20 Jul “Zone out. Hone in. See who´s talking badly about you behind your back”, the writer says as he sips his coffee.
“Well”, I reply as I lean back in my chair at the cafe by the beach, “it should be obvious that Susie can´t go around punching people in the balls with brass knuckles.”
I pause; I shrug.
I continue, “I mean… that´s like INCREDIBLY obvious, right?”
“I´m right here”, Susie says as she raises her hand, “I mean… can you see me… right here…. I can hear everything that you say…. again, RIGHT HERE.”
“Shut up, Susie”, the writer remarks as he sets his taza down, “we are having men talk and need to get to the brass tacks of it all.”
“So what do you propose?”, I ask the writer as I turn my head to look out the window.
The writer turns his head to look out the window; again… the window… there must be SOMETHING interesting out there?
“I´m thinking”, he responds as he turns his head back to me, “that we have a pizza party.”
“Oh!”, I reply as I turn my head back to him, “that´s hella interesting.”
I pause; I bite my lower lip.
“Yeah”, he responds as he picks up a biscotti.
I look down at the biscotti; it´s alright–there´s other fish to fry in the happy fucking crazy shindig.
He continues, “that she is about to graduate and she´s under a ton of pressure so how about we throw her a big surprise pizza party. They never expect the pizza party.”
“I don´t know what you are talking about…. but I´m going to take you at your literal meaning and we´re going to go ahead with it.”
I turn my head to Susie.
“Ok, Susie”, I say as I lean forward and pick up my taza of hot coffee, “now you can talk. You are head of the pizza party committee. Ok?”
“Oh wow!”, she replies as she throws her hot coffee at me.
The paper cup spills all over my shirt.
“OOWWW!”, I reply as I stand up, “that´s hot.”
“Yeah”, Susie replies as she hands me a napkin, “is that what you want me to do next Friday?”
I pause; she reads into shit too much, really.
“I think I understand what you are saying”, I reply as I sit down, “but no, we really want a pizza party. I don´t think that is interpreted as code for anything other then what is directly said; there is nothing implied that is not directly stated. As I said, and I´ll restate, just a pizza party.”
I wink at Susie; I turn my head to the writer.
“So how´s that sound?”
I wink at the writer.
“I´m not sure why you just winked at me?”, the writer says as he turns his head away and then back to me.
“Oh!”, I reply as I lean back, “I have SOMETHING in my eye.”
I put my hands in the air and make quotation signs.
“I have SOMETHING in my eye.”
The writer pauses; wtf is this dude doing?
“Oh”, he says as he pauses, “ok? SOMETHING in my eye. Gotcha. SOMETHING in your eye… pizza party.”
He pauses again; I think that I am missing something here.
“Yeah”, he replies as he turns his head to Susie and then back to me, “ok… pizza party… next Friday… gotcha.”
He stands up and turns to the window; then, turns his head back to me.
“Well”, he replies as he zips up his black hoodie, “it´s been real, but I have an appointment and have to leave. Thanks for accepting my final writing submission.”
“Yeah”, I reply as I lean forward and pick up my coffee, “it was not completely horrible, this time. Remember pizza party next Friday.”
He nods; he looks at Susie; he turns his head back to me. He turns around and takes a step to leave the cafe. He puts his right hand in the air and flashes me the victory sign as he takes a step.
I turn my head to Susie.
“Follow him”, I say to her as I pull a small envelope out of my pocket and slide it across the table to her, “and when he is alone… punch him in the balls with the brass knuckles. Call it a pizza party.”
Susie smiles; I´ve been waiting for this moment, all my life.
I pause; I can´t discount that Susie is kinda crazy.
“Susie”, I continue as I set the taza down and lean back in my chair, “don´t go overboard–take it easy. We need him to keep writing–just let him know that banal writing will not be tolerated here. We care. Send him a message that we go the extra mile to make this special–get him where the sun don´t shine. But, don´t do too much–we still need him on our team. Ok?”
Susie smiles. I pause; that´s kinda scary.
“So”, I say as I lean forward in my chair, “can you repeat?”
Susie turns her head from the window to me.
“Give him the pizza party but leave off the anchovies?”
I pause; she´s quite clever.
“Take it easy and I´ll have more pizza party work for you, ok?”
“Hun”, my wife says as she sets the coffee down in front of me in the kitchen, “be careful with Susie. She´s SLIGHTLY mentally unstable.”
I pause; you know.. I know this.
“I know”, I reply as I pick up the taza and take a sip, “I just know that she´s had a tough time with her recent layoff at work and I wanted to do something nice for her. I thought this is something that she would really enjoy.”
“Yeah”, my wife replies as she sets the plate of hot food in the middle of the table, “I just don´t want her to take liberties with your task and cause an issue.”
My digitaltelephone beeps; I pull it out of my pocket; a new message has come in.
We have a situation.
HR turns her head to me, “told you that your pizza party idea was shit.”
I sigh; just one normal day, please?
I turn my head to HR.
“I need you to go down to the police station and bail out, Susie.”
HR rolls her eyes.
“It´s cool”, she replies as she takes a sip of soda, “I got your back.”
Moments later, we hear the front door shut.
My wife turns her head to me.
“That wasn´t well thought out–now was it?”
I pause; exactly as I planned.
I turn my head to her.
“Are you sure?”
She rolls her eyes; I scoop a spoonful of hot vegetables on to my plate.
“Looks like we have a romantic night together”, I say as I clap my hands twice and the lights in the kitchen dim.
She claps her hands twice and the lights turnback on.
“Not so fast, Mr. Pizza Party“, she replies as she turns her head to me, “Susie is a dear friend and confidant. I don´t want you to pay her to punch people in the balls with brass knuckles, ok?”
I pause; I roll my eyes.
“And”, I tell the therapist as I lean back in the chair in the small office, “I thought we were going to FINALLY have a quiet romantic evening, …, but you know… I feel like I just can´t do anything right?”
He pauses; he takes his headphones out of his ears; he turns his head to me.
“OMG… how did you get into my office? How long have you been here?”
“What?”, I reply as I lean forward, “I thought this was my appointment–Thursday at 3pm?”
He pauses; I need to get a better lock.
“Yeah”, he replies as he turns his head back to his computer, “that´s true but it´s Tuesday at 8pm.”
I look down at my watch; oh man… it must not be working. I turn my head back to him.
“Well…”, I say as I stand up from the chair, “I guess I´ll come back then?”
He turns his head back to me; leans back in his chair.
“Well”, he replies as he picks up his soda and takes a sip, “now you here–so we might as well have a session.”
I pause; I´m so confused.
“Ok”, I reply as I sit back down, “you´re the professional–I´ll trust you.”
He points at the framed diploma on the wall.
“They don´t come for free”, he replies as he turns back to his computer and starts typing.
They don´t come for free, he types as he chuckles; that was pretty clever… maybe I should pursue my dream of being a comedian.
“So then…”, I start talking.
Moments later, the therapist is asleep.
“So how did you appointment go today?”, my wife asks me as she sets the palomitas on the table.
“Ehh”, I reply as I reach over and grab a handful, “normal.”
She slides an envelope on the table to me.
“This came in the mail today.”
I pick it up; look at the return address; I quickly tear it open; finally came in!
“Hunny”, I say as I kiss her on the cheek, “I have to go–good news! I´ll be home late–don´t wait up. My publisher wants to order another round of books, so it looks like it is going well. Remember this: what I always say–if you can´t succeed, at least, try!”