Marlene DeVere: Pinning for Love : Flash Fiction : October 2019

Southern Legitimacy Statement: It’s true I was born and raised in Chicago, but after my parents died, I found evidence that I was conceived in Tucson, Arizona. I ended up living in Tucson quite by accident nearly twenty years ago. Years before, I lived in Houston, Texas where my home was purchased from a descendant of Davy Crockett, or so I was assured.

Pinning for Love

I didn’t plan to stick a pin in that lady’s bloated leg when I sat next to her on the bus. I just thought it would let out all the stale, pent-up air in her and she would be able to breathe easier. And boy, did she ever scream! So, see, it worked.

I try to help people in my own way. Yeah, I don’t always do things the way other people would, or so I’ve been told by that doctor. But then, I’m the creative type. So shoot me. All that yap, yap, talk it out bullcrap just doesn’t get to the point as quickly. And me, without a degree in psychology! Yep, the only letters after my name are J and R. Good enough for me.

After I was thrown off the bus and no longer trapped inside that caravan of earsplitting, foul-smelling strangers, I felt as though I could breathe again. I walked into Lake View Park and found my usual bench. No place to go, really. My job ended—suddenly. Not my fault.

I can’t help it if my hearing is sensitive. Delores’ high pitched, punctuated-with-snorts laugh gave me a headache. Plus, she was always laughing at the most inappropriate things. You know that guy who was dragged off the airplane screaming for help? That caused her to laugh hysterically! There were other things that I can’t think of right now, but believe me she deserved that pin jammed in her nose. “Now who’s laughing,” I thought. I guess I said that out loud because a passerby asked if I was talking to him.

“No, dude, just reliving a fond memory.”

I hate Dolores.

I didn’t always despise her. You know about that fine line between love and hate? Well, I tripped over it today. All I did was ask her if she wanted to go to the park with me and she ROLLED HER EYES. I mean, shoot me if thinking a quiet, romantic walk in the park would be a nice way to get to know each other better.

I’d pick a bunch of flowers, buy her an ice cream cone from that guy who’s always here pestering me, and we’d sit and talk about our hopes and dreams. I knew what my hope was. But hers? See, I was always thinking about what she would like. I’m what you’d call a feminist.

Then I’d lean in and kiss her. Not sloppy like with Eileen, but classy like in the Adam Sandler movies. We’d move from the bench to her apartment since I’d need privacy from my mother and let the bada bing begin. It was a simple plan that she ruined with that god-awful laugh and snort. She had her chance and she blew it. Oh well, like mother says, “You pays yer dues and takes yer chances.” Or was that Popeye?