her ass was all over the place and the crowd was going wild. "Edvar look! She now will throw the ball!" The girl casually walked up to the foul line, bent over for a tight camera shot, and released the bowling ball down the lane. "Edvar, it's Mini Skirt Bowling on TV! You like very much, no?"
     Sergio let out a yelp as he turned his attention back to the neck area of his 7' sculpture. He was working some metal petals into the clay, twisting and pushing until just right. Jen was right, it did resemble an upright sturgeon. It was far from finished, but Edgar could already read the beauty of its lines and symmetry, and sense the veneration it would draw upon completion.
     "It's beautiful, Serge."
     "I knew you like! These girls make pretty and strikes!"
     "I meant your sculpture."
Sergio turned back toward Edgar, "Oh yes.. yes! Thank you, my friend.. is nice going, yes. Say, Edvar, why you have flop-flip on one feet and shoe on the other?"
     "It's a daring stab at an early morning fashion statement, Serge" Edgar replied. "Not everyone can bowl cheeky strikes this early in the A.M."

He said goodbye and left Sergio to his work. Downstairs the house was filled with the smell of peanut butter and the singing voice of a girl who's words could be understood. Jennifer loved to sing, it was her passion, and the House Of Muse was fortunate to be swallowed by the beauty of her voice on many given days. Edgar pulled up a chair and seated himself at the island and listened to her sing. She flattened several banana halves between peanut buttered toast and slid the sandwich at him. She raised hers, said cheers and started eating.
     Edgar pointed upstairs as he swallowed and spoke, "Mini skirt bowling."
     "Excuse me?"
     "That's what we were hearing. He's watching dark-skinned, scantily-clad beauties bowling on a Mexican game show while he decorates Sir Walter Sturgeon."
     Jennifer leaned back against the sink, "Oh good grief... boys, I swear."
     Edgar laughed, "Yeah, when men get together and create a TV show the result is naked chicks and sports. When women get together we end up with The View. That's a push, if you ask me." He finished his sandwich, stood up and thanked her, and in doing so knocked the plate off the island and onto the floor where it crashed into pieces. "Shit." He walked over to the front bay window and stood with his hands inside the pockets of his robe while staring out at the light of day.
     "Did you do that on purpose?" she asked while walking around the island.
     "Hmm?" Looking down at his feet he replied, "Oh, no... my right flip-flop went missing and my left sneaker got soaked by an off-balanced beverage, hence my mismatched morning."
     "No, I mean did you just break my plate because I broke your lamp?"
     "Don't be silly, Jen, I loved that plate. That was coincidental breakage, I assure you. Listen, they're going to dynamite that beached whale at Cannon Beach today at 10:30, want to go with me and watch? We can leave the lamps and plates behind and witness the destruction of something much bigger."
     Jennifer had already knelt down and was scooping the pieces of broken plate onto a cardboard flap. Without looking up she replied, "Em called the house phone last night, said you weren't answering your cell. You were already asleep. She asked about the whale too. Looks like we're all going together, maybe even Ben, I'll ask him." She stood up and dumped the pieces into the trash.
     Edgar turned with a grin and said, "This ought to be fucking crazy, I can't wait." And went back upstairs to get ready.


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