I don’t look odd enough.
That’s my problem.
I’m a little too symmetrical.
Take Tom Cruise, for instance.
I read an article once that suggested that his charisma comes
from his asymmetric face.
I do have one pupil not quite in alignment with the other when I look down a little.
But that’s it.
And anyway no one notices.
I’m showing signs of age but that’s not oddness.
I do have a scar on my left cheek which hints at a seedy past — a knife fight perhaps —– which I’m happy to go with — but sadly it’s only where a skin cancer was cut out.
I’m sure if I looked odder
I’d be in more demand.
It’s just my luck to be born symmetrical and boring.
*pic courtesy of Wiki Commons
A short story though it may be funny is not a joke.
The last line of a joke is the punchline.
The last name of a story has no name.
You remember a punchline.
You do not remember the last line of a story.
You may remember the first —- I still remember the opening lines of David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities — but I do not remember the last.
No one does.
You tell people jokes.
You do not tell short stories.
Short stories have an author.
Jokes do not.
No one knows who the first person was to tell a joke that does the rounds.
Jokes are short.
Short stories, except those of Lydia Davis, are comparatively long.
Collections of jokes do not win Pulitzer prizes.
Collections of short stories do.
I like them both.
There is one way short stories and jokes are alike: the good ones you like to hear or read over and over again..
You can bring the case in if you like, she says.
It may not want to come in, he says.
It’s a suitcase, she says. They don’t have a voice.
This one does, he says.
He goes out the door, to the car, where he lifts the lid of the boot. He looks at the suitcase for a few minutes.
What are you doing? she says. Talking to it?
Listening. It doesn’t want to come in.
You know why not. Things deteriorate. We argue, say things that no one should say to another. I storm out, or you tell me to leave. It’s almost routine.
They look at each other, They have been here so many times before.
So what does the suitcase say? she asks.
It’s staying. In the boot , he says. It’s adamant about that.
How can a suitcase be adamant?
I’m ready for a quick getaway, it says.
That’s a bad joke, he says.
So you coming in?
I suppose so, just as soon as I close the boot.