When Life Hands You A Clementine

by | Feb 8, 2019 | Fiction, Issue Seven

Jo wanted to be in the limelight, when life handed her a lemon. Clementine, to be precise.

They met two-stepping by the plywood 2x4s that were stacked by the snack table. They met over chips and salsa.

Jo twiddled her thumbs. Her thumbs were long, fat, professional twiddlers. She taught classes in twiddling and held contests with entrée fees­–fried chicken with dumplings, lasagna, and mac and cheese. She twiddled with her hair, combing it over the nape of her neck. She twiddled with her hangnail on her littlest toenail. She snapped it off.  It made a satisfying click, a satisfying snap.

No one knew she hadn’t washed her hands after touching her feet before touching the ship-shaped chips that went straight to her hips.  No one noticed her hips beneath

her dark green kale number with spaghetti straps, or they may have been fettuccine. She was vegan again and wheat-free, which explained the chips. They were made from sprouted corn.

Scorn chips, Clementine called them. She was a health nut in disguise, a macadamia into academia. The chair of her department was the swivel kind that you could raise or lower with the flick of your wrists, but not hers because she had carpal tunnel. She was built like a saw. She wore a mustard yellow flannel shirt and orange hip waders and had jagged teeth.

Jo was paying more attention to the snackeroos, manned by a kangaroo on a gray folding chair. It hopped while it counted out nickels for sarsaparilla and root beer.

Jo had taken rapid transit, which was anything but. More like slow transit, a tiny bit faster than slower transit.

Clementine drove her kidney bean of a car. It had a bruised look to it and made a chug chug noise. Its seats were cracked, with stuffing flying every which way, a citrus scent, and a tricycle sticking its red behind out the rear window.

The tricycle was a bicycle built for three. But Jo wanted only Clementine. Not Clementine and her ex, who were broken up, but still had sex.

Jo’s cell rang and a bear of a man, who was, in fact, a bear, said, “I am calling from the tundra. Would you like take-out tonight?”

“One moment, please,” she said. She leaned over to ask Clementine, only by accident she called her Sabrina and spewed crumbs everywhere.

Clementine said, “Dunno. Yee haw. See you later, alligator.” She two-stepped onto the floor. She left the chips. She left the salsa. She left her ex, who was really a y, an alphabet letter cross-dresser.

She held out her hand to Jo. They jumped into the Jacuzzi for a snoozy. It was really a bowl of soup and they swooped.

Oh, how they swooped.

Read more Fiction | Issue Seven

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