Story Go Round 09/20/2009, #1

I Started It

(post-titled by John)

I can't seem to get started. Something always gets in the way, somehow. If only I had listened when my grandmotherv was trying to begin hers, I would have some – vicarious – experience with beginnings. But I intended to listen. I set myself up to listen to her, but once she got going I was already stalled. She narrated in that quavering caw of hers, touching exhaustively on names and dates and places until it became an ensorcelled background stir, prompting the sweat to break out on my forehead and ... well, I'd best not tell you that. I wouldn't want to get you started. I need the company. At least I think I do, and I appreciate you staying with me when you could already be on your way by now.

Oh, you really should get going? You've been here over an hour? Well, okay... But how about another coffee beverage before you go? It's awfully cold out there and a hot drink'll warm you up real nice. See, isn't that nice?

I got you an extra-large, my way of saying thank you. And a scone. And some water. Just take your time, enjoy it.

Can you tell me, though, why that guy @ the next table keeps glaring at me? Is that one eyebrow or two? And is that really a tattoo of worm-eaten heart on his bicep?

No, I didn't realize you were so intimately acquainted. When did you— seven years ago? I thought you were in Kathmandu at the time. I couldn't keep borrowing all your stuff that year – it was a really hard time for me.

I thought I could start my own collection of useful stuff – like lawnmower, vacuum cleaner, toilet brush, that kind of thing, but, well, I have a really tough time getting going, you know, but anyway, if you know the guy so well, why is he glaring like that? If looks could kill man... No! Don't go squeeze the bicep. He needs more than just a little love, I think. He needs to be shocked with a rape whistle.

How do you do that? Just march boldly over and threaten him boldly. It doesn't matter how he reacts, the point is to – oh, I don't know, some old lady. Just ignore her.

That's fine, I'll just tag along; you stand in front of me like that, ok? "Go on, you let him have it... Don't hold back.. He's just bluffing... she's just bluffing!.. She's like sixty, dude – you can take her! ... Hey you know what, I gotta hit the crapper, but believe me – I'll be back! It might take me a while, you know how it is with me, but I vow to return! You just keep the old bag distracted. You'll do fine.

I did, in the end, go back and apologize for instigating that whole scene, but you have to understand what an epiphany it led me to. You see, it turns out that the reason I could never get started is that I was trying to start the wrong things. Once I realized my true calling was as a rabble-rouser, my life became clear. I haven't stopped since.