Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Streak - 38

The series of games proceeded in a haze, an odyssey of maddening frustrations and ephemeral glories: scratches, near misses, lucky shots and good ones, too. The dew on the surface of the whisky glass, the mirror on the wall. Kyle placing his bridge hand on the table, the bottom of his World Series ring clunking on the slate. Why do you wear your ring out? It's a chick magnet. Looks more like a dude magnet to me. Fuck you, No, fuck you, faggot, etc., etc. Rack 'em, break 'em.

Kyle went to considerable lengths to describe his recent investment in an obscure Chinese company that manufactured the majority of the T-shaped plastic bands that couple price tags to items of clothing for retail sale.

"You mean the security tags?"

"No, the little plastic tags. I mean the bands. The plastic things that connect the tags."

"And you're describing them as T-shaped."

"They have a T at each end. So you can't pull them out."

"Is that what they're called? T-shaped bands? T-bands?"

"I don't think so."

"I want to know what term someone might use for them who's in the industry. Like, 'Mr. Chow, I would like to order five hundred thousand T-bands from your factory. Please.'"

"Don't be racist."

"What's racist?"

"Mr. Chow."

"Mr. Chow is racist? He's a Chinese guy. His name is Mr. Chow. If he was American he'd be Mr. Smith."

"Chow mein over here. Ching chang chong."

"You're racist for thinking that's racist."

"You're gay for continuing this conversation. Take your shot already."

"Good point. So what are the T-tags called?"

"Bands."

"Bands."

"I don't know," Kyle grumbled. "Grommets. Something."

"Not grommets!"

"No wait, not grommets. That's the fucking tip of a shoelace."

"It isn't even that, you moron. The tip of a shoelace is a fucking aglet."

"Aglet, Jesus. Grommet, aglet, motherfucker."

"You're not even right about being wrong. When you know you're wrong, you're still wrong. You're double wrong."

"You're a double cocksucker."

"Your shot."

"OK, I don't know what they're fucking called. They probably don't even have a name. It's the one thing in the world, doesn't need to have a name."

"You invested seventy-five thousand dollars in a company and you don't know the name of the thing they make?"

"The fucking things are everywhere. They're so important, no one ever thinks about them. Have you ever thought about them? There's no need."

"I still am not sure I know what you're talking about."

"When you buy a shirt," Kyle continued exasperatedly.

"Nice shot."

"Thanks. When you buy a shirt."

"Julie buys my shirts."

"When your fucking personal assistant who you wish you were banging buys your shirts."

"Go on."

"She most likely has to cut this fucking thing to remove the price tag. I would describe it as a thin, grayish plastic band."

"T-shaped."

"On either end T-shaped!"

"Why on either end?" Evan drank deeply from his watery scotch.

"Have you been listening to a single word? So it doesn't fall out of the shirt."

Evan nodded dully. He felt his energy flagging. He wished for more cocaine, but the alarm wasn't due for another God knows how long. The buoyant airiness within his chest was deflating slowly, he could feel it. Eventually the world would rush back in with all its sorrows.

"I think I know the fucking things you're talking about."

"T-shaped."

"They're the things you have to cut off with a pair of scissors," Evan stated hollowly.

"Yes. Yes! Yes!"

"You're left with one half between your fingers as the other flutters to the floor."

"Often becoming trapped in the fibers of a deep-shag carpet."

"Never to be seen again."

"Those fucking things!" Kyle explained, jabbing his finger for emphasis. "Those fucking things!"

"You have invested in. Substantially."

Kyle eyed his angle on the 8 and crouched into position for the ultimate shot.

"I figure, fuck it, everybody needs clothes."

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