Justin Tadlock

Okay Mr. Pudgy, We Can Go Now

I have finished my first chapter for the National Novel Writing Month. I was going to do The Great Southern American Novel, but instead, I’ve came up with something totally different. I had an idea earlier this afternoon and thought I should just go with it. So, I did just that. I don’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing at the moment. I decided to keep up with my stats as I go through this project. Mostly, so I can see what it takes to finish a novel. Things about myself, it is basically a tracking method I’m trying out. Okay, I can’t really explain it, but here is the extra information I kept track of:

  • Date: November 1, 2005
  • Start Time: 12:26 pm
  • Music: Cruel Intentions Soundtrack, Dido - Mixed CD
  • Word Count: 1,731
  • End Time: 2:14 pm

That’s basically what I’m keeping track of. I may add other notes and jottings to it later down the road. I could keep typing for a while tonight, but, unfortunately, I have another 100+ pages to read of Bram Stoker’s Dracula before I go to sleep. So, I leave you with the first chapter of my untitled novel.

Note: The grammar and spelling may not all be correct because I had to type it up in notepad. The reason for this is that quotation marks become question marks when I transfer from Microsoft Word. I’ll have to look into changing that at some point. But, when I finish each chapter I put it into a Word document to correct all those little mistakes. Anyways, enjoy your reading. Or not. Just bare through it for now. I promise it will get better as the month moves along.

Chapter 1
Okay Mr. Pudgy, We Can Go Now

Chapter 1
Okay Mr. Pudgy, We Can Go Now

It was staring back at me. Pudgy, round. Almost smiling at me, if such a thing could smile. It overlapped my gold belt buckle just a bit. It was smiling at me. “All these years of improper health and diet. This is your fault,” it would say. Who cares, 46 year old men don’t have rock-solid six-packs.

Except they did.

At least Tim Rosenbaum did. That sorry SOB neighbor of mine. That “Body-for-Life” finalist. He’d stayed with the program now 20 years. Bastard, with his bulging biceps, and his veins that wrapped like vines around the giant trees of the Amazon. Mr. the-whole-town-kisses-my-ass. I don’t care. Screw him. I was doing alright.

Sure, I didn’t own my own collection Porsches, but I managed. Who needed that many cars anyway? I was doing alright. I still got to live on the white-picket fence street, Hillhock Lane. White, yellow, light brown, and brick houses lined the street in perfect-parallel rows down the street rounding off in a cul-de-sac, where my small two-story sat just at the corner. Two-car garage. Yes, I was doing alright.

It was still staring at me. I had to button-up my shirt to hide away its smirk. I had to go to lunch with Zadie Moretti-Jones today. God, she was beautiful. Not that high-school-crush kind of beautiful, but that 46-year-old woman kind of beautiful. Unwrinkled, at least her outward appearance. Smooth skin. A nice mixture of African, Italian, and Irish saw to that. God, she was beautiful, with those just-right long legs and almost Coke-bottle curves.

It had been one year since we last met. I’m sure she hasn’t changed that much. Maybe she has? No. She couldn’t have. This was my once a year meeting with her. All the bad kharma that I’ve built up in the last year won’t take this one day away from me.

It doesn’t really matter though. It’s not like Zadie and I are going to go sneak back into the bandroom closet and make out, like we did on a daily-basis 30 years ago. I was married. She was married. Was I happy? Was she happy? Who cares? At least I get to see her. My year would be complete. Why’d I let her get away all those years ago?

I can actually answer that question. Because, I couldn’t resist agressive women. One, mainly being, Angela. Angela Bach. She never had that hour-glass figure. She was thick. No, not thick-fat, but thick with a big round ass that was complimented by more-than-a-handful-sized breasts. She had the most beautiful face in all of our high school. And that hasn’t changed. Not in 30 years. At least the face hasn’t. Her thick has turned into something that isn’t quite as eye-pleasing these days. And she is always, still, the aggressor, just as she had been all those years ago. Angela was the first girl to kiss me like a teenage boy wants to be kissed. She just crawled onto me and gave me the make-out session of my life. But, more on our high school make-out sessions later.

Now, it was time to spray on my Curve, a cologne I have been using 30 years also. Maybe it was time for a change. Nah, I’m not much for changing. I have a certain routine that I go through every day. I get up every morning at 6:00. I take a leak. I eat breakfast. I sit at my computer and browse the internet for 30 minutes. I take a crap. Then I get dressed, brush my teeth, and head off to work at 7:30 on the dot. Never fails. Routine is the only way for me to get anything done. So, change is bad. There’s a certain order of things. A certain order to the universe, and I didn’t want to screw with order.

Tie.

I need to find one. Which one? That’s one thing that I need to organize, or better yet, clean out the rack they droop from. Why did I need 7 different blues, 9 reds, 5 greens, 3 Christmas, 6 Valentine’s Day, or even that Thanksgiving tie? What in the Hell did I have a Thanksgiving tie for? Must’ve been a gift. At least that what I’ll tell people. No way in Hell I’m going to say I bought it myself. Wait, there’s a magenta. I’ll go with that. I’m feeling magenta-esque today. There’s also a pink. I’ll have to throw that out when I do my reorganizing of the tie rack. Every single tie I own is left hanging in its tied position. I’m too lazy to tie them every morning, so I just leave them like that.

There it is. A Skittles box. You know, that candy they make you sell for high school clubs and organizations. Those bastard high school teachers could never come up with anything to sell other than Skittles, candy bars, and candles. So, you lugged around chocalate and Skittles all day, selling, or carried around a catalogue with more candles than a person ever knew existed door-to-door, to your grandmothers, aunts and uncles, and other relatives that you only saw for those occasions.

A Skittles Box.

But this was a special Skittles box. It no longer held 50 packets of all the colors of the rainbow. It didn’t even have the faint scent of the candy left in it any more. All it held was continuously browning, aging paper, folded in only a way that high school girls can fold. The kind of folds that is beyond the comprehension of high school boys when they try to fold it back up after reading it. Most of the time they were just stuffed into back packs or lockers, but not mine. I managed to fold them back together, to preserve them, in their [un]natural state. I couldn’t look at them now.

What’s up,

N-2-M-H. You know what! You’re a really good kisser. Just thought you should know. I had fun Friday night. Anyways, I’ll talk to you later.

Love,
Angela

ps. Sorry So Sloppy

B(oys) B(ounce) B(etter) B(eneath) B(lankets)

S(afe) S(ex) S(ucks) S(o) S(crew) S(omeone) S(pecial)

I could still remember it by heart. Angela’s first letter. We were in ninth grade. Sure, she wasn’t going to be a great Literature major, but she knew how to write the high school letter. You have your basics, “What’s up,” the header. “N-2-M-H” starting the body. And for all you who don’t get the late 90’s reference, maybe, is it still used today? “Not Too Much Here.” And the multiple postscripts with the single “ps.” It was the standard. And you had to follow the rules. I did, however, get a few not-so-standard letters back then. I’ll have to read those sometime.

Cappuccino.

Angela and I bought our first cappucino machine when we first got married, and we’ve went through at least ten more since then. I was never a coffee drinker. Can’t stand the crap. I had to go with the cappuccino. Of course, we still had to get her a coffee machine. I’ve since gradually converted her to the cappuccino-drinking club.

I was going to be late. Too much looking back at my pudge. “But he was staring at me. Smiling. And an evil smile at that.” That’s a good excuse. I think I’ll go with that. Zadie’ll understand. Sure she will. She only lives two hours away, and makes the drive down here every fall. I’m just glad she’s moved past the years of bringing her kids. They’re old enough to not have to be carried around by Mommy, while Daddy’s out of town.

Angela and I never had kids. It was part of our arrangement. We both lived much too busy lives. But, the real truth is, we knew we would never be good parents. Hell, we knew we’d never pass as decent parents. We were both too self-absorbed and way too materialistic. It’s the only way we’d ever get to stay self-absorbed and materialistic. It’s the only way we’d ever get to have the things we wanted in life. We both had good jobs. She was some kind of manager at a fashion-design company. I was a free-lance writer. I never could hold down a steady job at any one place, other than the local newspaper, who paid next to nothing. That’s the only reason I got up in the mornings, to go to the office. I have been working on the Great American Novel though. But, I won’t get into that just now.

I was going to meet Zadie Moretti-Jones today. If fate had taken a different road she’d be Zadie Moretti-Taylor. She was the type of woman who had to keep her last name. She was proud of her heritage. Her roots. I wonder what Wesley thought about that. I wonder if he felt like a smaller man when they were introduced in formal settings. “Mr. Jones and Mrs. Moretti-Jones.” “Mr. and Mrs. Moretti-Jones.” How does a married couple introduce themselves with different last names? It’s beyond me.

9:45.

There’s no way I can make it. Fifteen minutes to get down to the local “Sandwich House.” Mr. Pudgy was ready to leave. He reassured me with a slight moan. It was either that, or he was ready to set me back another 15 minutes or so. To be so consistent in my week day routine, I couldn’t figure out how to get myself going on a Saturday. The whole routine is screwed up. And as I said earlier, I don’t want to screw with the order of things. The universe doesn’t take lightly people screwing with her balance.

“Okay Mr. Pudgy, we can go now.” We had to go. We had to go meet those long legs and that smooth skin. It’s only once a year. I needed to get in all the minutes that I could. God knows, we might not be able to keep this up for another 30 years. Hell, if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to make it another ten. Old age. “It catches up with you,” is what they say. I’m planning on making it, at least, another 30 years. Screw them. And screw the universe if she doesn’t agree. I’ll just keep that one to myself. I don’t want to mess with the order of things.