Serious Life

Monday, April 9, 2007

Those people take it so seriously. Life, that is. I see them in the halls, moving from this place to that, discussing things that hover in my peripheral vision like snakes slithering through mowed grass. It’s not that I don’t take life seriously, it’s that there’s so much in life that’s ridiculous, it doesn’t make sense to dwell on its seriousness. I worry about the joke, the light moment, the place to say something that. . . Ah, who am I kidding? I enjoy the put down, the joke at the other guy’s expense, the lazy afternoon in front of the internet where I hope to find nothing but a numbing agent for my brain. It’s not that I’m avoiding seriousness, it’s that I don’t care for the things that make life serious.

So many words that are useless.

I write and write and nothing is said and nothing moves forward. I have nothing more to do, nothing more to say or want or go after. I bore myself with this. I write words that lead nowhere and go nowhere. Where are the goblins and wizards? Why can’t I focus on them for a while? The wizards flying in spaceships, the goblins waiting in blimps. I’ve tried and failed so many times. I take myself and my writing too seriously. I’m not a serious writer. I’m a Xanth writer without the funnies. I have to stop trying so hard to be something I’m not. I’m not a great thinker. I’m a mediocre thinking and a good responder. I have to use that responding to say something, to work it into the thing that I say. Stick a person in a situation and see how he responds, see how I respond in his shoes.

I jammed my hands into my pockets. They were full already and I wiggled and pushed until most of my fingers fit. The sun peeked through the large mass of gray clouds that had moved across the morning sky. The wind was heavy and carried coldness that had little to do with the weather. The inn was busy for the late morning.

A large mass of dark gray clouds moved quickly across the sky in the morning wind. Patches of blue appeared on the horizon. It was to be a good day. Stephanie checked the mirror and cleaned the excess blush from her cheeks. She checked her teeth for lipstick and turned to wait for the first customers.

There are advantages to being a telepath. Finish something. I’m so bad at finishing anything.

This moment was her favorite part of the hunt. The showroom was full of prospective buyers. They huddled in small groups, keeping plenty of distance between the other buyers. Salespeople moved between the groups, some honing in on their targets, other moving toward them only to veer away at the final moment, seeing something that turned them off to initial pounce.

The buyers’ sneakers squeaked on the waxed floor. There were more buyers than salespersons at this moment. Stephanie checked her schedule for her next appointment, and found a thirty-minute window. She had thirty minutes of free styling. Her favorite part of the hunt.

She saw her fellow salesmen circling the car lot looking for prospective buyers. She eyed a short couple. They moved slowly from car to car. Henry, who had started at the car lot only last week, swooped in to greet them. It was an amateur mistake. They were not looking to buy. You can tell by the uncertainty in their steps. They were reluctant to make eye contact with the salespeople. That was the first sign of trouble. They also wore worn shoes. Not a good sign when you were trying to make a sale of a new car. If they couldn’t bother with new shoes, it was unlikely they would bother with a new car. Not that selling a used car was bad. The take on some used cars was greater than new cars. It was that a used car sale would not propel her to the top of the board today. She needed new car sales.

A younger couple entered the showroom.

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