“Well this is somewhat embarrassing?” (wordpress) Not really – new take. My writing of 25 years ago – The Arrangement Part I

The Arrangement

I wrote this 25 years ago and found it at first embarrassing that I couldn’t remember my own story.  On the other hand, I was intrigued.  So these are stories I wrote while I was fighting my bulimia and fighting for my writing rights, taking a college course.  There are a few to come and it amazes me that I had the ability to write and have these ideas when I was so lost.  Just think if I had not been fighting my bulimia all those years what I could have achieved!!  To Older Laurie from the Younger Laurie – I saved these for you. And now here is to the new adventures of the old Laurie.  I am saying this because my favorite show is “The New Adventures of the Old Christine”. That show inspires me.

The Arrangement:

“I want you to do an article on antiques,” my boss said, sitting smugly behind his desk, his stained yellow hands holding a cigarette firmly between the index and thumb.  He blew a smoke ring in my direction.  “What kind of antiques would you like covered?”  I asked, as I slipped my finger through the ring automatically, as I had done so often as a child when my father was smoking.  “Anything.  Just do a piece.  You’re the reporter, you’re the one who should have the ideas.”
“I just thought maybe you’d have a preference.  There’s all…”

My boss interrupted me in his usual demeaning manner. “Just do it okay?  I don’t care what it is.  Just do it.”

“Yes sir,” I said as I stood up from the seat in front of him, saluting as I did so.  He rolled his eyes and waved me off. “Get out of here,” he said, with a smile appearing on his chubby face.

Good old Mr. Craig.  He was, forever, trying to conceal his humanity.  He pretended not to like anyone.  Somehow I doubted this was true.  But I was one of the few who held him in this regard.

I returned to my cluttered desk and stared at the ceiling.  An article on antiques, I thought.  Big deal.  I longed to be transferred out of the Entertainment department.  It was becoming a tedious affair.  No excitement lay in any of the assignments I was assigned to.  On the other hand, I was grateful to be employed by a newspaper.  I shouldn’t be so critical.

“Anything interesting up there?” John asked.

“Not really.  I’m just thinking.”

“That’s not good for you,” he jested.  John was assigned to book reviews.  His work was good and he loved what he was doing.

“New assignment?” he asked.

“Ya.  I have to write a piece on antiques, would you believe!”

“What kind of antiques?”

“Beats me.  Mr. Craig said he really doesn’t care.  I’m just trying to figure out what I’m going to choose,” I lied. I knew it would be futile to try to explain to him  my growing disinterest with the stories I was given.  Besides, it was my problem.

“Well, I’m out of here.  I’m going to go visit some old junk.”

“See you later,” John said.

“Right,” I replied, knowing later had no definite boundaries.

I walked along the crowded street, feeling the need for fresh air.  I was amazed at the multitude of loiterers for mid-morning.  To thin that the other half were scurrying beneath the ground in the subway stations and underground shopping centers intrigued me.

As I went along, I browsed through the shops along Yonge Street.  I was hoping my imagination would be stimulated in some way and perhaps I would be granted an idea on a focal point for my story.

I came across a small jewellery sho9p which specialized in Estate jewellery.  I went inside to look at some of the merchandise.  Memories of the days when I had managed a jewellery store flickered in my mind.  How grateful I was to be out of THAT business.

An older man I guessed to be in his mid-sixties appeared from a room at the back of the narrow store.  He wore bifocals, the old kind which had a half moon at the lower part of the lens.  He couldn’t have been more than five feet tall.

“Can I help you, young lady?” he asked in his foreign accent.   I wasn’t quite where it was from, though I did guess it to be of Germanic origin.

“Maybe you can,” I answered, suddenly realizing the potential of the merchandise before me.  “Are any of these pieces considered antique?”

“Yes, some.  Over here in this case I have a few rings and pendants claimed to be over one hundred years old.  Would you like to look at them?”

“Sure,” I said as I followed him to the far corner of the room.

…to be continued

 

(copyrighted 1987)

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