Russ Big Russ

10 Feb

—Russ. Here to see Big Russ.
The woman looked down and meticulously filled out incremented long narrow boxes on the stack of paperwork.
—Steinman, Double-U Russell? she said.
—Yes.
She pushed up her glasses on the bridge of her nose and continued to fill out information. The heavy stroke of her calligraphy made her look like she was afflicted with Parkinson’s tremors. Her sprayed-stiff coiffure shook with every letter she placed neatly in its designated polygon on the form.
—Bringing in anything?
—Just this.
He held up two issues of Omni Magazine, which he had carried rolled up under his armpit the entire time. For some strange reason, he worried about a possible underarm odor having rubbed off onto the publications, even though he had worn a coat, and felt compelled to sniff and make sure they still held on to the stale basement, year-old ink smell.
—You leaving them or taking them back at the end of your visit?
This threw him off for a moment; he never thought about his father being able to read any longer, or if he might enjoy having some word from the outside, even if the magazines were terribly outdated and worn at the spine and pages in the middle.
—Taking them back.
—Because you could leave them if you wish. It’s perfectly within what’s allowed.
—Taking them. Thank you.
She went back to official protocol and he stood uncomfortably for a few more minutes in front of her desk, waiting for this part to be over.
—Down the hall, first right, then left. Three twenty-one is the last room.
—I know, thank you.
—Take this with you, fill it out, and leave it on the table when you’re ready to go.
She handed him a printed sheet titled “How Are We Doing? Your Opinion Is Important.”
—Right then left, she said.
—Thank you, I know.

*

—The children. Look at all the children out there, he said and put his hand on the window and moved it from left to right.
—Dad?
The man turned and looked at his son briefly. He wrinkled his forehead and squinted.
—It’s the best thing about this place. The children. Every day…you know? They’re like…fuel. Or, Mozart. You know?
—Yes dad.
The man moved his hand on the glass, tracing the reflections of the room with his index finger.
—And they’re so fast. Like lightning. See that? How fast they run… Cheetahs.
—Yes dad.
The third floor view of the auxiliary parking lot was commonly institutional. It was the best twelve hundred a month could buy. The next tier up was looking at either a three-lane highway or the array of air conditioning/heating units behind the building.
—I brought you some Omnis if you want to thumb through them. The lady said I could leave them for you.
—Omnis?
—Magazines, dad. Omni Magazine.
—Oh.
He turned back to the window. Sunlight was coming in, hitting his head at an obtuse angle. In the glare Russ could see dust particles floating off his father’s robe and attaching themselves to his stubbly chin.
—Is that all right with you?
The man smiled as he followed translucent shapes on the window.
In the sun.
—Mmyea. When you were a boy you loved to pretend you were a semi. An eighteen wheeler. One of those monstrosities…a blue sunflower. What kind of magazines?

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4 Responses to “Russ Big Russ”

  1. daydreamsdandelions 10/02/2009 at 3:48 PM #

    I like it. I hate not having constructive things to say, though. I always feel like you want feedback and “I like it” isn’t really that helpful. :)

  2. (S)wine 10/02/2009 at 3:52 PM #

    It’s all right. In a way, this site isn’t really conducive to much commenting and I’ve toyed w/removing the ability to comment, but that’s not such a great idea either. People need to be able to at the very least tell me I suck. Over the last 4+ years I’ve held this site, I’ve learned not to read too much into 0 comments…or 100 for that matter. It’s just a place to come to for entertainment, I suppose…or to waste some time in between Facebook postings. Ha. Thanks Kim.

  3. mssimmo 10/02/2009 at 8:19 PM #

    Not exactly sure how I got to your story (wordpress fairies I guess), but I loved the way you ‘described’ the dad, and the whole discussion with his son. Altheimers (sp) I’m guessing? or just getting old?

  4. (S)wine 11/02/2009 at 7:48 AM #

    Mssimo, thank you. Hope you stick around or come back often.

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