a year in stories::four

I leave in a few hours for Washington DC to see the beautiful Chelsea for a long weekend. Unfortunately, there appears to be some troubling weather over there, but hopefully it won’t delay my flight or anything like that. It’s my first visit to the capital so I’m pretty excited, but mostly I wouldn’t care if we spent the whole weekend without seeing any sights. The best part is always being together, no matter where we are.

Anyrate, posting this now, my weekly story, because I probably won’t be able to on Sunday, when I usually do, so, without further explanation, here’s this week’s story:

Dear Edward

Curiously, the day poor Edward’s head fell off was the day he fell in love. Such is the way of fate, yes? One moment dear Edward, sitting and laughing, the next, picking his head up off the floor. You see, it simply tumbled off as if shaken loose, teetering on his neck for a moment and then it fell right off.

Of course what happened first was a lot of screaming, shock and surprise mixed with, well, disgust, I don’t mind telling you. The worst of it was poor Edward could no longer talk and when he attempted such all that happened was a wheezing whistle came from his neck, which didn’t bleed but was decidedly an open orifice. Poor Edward could see, hear, chew, but, alas, his head being disconnected made talking impossible and, of course, eating became much different. I don’t mind telling you that I helped him eat.

We weren’t sure if solids would work right since he thought it was too gross to spit into his hand and shove it down his throat when he finished chewing, so I made soup and when it cooled I spooned it into the top of his neck. It was similar to pouring it down a drain but a drain that sucked and wheezed. We discovered we needed to be careful with how much or how little we fed poor Edward now that his brain couldn’t tell him when he was full.

But this story’s about love, not how he learnt to eat.

His head fell off in the morning and he was pretty depressed by the afternoon so I decided it might be a fun thing to go out and about, see what was happening in the world.

It had, well, interesting results.

At first he simply walked with his head in his hands, which caused both curious and terrified looks. I thought it might be unsanitary for him to walk around with an open hole where his neck went so I recommended he hold his head where it was meant to go and walk like that. He gave me a look as if to say that it’d feel awkward to walk that way so I told him it’s awkward to walk without a head at all. Reluctantly, he put his head where it went.

It turned out he could drink beer this way, so long as he held his head tight to his neck.

It was at the bar that he saw her. I didn’t think much of her but I could tell poor Edward had fallen madly. Short burgundy hair, bangs falling over a wide face with an impish nose. Thin shoulders but wide hips and thick legs, but her dress fit her well, hiding her figure. What I mean to say is she was a bit fat but poor Edward didn’t see that or didn’t care. He couldn’t speak so it’s hard to say what it was, perhaps her eyes–poor Edward liked poetics like that–or something in her face that caused poor Edward’s heart to double pump at the sight of her.

Go buy her a drink then, I said but poor Edward’s face flushed–which was anatomically curious, considering he couldn’t even eat–and he had the look of a man who was both shaken to his core and one who wanted to punch me in the nose. He waved one hand around, gesturing to his neck as if to say, Go to hell, James.

I shrugged and order us two more pints.

It’s strange drinking with someone who’s ostensibly mute, especially when it’s poor Edward who used to carry conversation, not only when it was only the two of us, but always, no matter who was around. Poor Edward was a talked and took great joy in talking so it hurt me deep down and got me all depressed to see him first fall in love with a chubby girl at a bar and then not be able to say anything to her and then, worst of all, not to say anything to me.

But, I supposed, that’s what made us best friends, and I went over to the chubby girl, bought her a drink, and said my friend thought she was the prettiest girl at the bar. She looked over at poor Edward and thought I was lying. See, poor Edward’s rather handsome, despite his low taste in women, so it always throw a lady when he’s attracted to them. They always assume it’s some kind of trick being played and poor Edward’s endgame is to throw them over for a more attractive friend or whathaveyou. But, see, poor Edward’s a decent guy, just his eyes are maybe broken or his visual cortex is bad at analysing data. In any case, the chubby girl, whose name was Natalia, which is how I’ll now refer to her, followed me back to the booth where poor Edward sat mortified, the blush so deep I saw it from across the bar.

Poor Edward was swimming and it was up to me to do the talking so I quickly explained poor Edward had become a mute, which threw her and I think she smelt trickery pretty pungently at that point so I took out a pen and grabbed the back of the menu, which was blank and paper, and told her to give my boy a chance. She wrote something and passed it to poor Edward who did the same. I told them I’d let them alone so they needn’t feel spied on and took a seat at the bar.

They sat there for the rest of the night, all their drinks on me, which was a terrible idea, incidentally. Natalia could down a drink and she downed several expensive ones. Being a dishwasher isn’t the worst job for a man my age to have but the pay’s not meant for sharing, if you get me. It was worth it, though, for my best friend. He needed a pick me up and I figured it was the least I could do, though I also didn’t expect them to drink so much. I watched from a safe distance and drank sparingly once I caught on to how they were drinking.

At bar close they were still talking and outside she said she’d text him tomorrow and wished us both a good night.

Poor Edward, I had never seen him so happy. I asked him if he told her about his peculiar cranial arrangement. He shrugged as if to say, Not yet but it doesn’t matter either.

He was happy. Really and truly.

Over the next couple weeks I gather they were almost constantly texting or together and when they got married the following year dear Edward held his head at his side, proud and delighted.