Tuesday, October 23, 2018

TIMECLOCK -- Entry #7

Entry #7 - The Differences Between Apples And Pears

I was confused by the sight of my name on the smelly envelope I had pulled from the dead man’s person body’s dead shoe, so much so that I forgot all about my other thought, which had been to take the dead man’s dead shoes for my own, considering at how barefoot I still was and had been this whole time. That bowling alley really did a number on me.

Fourteen. Keep that in the back of your head for later. Or the front. Which part has the memory function? Whichever part of your head has the memory function, keep that number there for later. It might be important.

“What is that letter?” asked the hat man, who from here on out I will refer to as Seymour.

“Well Seymour,” I started, letting him know subtly that I had decided his name would be Seymour. “This letter is for me, and apparently it’s a personal matter.”

“Did you know the man?” Seymour asked, pryingly.

“No, but I’m fairly certain he didn’t know me either, so we’re even.”

Seymour shrugged and went over to sit on a log that was beside the furnace. Did I mention that we were in the basement of a large apartment building? I feel like I left that part out.

Some time ago, and in the midst of our search for a mall, we had wandered into an old apartment building and down further down into the basement where all the rats, furnaces, and dead person bodies were apparently kept. This was where we stumbled onto the dead body, in great part due to my aforementioned horrible eyesight.

I trip over a lot of things. If you think about it hard enough to get a headache, tripping over things is apparently a very good way of finding things such as personal letters.

I very carefully opened the envelope, in case something were to jump out and bite me. With my luck lately, I wouldn’t have been surprised if a lion or a ferret were lying in wait inside that thing. I know it was very unlikely, but I just tend to expect things like that in case it ever happens.

It’s good to be on your guard like that. Expect the unexpected like the unlikely. That should also be a phrase. I suppose now it is.

Removing the letter from the envelope, I shook the envelope a few times to make certain there wasn’t any loose money for me as well. I could do with some of that, being unemployed and all, but there was no money. Damn. The unemployment business had been slow lately, and I was in debt up to my ears. I’m not sure how that phrase came about either. I suppose maybe because it’s just about the highest part of your head before you’re completely buried.

I was completely buried in debt. I owed so much money that I’m sure if there had actually been any money in that envelope, it would have been taken away before it actually landed in my hand. Come to think of it, perhaps there actually had been some money in the envelope after all, but one of the numerous people to whom I owe money to whom had gotten to it long before I had ever found it.

This gave me a soft sense of satisfaction, knowing that I had just inadvertently paid off a bit of my debt. I wondered how much they took. Perhaps it was all of it, but that wasn’t very likely, so I whittled it down to about a third and went on looking at the letter.

Unfolding the smooth piece of paper revealed a very attractive and stylish letterhead with the words “E PLURIBUS JACKSON” at the top in a fine bold print. “That must have been his name,” I thought in my head.

“That must have been his name,” Seymour said beside my head just as my head was thinking the exact same thing. This gave me quite a startle, and I jumped out of my nonexistent shoes, hitting Seymour’s chin with my shoulder in the process. I then hit him with my fist for good measure and shouted “Don’t sneak up on me like that!”

He stumbled about the room in a daze for a moment before adjusting his hat and sulking back to his log. I concluded and proceeded to tell him that I would instead read the letter aloud to him, in hopes that he would stop trying to read over my shoulder. He agreed, as well as then I agreed, and we both agreed together to agree on our agreed upon agreement, and then we agreed that I should read, and so I did.

I proceeded to read the letter aloud to Seymour, and the majority of it was simply a bunch of details on the market prices of apples and pears, the differences between them, in spite of the fact that they are, by nature, very much alike, and while apples are the more popular, this dead man person who wrote me this obnoxiously verbose letter seemed to feel that I, being who I am, whoever he thought that might be, would be better off in my life were I to focus my fruit consumption more towards that of the pear variety, instead of eating so many apples.

I do like apples, but how he knew that is unknown to me.

This went on for most of the page, providing no further details of his identity, how he knew who I was, nor how he knew I liked apples. After the printed and then signed signature of “E.P. Jackson” at the close of the very thoughtful correspondence, a postscript sat nestled into the lower left hand corner of the page.

“P.S. - How can you be yet still see at once?”

A riddle. I was never very good at those, and I could tell already that I was not going to be very good at this one either. I placed the letter back into the envelope and shoved both into my coat pocket next to the spoon. I had almost forgotten about the spoon.

“Seymour, why didn’t you tell me I still had this spoon in my pocket?”

Seymour looked at me as if I had personally insulted him, and replied “How am I to know what you keep in those things?” Normally he would have a point, but we only just recently had checked each others’ pockets, and I was entirely sure he hadn’t told me about any spoon. I pointed this out to him and he shrugged. “It’s a lost spoon, man. Sometimes they just aren’t there.”

This seemed like absolute nonsense, but I had no rebuttal that would have made any more sense, so I decided to argue the topic no longer.

“Well, what do you make of that little bit at the end of the letter?” I asked him, mostly just to change the subject.

“The part about the apples?”

“No, the part that wasn’t about apples,” I replied, following myself with a preemptive touch of clarification. “Nor the part about the pears. That little riddle at the end, about being and seeing.”

“And deeing and eeing…” Seymour added.

I was beginning to think Seymour had a little bit more wrong with him than just the hat.