GUEST POST // Interlude by Gordon Flanders

I didn’t smoke weed, and I didn’t drink, but under the fluorescent lights of Canal Street Station I feel like a thing that slithers. Somehow my fingernails got dirty. I was walking with the girl who I was formerly obsessed with, and I was telling her what I thought was a very interesting story. What I know was an interesting story, in fact, from her gasps every time we hit a pivotal point. And then, in the middle, we ran into some old friends of hers she hadn’t seen in a while. She’s from here and she’s popular, so this happens a lot. There were eight of them. Normally I would just smile and shake everyone’s hand and all that, but I just couldn’t give a fuck about these people and how they knew each other and anything like that, so I stood off to the side and waited for her to ask for her bag so she could go with them. I enjoyed the breeze and I checked my phone. Finally she called me over and her friends were like wtf why are you just standing over there! Meanwhile she had just asked minutes ago why I never do what I want. So that was the thing I wanted, to not talk to these people. I was really fine with her leaving with them, very convenient escape for me, but I did not want to meet them all for no reason. But I did anyway because what kind of asshole would I have to be to hand her her bag and say goodbye and nothing else. So I shook hands with every single one of them. There were people she didn’t even know and I shook hands with them, too. One guy said now repeat our names back to us. I said, I value you guys as people but I don’t have a memory like that. Everyone thought that was funny. You had to be there. So now I look awesome. From weirdo to awesome in sixty seconds. After five excruciating minutes where everyone tried to pretend that we could have an inclusive conversation, they ask what’s up next. I hand my friend her bag and say goodbye, shaking hands with enthusiasm and warmth and real kindness in my eyes. Eight people I will never see again, now they all have a piece of my soul. The train just won’t seem to arrive.

by GORDON FLANDERS
© All rights reserved 2017

31 thoughts on “GUEST POST // Interlude by Gordon Flanders

  1. Wow! I can’t tell you how much I’ve felt what this amazing author penned…. Yes, I’ll be polite and wish you well, but forcing time spent with you, would be a slow, torturous hell (for you, too, I would make sure of that!). Lol and boo-hoo.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gordon writes well. The bit I had to work really hard over – wasn’t it Hemingway who said make it hard for readers by leaving stuff out? – was this: “One guy said now repeat our names back to us. I said, I value you guys as people but I don’t have a memory like that. Everyone thought that was funny. You had to be there. So now I look awesome. From weirdo to awesome in sixty seconds.” Still puzzling over it …

    Liked by 2 people

    • The ‘repeat our names back to us’ thing was something they used to do back in my church days. Whenever we had new people come to our Bible study groups, we’d go around the group introducing ourselves, then the person leading the group would joke at the newcomer to repeat everyone’s names. I guess they thought it was funny but usually it’d just give the newcomer performance anxiety. So, in the context of Gordon’s piece, he took this statement and made a joke of it, turning it all around so that his friend’s friends thought he was funny, and therefore cool. 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great write and insight Gordon and thank you for posting Tony. Like you said Tony, reading this was like looking in a mirror. The introvert / extrovert conversation is an interesting one. Can we be both?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think we can be a little of both. The whole introvert/extrovert thing lies along a spectrum, and different people can fall into different places on that, I suppose. Thanks for checking out Gordon’s writings, Davy. 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have often times stood by, listening to others, wishing I could leave, or that they’d shut up and shove off.

    I enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 🙂 And to be an afterthought…like, “Oh, I’ve been standing here flapping my gums to these people, I’ve only just now realized I’m being rude to the one I’m out with…” I find it difficult to be offended. Because I often don’t want to be a thought of any kind! Sometimes I just don’t want to ‘people.’ And I shouldn’t have to explain myself.

      Liked by 2 people

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