Jan 222010

rueIt was difficult sometimes, especially when Rue was meeting someone new. There were several ways it could go:

– The person would ignore her stutter, in the same way someone might ignore an obese albino who just got flattened by a trolley.

– The person might get so agitated after only a few minutes that they flee the scene with no other explanation aside from their body language screaming, “Freak!”

– The person just might have the audacity to ask her how she acquired her stutter.

They’d expect fantastical explanations from her, to check against their elaborate theories.

They expected tales of toddler play dates gone awry when an over-achieving jack-in-the-box’s appearance came packed with too much vim and vigor, scarring her vocal tenacity for life.

Or they’d pin a childhood bicycle accident as the culprit, imagining Rue so stunned after careening over the crest of a ravine that it would always take her longer than others to place an order at McDonald’s or give an eulogy at a funeral.

Or when they’d learn of Rue’s abduction from 1986-1989, a time for which she has no recollection, they’d be so sure that was the origin for her habitual stammer. But the only thing Rue took away from that experience was an aversion to nylons and a taste for peanut butter and Cheez-Wiz on sardines.

So Rue doesn’t even flinch when her date, scratching a pair of too-perfect breasts in the leftover syrup on his plate, blatantly asks, “What’s the deal with the stutter?

Over the din of the roadside diner, busty waitresses hollering at the counter-perched regulars and knives raping plate surfaces as they slaughter through chicken-fried steak, Rue contemplates telling him what he wants to hear, what they’ve all wanted to hear – some woeful yarn of an incident so traumatic, her speech is still impaired twenty years later.

But she likes this guy. He’s not as good-looking as the one before him, the one who looked like that Edward fellow from Twilight but had a propensity for calling her “Mama” and had a scarily large collection of used band-aids (a few dozen are OK, but an entire chest is overboard, Rue thought). But he’s definitely a step up from the one eight dates ago who had plastic surgery to purposely look like Steve Buscemi and wore purple polyester slacks every day.

Rue opts for the truth. She wrings her hands, coughs a little, sits up straighter so he’ll focus on the fact that she’s not wearing a bra and the top four buttons of her paisley blouse had busted open sometime between ordering breakfast and leaving the ladies room after busting open the top four buttons.

“Ok,” she starts, modestly shaking her rack.

His eyes dart down. “I really like the hit MTV series The Jersey Shore.” She waits, but his ogling eyeballs are still focused below her chin. “And The Situation was on the radio a few weeks ago. He said he likes Rues that stutter. So I rented My Cousin Vinny and started practicing, so that if I ever run into him, he might call me ‘broad’ and plop me in a jacuzzi somewhere.”

Behind her, a trucker with pits that smelt of bologna and urine and the giant steaming shit which Miley Cyrus dumped on Top 40, turned around and splayed a thick chunk of arm across the back of their booth. “Not that I’ve been eavesdropping, but I heard that interview too. It was the American Idol has-been Rueben Studdard he said he likes.” He paused to hawker out a muculent pud of chew into his empty coffee cup. “Not ‘Rues that stutter’.” His belly-laughter shook both booths.

“You’ve been FAKING your stutter?” her date bellowed. “That’s the only reason I came out for this second date, because your stutter gives me an erection.” And with that, he snatched his top hat and accordion off the seat and stormed out of the diner, leaving Rue alone with a lingering tendril of smoke from his anger-stubbed cigarette, the still-laughing trucker, and the check.

“And it wasn’t The Situation who was on the radio,” the trucker added, lifting his Jim Deere cap to brush back a greasy pelt of hair. “It was Pauly D!” he exclaimed, giving Rue one last rib-kick.


So I joined this 52 Projects group on Facebook, in hopes that it will inspire me to start making monsters again. This was from week 2.

  3 Responses to “Rue’s Situation”

  1. Good job Erin.

  2. Sorry for the delay in commmenting on this, Erin. Great story and painting!

    Along with the misunderstanding she had, this part- “…so he’ll focus on the fact that she’s not wearing a bra and the top four buttons of her paisley blouse had busted open sometime between ordering breakfast and leaving the ladies room after busting open the top four buttons” was super funny.

Say it don't spray it.

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