Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chapter Two

Noah Gardner stands at the candy machine, his Tootsie Roll falls, and he stares, enchanted, at a young woman pinning a flyer to the breakroom bulletin board. She struggles to reach the top of the board and Noah offers to help.

She ignores him, but he's not put off.

Something about this woman defied a traditional chick-at-a-glance inventory. Without a doubt all the goodies were in all the right places, but no mere scale of one to ten was going to do the job this time. It was an entirely new experience for him. Though he'd been in her presence for less than a minute, her soul had locked itself onto his senses, far more than her substance had.

Oh, Christ. "A traditional chick-at-a-glance inventory"? "All the goodies were in all the right places"? You're kidding me, right? I guess that's what happens when someone's soul locks into your senses. Whatever the fuck that means.

She hardly wore any makeup, it seemed, nothing needed concealment or embellishment. Simple silver jewelry, tight weathered jeans on the threadbare outer limits of the company's casual-Friday dress code, everything obviously chosen and worn for no one's approval but her own. A lush abundance of dark auburn hair pulled back in a loose French twist and held in place by two crisscrossed number-two pencils. The style was probably the work of only a few seconds but it couldn't have been more becoming if she'd spent hours at a salon.

She's a free spirit, with natural beauty. Better than all that arm candy Noah had been musing over in the previous chapter. You got all that, right? I can't wait until she lets her hair down, literally, and her full radiance is revealed. I bet Gardner passes out at that moment.

The woman hangs the flyer, and it's described pretty much just like this. More or less. The eagle was my idea.

We the People

If you love your country but fear for its future,

join us for an evening of truth that will open your eyes!

Guest speakers include:
Earl Matthew Thomas-1976 U.S. Presidential candidate (L) and bestselling author of Divided We Fall
Joyce McDevitt-New York regional community liaison, Liberty Belles
Maj. Gen. Francis N. Klein-former INSCOM commanding general (ret. 1984), cofounder of GuardiansOfLiberty.com
Kurt Bilger-Tri-state coordinator, Sons of the American Revolution
Beverly Emerson-Director emeritus, Founders' Keepers
Danny Bailey-The man behind the YouTube phenomenon Overthrow, with 35,000,000 views and counting!

Bring a friend, come lift a glass, and raise your voice for liberty!
August 31st, 7:00 PM, Heritage Club

Oh my, the rally (the assembly?) is tonight! Such short notice, Noah asks. (Oh, and yay for the YouTube reference. Relevance!)

"Congratulations, you can read." Oh, she's sassy too! What a woman! She tells him she doesn't much expect anyone here to attend. And why not?

"All you PR people do is lie for a living," she said. "The truth is just another story to you."

I wonder what Beck's PR people think of this sentiment? Anyway, Noah introduces himself and the woman retorts firing off some helpful facts, more for the reader's benefit than anyone's, I imagine:

Noah has a fancy office, he's just been promoted to VP and his father owns the company. No wonder he's so existential and forlorn. Or whatever he is.

Then the sparks really start to fly:

"Hey, I have to confess something."

"I'll bet you do."

"You haven't told me your name yet," Noah said, "and I've been trying to read it off your name tag, but I'm worried that you'll get the wrong idea about where I'm looking."

"Go for it. I'm not shy."


It's like Bogie and Bacall up there on the page. Are you hawt yet? I am so engorged by this. Figuratively, I mean.

Noah checks out the name badge pinned to her chest, notes the edge of a tattoo, "a bird, or maybe it was an angel" (I call dibs on it being a bald eagle!), and learns her name:

"Molly Ross," he said.

She tipped his chin back up with a knuckle.

"This is fascinating and all, Mr. Gardner, but I need to go and service the postage meter."

Okay. Hold on. There is no way that was an accident. She has to service the postage meter, seriously? You know what? I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and suggest that the ghostwriter here knew exactly what he was doing all along and purposefully barfed up the shittiest manuscript he could, as a joke. And somehow, the thing met with Beck's approval ("Don't change a goddamned word!" I imagine Beck yelling at his editor) and got published. Like a prank that's spun out of control. And now library shelves everywhere are stunk up with this travesty.

Noah asks Molly if she's going to the rally (the assembly?) tonight. He says he might go, being how patriotic he is and all. Then Molly tells a joke. But it's not really a joke. Made some weird Dadaist/Libertarian anti-joke. I dunno:

"Noah comes home—Noah from the Bible, you know? So Noah comes home after he finally got all the animals into the ark, and his wife asks him what he’s been doing all week. Do you know what he said to her? He said, 'Honey, now I herd everything.'"

Molly walks away, telling Noah over her shoulder not to forget his candy bar. Noah is left speechless.

I know how you feel, Noah. I really do.


  1. Okay, we just sailed into straight up gibberish territory, here.

    He comments on her clothing as if she works for his company, but she thinks PR people lie for a living, so that's highly unlikely. So...some random woman off the street walked in and hung up advertisements for a patriotic rally? Whut? Or is that whole "service the postage meter" thing supposed to suggest that she works in the mail room...and just told the Vice President that she thinks the entire company is a pack of liars? That's not any better!

    I'm going to second the idea that the ghostwriter was having a little too much fun.

    I'd also say that 35,000,000 views for anything political is highly unlikely. Lady Gaga gets those kind of numbers, but Beck himself sure doesn't.

  2. Hey, maybe his soul "locked with her senses" and she totally heard that goodies line. Bleargh!

    Am I correct here with this: Molly Pitcher + Betsy Ross.

    Was the ghostwriter named?

  3. you're not the only one to make that Molly Pitcher + Betsy Ross connection, i suspect you're correct.

    the ghostwriter is Jack Henderson, author of Circumference of Darkness, a thriller about a right-wing conspiracy to overthrow the government.

  4. In the future Figuratively engorged will replace Sincerely in letters.