three people and a stapler shaped like a duck.Posted: June 18, 2009
The walls are lined with tchotchkes, trinkets each individually marked with price tags ranging from the spontaneous purchase to the obscene.
The store smells faintly of candy, either the byproduct of its merchandise or the clientele. There is barely enough room to walk without knocking over a piece of cheaply-made memorabilia, though the store provides a welcome respite from the bustling mobs of shoppers outside of its doors. The sound of a barista can be heard not too far off, calling for a garbled name and a complicated drink order. Renee turns to Simon, currently enthralled with a snowglobe containing the image of a snowman and his surroundings. “Simon, listen to me. Her name is Jessika, and she is awesome.”
“Don’t trust a girl whose name isn’t spelled the same way it sounds,” Marshall interjects, “And while you’re at it, don’t trust dudes on street corners, people who are named after cities, and guys named Chad.” He takes a drag from a cigarette that broke the rules of the mall. “Just something you learn.” He picks up a license plate with his name etched on it with his free hand, before setting it back down on the counter with a loud clack. The shopkeeper does not turn in his direction. “Why are we here, anyway?”
“Enter Marshall with his sage advice, and this time advice that doesn’t make much sense.” Renee quips, “Such sage advice, cultivated from years of experience,” She pauses. “Doing what, exactly?” Before Marshall can even muster a grunt in response, she continues. “We’re here because this store looks interesting, and we’re wandering around a mall. We’re also here because it’s crowded as hell out there and I’m intrigued by useful things shaped like animals, and since I’m the girl, I win.” On cue, she lifts a random object from her vicinity towards her eyeline, checks the price tag, and promptly sets it down. “Where was I, oh yes, Jessika.” A snort can be heard emanating from Marshall. “Jessika, didn’t I show you a picture of her and I when I first told you about her?”
Simon clears his throat. “Uh, yeah.” He gulps, and starts to speak once more. “I’m not sure, though.”
“Though it’s a completely amazing gesture, I’ll have to confess that I feign confidence, and I have very little experience surrounding these things. See, after you told me about her, I started thinking. And when I start thinking, I start flipping shit. It’s kinda odd, really, to be introduced to someone who you set your mind to trying to see if you’re compatible with– if that makes much sense– But from what’s described, she’s perfect! But from what I’ve experienced in the past, I’m not quite sure. It’s my fear of rejection, is all. Yeah, I know it’s just one date but shit, that’s still something. Maybe if I start with the ideal that there’s nothing for me to lose, I just might go for it.” Simon took a breath, after unleashing a now trademarked verbal spillage of emotion and pent up thought. It was a wonder people still listened.
“That’s a lot to take in, Simon.” Marshall says, taking another drag. A mall security guard passes the store window, catching the wisps of smoke trailing towards the ceiling and does nothing about it. “Feelings get in the way of things, anyway. Go for it, you need to learn your lesson about girls who use k’s instead of c’s.”
“Oh my god! It’s a stapler shaped like a duck!” Renee exclaims, with vigor, to change the subject. The sleepy store remains unfazed, save for the trio currently enthralled in conversation. It was an oversized, slightly unwieldy object that was to be bought for mere kitsch factor, half the size of an actual duck and small enough to grasp in one hand. Renee clicks it once, to see if a mechanized quacking sound would pop from a hidden speaker, but to no avail. The green head and yellow beak of it surround beady eyes, staring at the group unintentionally mockingly. She holds the stapler up like a trophy to show the others, chuckling at the sight of it. “That is just so awesome,” She pauses, “I mean, look at it!”
“That must be the most badass thing I’ve seen in months!” Simon exclaims, at the same volume as Renee.
“Damn straight it is.” Marshall adds, before setting off into the crowd.