Day 54: Writing a Fiction Amuse-bouche

elton-john_1746150c

Elton John. Sir. Past his prime; curdled milk.  Bloated, sweaty, warbling. Has been? Never been, as far as I’m concerned.  S*Q*U*A*R*E.

Tiny Dancer is a cheese grater on my gray matter.

A friend knows this well and upon entering his apartment he rarely fails to cue Reginald Kenneth Dwight. (Yes, Sir Elton’s real name is Reggy Dwight.  Sounds like a farm league baseball player). I cross the threshold and am slammed with the particular cloying (bitter)sweetness of  Candle in the Wind.

“Really?” I give him my full-blown dagger stare.

“What’s wrong?” he asks, voice full of feigned innocence.

“What’s right?” I shoot back.  Clearing my throat, I recite with theatrical flair: “Loneliness was tough, the toughest role you ever played. Hollywood created a superstar and pain was the price you paid.”

He shrugs. “It’s poetic.” His shoulders shake with silent laughter as he scrolls through the playlist on his screen.

“It’s pathetic,” I moan, walking into the kitchen. I open the fridge, looking for anything to divert my attention. Ah, an iced coffee. As I reach in I spy some rotten peaches and can’t suppress a snort. “Did you do that on purpose?”

He does not respond. I call him a not-so-nice name. “You did that on purpose!”

“What?” He turns from his computer and looks at the bruised fruit I hold by fingertips, touching as little of it as possible.  I watch realization dawn on his face.

“Sadly, I’m not that clever.”  He grins and takes the opportunity to switch songs. He and Reggy sing:

“Rotten peaches rotting in the sun, seems I’ve seen that devil fruit since the world begun.”

I drop the peach in the trash and cradle my head in my hands. “Surely those aren’t the real lyrics,” I ask.

“Indeed they are.” His taps his desk with two fingers in time with the music.

“Ugh! Even you have to admit they’re hideous. They’re…. they’re….” I rummage in my brain for the best descriptor. “They’re…chalky, like Pepto Bismal.”

“You’re comparing song lyrics to Pepto Bismal?” He stops drumming and squints in my direction. “You have a problem, you know,” he teases. (I think.)

I roll my eyes, but a slight tug at my insides makes me wonder if he’s right. Other people seem to listen to Reggy’s quavering without wanting to bang their heads against a wall to drown out the noise.

“Maybe you should see a therapist,” he offers.  “You know, find the root of the problem.”

“The root of the problem is his repurposed music and his junior-high lyrics,” I say with conviction.

“Maybe you had a crush on someone and he jilted you to Tiny Dancer.”

“I wasn’t even born when Tiny Dancer came out.” I cross my arms.

“Ok, how about Friends Never Say Goodbye?”

“That’s my cue,” I say, grabbing my handbag and heading toward the door.

“Ok, ok!” I hear him call after me. “No more Elton! I’ll put on…. Billy Joel!”

I visibly shudder, wondering which is worse, and close the door on his laughter.  One thing is for sure: He is in no way An Innocent Man.

____________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.  

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