Friday, September 11, 2015

A Limbering Exercise in Flashfiction

You Know

“Well, you know that famous saying . . . .”

The young man on the bench, seemingly more interested in pedestrians on the other side of the street than listening to words spoken in a somewhat harsh voice, left his questioner hanging.

“You know . . . ?” the older man continued, as if prompting was his business. “It generally refers to actors. Film actors mainly,” he said, his right hand describing a small circle in the air. He paused, sharing the view across the street while thoughts of aspect ratios flickered in his mind. “Pick an actor, any actor.”

The companion didn't respond.

“Right then, let's say . . . David Patrick Kelly. A very good character actor. Still in the biz. So, the saying would go like this:  'Who's David Patrick Kelly? Get me David Patrick Kelly!! Get me a young David Patrick Kelly! And then . . . Who's David Patrick Kelly?” The man's laughter sounded like it came though a cabbage shredder. A smoker's laugh. A smoker who possibly drank.

The companion shifted his weight and looked down the street without a response.

“'Who's David Patrick Kelly?' Oh, boy, that's a good one. It's just like fucking life isn't it?” He nodded to himself, his gaze shifting to the overcast sky as if his aged, once handsome face was expecting a benediction.

The young man removed his earbuds, raised himself, and walked a few steps over to the curb to await the approaching bus.

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