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Twisting all the bad things into good

Feb 9, 2013

THE BOOK of TANGENTS: Packs of 3

        So, here's another tangent that made a short story a long story.
        Please excuse any misspellings or gad brammar. I don't have time to edit tangents, because I'm too busy editing the stories they were cut from.
        If you can believe it, I cut it from the same story as the last tangent, the one that started with me writing on a train and somehow made it's way through church and ended up in heartbreak in a nursing home.
        Actually, the only thing that separated that tangent from this tangent was the first line.
        All these things happened, I'm just not sure what one has to do with the other.
        So, yeah.

        The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write, and keep on writing.
        Ken MacLeod



        The train arrived at Market East Station in the city at 6:25.

        Market East is connected to the Galleria Mall. This is not your mother's Galleria Mall, assuming your mother lives in Ft. Lauderdale.
        This Galleria is a bit ghetto, which was perfect considering what I needed for my night in the city. Here's a hint: They usually come in packs of  3. 
        I didn't need 3. 
        I had a dozen at home and let's just say, they're a few seasons ago. I needed 1, just 1, just for tonight. Preferably a large one, because I'm a big boy. Length, not girth.

        The Ghetto Galleria lacked both length and girth, so I hit the 3 storest I expected would sell them. But they didn't. Not in singles, and not in triples. I was hoping to get lucky, but no luck so far.

        There was one last store to try, even though I doubted they stocked them. If not, all I could hope for was a Walgreens or CVS or something on the way to my destination, otherwise, I'd have no choice but to go bareback tonight.

        I took a quick look around, but didn't see any, so I figured I ask one of the guys who worked there. Luckily, the guy at the register was a black lady, probably around 50, probably very sweet, and probably a Christian, which made my awkward question even more so.

        I wasn't sure how to ask her without offending her. So I figured I'd just go over and ask.
        "Excuse me."
        She looked up with a big smile. "Hello, sir. Can I help you?"
        She called me "sir".
        "Yeah, hi. I was wondering, I know they usually come in packs of 3, but I was really looking for one, so I don't know if you have one from an open pack or something. I mean, I'll take 3 if that's all you have, but I really just needed one for tonight."
        "Okay, one what?"
        I didn't know what to call them, so I just called them what I call them.
        She showed no reaction. 
        I guess I was overthinking it. I tend to do that when it comes to everything.
        She showed me what they had, and found me one. In my size too.

        I told her I didn't need a bag because I was going straight to the bathroom to put it on and wear it out of the store, like a kid with a new pair of sneakers. 

        It's crazy how you always find what you're looking for in the last place you look, and you'd definitely save time by looking there first, but who goes to  Burlington Coat Factory looking for one wifebeater, or even three? 
        For some reason, I always thought they just sold coats. I mean, would you go shopping for a coat at Worthington Wife Beater Backroom? 

        I wasn't sure where I was going, but I planned on drinking a lot of beer when I got there. All I had for lunch was a protein shake, and I knew once I had my second or third beer I'd say "fuck food" and risk doing that fainting thing I did a few months back before waking up on my bathroom floor, or that time in Manhattan a few weeks before Christmas 2011 before that girl woke me up with her blah blah blah about emergency rooms and me needing stitches and then showing me the mirror on the wall of her hotel room that I just shattered 10 seconds earlier with the back of my head. There was also that time the Swiss Airlines male stewardess woke me up asking me, "Are you okay? Are you okay? Did you take something?" and I was like, "What the fuck? No, I'm fine. I'm just sleeping," before I realized I had been in a deep sleep in the aisle ever since I stood up 7 seconds earlier, and explained that I just got up too quick. Luckily, it was about 3am so only a few of the Swiss on their way home witnessed the only American on the flight making the most of his time in Switzerland while still over the Atlantic. Swiss Airlines will serve you all the free cocktails and Heineken you can drink without fainting in the aisle. 2 of those 3 faintings happened on nights when I had taken the train earlier, and 3 out of 3 included beer.  

        I figured it would be a good idea to get myself something to eat.
        So I stopped and a got a smoothie at Smoothie King.  

        The Pep Upper. 
        I figured that was the smart choice since I was going to be on my feet all night, hopefully.



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