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Two Halves don't make a Whole



 
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Adonair


Adonair sipped his coffee and  looked at the kitchen clock it was nearly 9:00am.  That was early enough for a social call, or text rather as was the modern custom.  He had enjoyed dancing with Shannon at the New Year's Ball and wanted to invite her to another outing for just the two of them.  He had intended to make sure she got home safe last night, but he had dithered and the opportunity had passed.  A 3:00AM message was just creepy even if it was perfectly phrased.  Anyway, leaving the Ball just put one right at the doorstep by some feat of magic.  If there was some horrid mix up it was unlikely a text would reach them either.

 

Alright... so what precisely to say?  

 

"Shannon, you are a wonderful dancer, I wonder if our lives might dance together in the future?"

 

Viciously he stabbed at the backspace key obliterating the message.

 

"Idiot! Fool! Confound you!  Play it cool, be interested, but not too interested.  Come now Melvil, you sly dog you!  Dial up the charm just two notches."

 

He sat with his finger poised above the phone waiting for inspiration to hit.

 

"I enjoyed our evening. I hope we might see each other again soon to learn a bit more."   He looked at it curiously, rage filled his eyes and he backspaced again.  "With charm like that you'll soon become like her favorite uncle."

 

He sipped his coffee and contemplated going for a bagel.  "Give up this fool's errand.  You're too old for this sort of thing, your heart would probably give out if you managed to get her." Soon he found his nerve again and had another go.

 

"Our dance last  night was an instant classic, such style and grace. I'd love to see you again.  I wonder if you would fancy ice skating this afternoon.  Possibly something afterwards of your choice?"

 

His finger hovered between backspace and send.  "In for a penny in for a pound!" he stated boldly though it really meant nothing.  It gave him a moment's courage and he hit send.  He then immediately pronounced himself a nitwit and began loudly arguing with himself.

 

The phone dinged and he froze in his tracks.  "So soon? is it even possible?"  He reached for the phone like it was an alien creature that might latch on to him.
February 11, 2021 08:37 pm

Shannon Taylor

Shannon’s fingers brushed over the antique barrette sitting on her table. She was loath to put it away, as every glance at it reminded her of the lovely evening she had shared dancing at the Yule Ball. Absently, she wondered if there was a set number of days to call after a first date. Was it really a first date? She wasn’t even sure if it could qualify as such, or perhaps it was more a ‘meeting of interested parties” which sounded a bit more clinical than she would care to dwell on. Adonair seemed like a man who would appreciate etiquette and decorum. He didn’t strike her as someone that deviated too far from the norm. It was with this thought in mind she picked up her phone and considered sending him a message. It was long enough that he just *might* be waiting for her to show a sign of interest first. Their tango led her to believe that there was at least some attraction shared between them outside of their academics.

Where does one even go on a first date meeting in NY in the winter? Under normal circumstances she might recommend the Morgan Library & Museum, but he works in a Library… that hardly feels like a good setting for a social call, even if it is beautiful inside. She continued her search finding more suggestions for bars and cafe’s than she would like to count. Those just didn’t suit the situation, but she was fairly confident she would know the right suggestion when she saw it.

Bowling--no. Mini golf? Ahhhhh no. She couldn't picture them in a day-glow room with a bunch of screaming children misbehaving and inattentive parents as quite the ambiance she was hoping for. Her fingers tapped at her desk with agitation as she struggled to find the perfect ‘ice breaker invitation’ as an excuse to contact him again. She was looking for something different, and yet still played to his intellect and gave them a chance to talk and continue getting to know each other outside of the ‘casual colleague’ setting that had surrounded all their other interactions.

After much deliberation she finally had it! The Guggenheim Museum - It was perfect. The architecture was a marvel, the art interesting. It would give them privacy and yet still be in a public setting. With that in mind she finally picked up the phone and started her text.

“I had a wonderful time dancing under the stars at the Ball. I don’t suppose you’d like to meet up someplace a little quieter? Tomorrow afternoon at the Google Dome?” Fingers were flying, chasing the nerves before she backed down.

-Send-

"Wait what? Google Dome? ARGH"!!! Stupid auto correct! So much for looking cool and casual! With a sigh and a shake of her head, Shannon was just about to send a corrected text when her phone buzzed, giving her a freight so badly she almost dropped the phone. Is Apple now providing heart attacks with every typo?

February 12, 2021 03:29 am

Adonair

It took him a few moments to recover himself and look at the message on his phone.  It was from Shannon, but how could it be here so quickly?  Perhaps she had texted him first?  That would be a win for him, though nowadays it wasn't terribly significant if the lady made the first move.  But perhaps, no, it was more likely simultaneous as it would have buzzed while he was typing if she'd actually been first; so it was a tie.  Well, perhaps it was a win/win a win for him but also a win for her too.  Now that he had sorted out his imaginary and unhelpful scoring system he could read the message again, this time for comprehension.  That would be a refreshing change.

"I don't suppose you'd like to meet up someplace a little quieter? Tomorrow afternoon at the Google Dome?"

The Google Dome?  He didn't know what that was, but of course he was fairly ignorant of where young people went nowadays.  He was in a bit of a rut of cafes, restaurants, theaters and other civilized places.  He put The Google Dome into his phone search engine.  It asked him if he meant Googly Dome.  Perhaps he did; the website was there at the touch of a button.  It was in southeast Yonkers which was a pretty good hike from the library, but then he didn't know where Shannon lived other than The City, which is what New Yorkers called New York.  He thought it was pretentous, but he did it himself from time to time.  So perhaps this was a local haunt.  The pictures on the website seemed a bit contrived, but it was reasonably clear what it was.  It was modeled after the Chuck E Cheese franchise.  Googly eyes adorned the walls, there was pizza, soft drinks amd arcade games.  Any skating they did there would be on spilled french fries and children's vomit, but at least they'd be brought to a screeching halt by sticky patches of soda.  "a bit quiter..." the text had said, he rather doubted that. It sounded like it would be cacaphonous.

He didn't mind children, as long as they were well behaved.  He had not met any of that sort recently.  Was Shannon trying to show an interest in children?  That wasn't his take on her at all, but he didn't really know her that well.  If she had a maternal side, perhaps he should eventually consider settling down and siring an heir.  It wasn't anything he thought of very often, but he was getting older and had none.  With sufficient learning and discipline a child could be a delightful and meaningful addition. 

He had already decided that he would agree to meet her.  He was good at Galaga, but hadn't been in an arcade in quite some time, he doubted the old machines were still there, but he could probably pick up on a new game.

He took a deep breath and texted back, "I would be happy to accompany you to the Googly Dome. It sounds delightful!  I haven't had pizza pie in quite some time and I know I should do better since New York has the finest in the world.  I'll see you at 5pm; I doubt they will reserve us a table."  He loved putting just a bit of his dry humor into it.  She seemed to have appreciated that on previous occasions.

He saw that his phone was on 9%. This was probably because he hadn't charged it since before the Ball.  He had fallen asleep with it in his hand when he had been paralyzed with indecision about texting her to see if she'd arrived safely.  Now he put the phone on the charager and promptly forgot about it.

February 12, 2021 05:49 pm

Shannon Taylor

Googly Dome? What was a googly Dome? Was he “typo’ing” HER typo? Shannon shook her head with a small laugh. This was worse than playing “telephone’ as a child.. Only this time with an actual telephone. Lordy! What a mess. Her fingers spelled it out slower this time, sure he would have a good giggle at her expense, or perhaps a little eye-roll. Ideally he would find it "cute" and they would laugh at the error.

“G-u-g-g-e-n-h-e-i-m. Sorry, that was supposed to say the museum.” She added a little smiley blushing face, to show she was embarrassed without outright calling herself a dork in print. “I think that part is rather implied, Shannon”. The thought had her laughing at herself. She made sure to add the little hyphens between each letter just to avoid continued confusion. Again she hit -send- and waited to see the message being received and his return confirmation. A watched pot never boils, and clearly a watched phone doesn’t respond? After staring at it for 10 minutes of “dead air”, she set down the phone with a sigh.

Did he get the message? Did he think she was correcting him and take offense to it? Clearly it was a small error but shouldn't he have responded by now? “Ok Shannon, get on with your day and don’t seem so desperate. He mostly got distracted, I’m sure he will respond soon.”

What she didn’t expect was to say that at noon. She said it again at 2:00pm. She nervously bit at her lip wondering what was going on. Okay, maybe he didn’t get the message? She thought she would ‘nudge’ him in that direction. She didn’t want to repeat herself and sound stupid. Maybe a simple “?” would do. She hit -send- again and held her breath, finally exhaling because she enjoyed breathing. As she slipped beneath the covers that night she still had not heard anything and was starting to obsess.

Morning was not any easier and she re-read his message again. “Googly Dome” -Wait it really exists? Yonkers? Argh! Was he going to show up THERE? Now she was really getting nervous. As a back up, she started to plan out the trip. A taxi would run her about $85.00. She could take the train, that was about 25 minutes and would cost way less. There would still be travel to and from the station either way. She checked a few more options and came to the conclusion that she was looking at about an hour or more there and back. "Please Adonair, respond!”

Shannon tried to stay busy throughout the afternoon. Heading to the garden, she watered and tended to the most fragile of her plants but her mind was just not in it. She wandered aimlessly throughout the rows, missed some and watered others twice. After she knocked her mugwort off it’s shelf causing the pot to crack and dirt to spill everywhere she snapped out of it. With a heavy sigh she cleaned up and headed to the house to start getting ready.

Staring at her closet she was confronted with yet another dilemma. What should she wear? Is she dressing for the Museum or for an arcade? This was maddening! Comfortable flats or her doc martens? Dress pants or jeans? A silk blouse or something more casual? Her button up navy pea coat or her leather jacket? She wanted to set the right tone. He was always so impeccably dressed, she would be horrified to walk the Guggenheim looking like a biker, and yet dress clothes in the Googly Dome would make her look like someone’s mother stopping by after her office job. That last thought made her shudder.

She could hear the minute hand clicking into place, a metronome she was finding anything but soothing. She gave her phone a dirty look, and decided on jeans and her doc martens. She added a casual peasant blouse, grabbed her leather jacket, and with a scowl tossed her phone into her purse and trudged out into the February cold. Final destination - Yonkers. Who called it “pizza pie” these days? As she hunkered into the hard cold fiberglass seat, she idly wondered if he preferred deep dish or thin crust.

February 15, 2021 03:23 pm

Adonair

Adonair had foolishly gone to work without his iphone, a mistake he made all too often.  Furthermore, the interesting Pashtun scholar who he was scheduled to meet at 9 was an hour and a half late.  The man had much to say and the library’s resources were of great benefit to him.  The coin was good too. Ordinarily, nothing could have delighted Melvil more; but he was all too keenly aware of the upcoming date with Shannon.  He got out just after 4 and almost ran home.  He changed quickly to jeans and an emerald green sweater.   He grabbed his phone.  It was filled with messages.  The ones that immediately appeared were ones from someone seeking information about a book on the Jin.  Adonair had read the volume and answered some questions, but the man’s persistence was maddening.  He shoved the phone in his pocket and grabbed his car keys, due to the urgency of time. He usually used his car on long distance travel, not for around New York, he was not a great driver and it made him nervous.

He arrived at the Googly Dome and it was certainly worse than he had imagined.  Giant googly eyes towered over him as he entered the establishment.  A quick scan indicated Shannon had not arrived.  He spotted a table that might not be plague ridden.  He went the rest room to get sturdy paper towels, soap and hot water.  When he came back the table was taken.  He looked around and spotted a small one, with the chairs bolted to the floor.  No doubt plastic chairs were a flight risk, or perhaps the children created bedlam by using them in ways they were not intended.  At any rate, he got to work cleaning the table.  An employee, no more than 18 years of age asked if he needed any help.  Adonair showed him the underside of his paper towel as an indictment but this did not move the young fellow.  Putting a finer point on it Melvil addressed him in an only slightly sarcastic tone, “I realize that you clean these tables every month whether they need it or not, but it seems to leave something to be desired.  I do wonder if you’ve got a crucifix and some powdered iron?”

“Naah man, we don’t got that.” 

The good doctor was devastated that his clever joke about the table being so filthy as to need exorcism was lost on this Cretin.  He soldiered on, however, in hopes of saving what could be saved in this place of horror.  There was a sign that said, ‘order here;’ it was surrounded by screaming imps, each one filthier than the last. “I’m meeting a young lady and I wonder if someone could come to our table to take our order, for a suitable inducement…”

 

“Order over there,” the fellow told him, pointing to the sign before moving off quickly.

Adonair thought perhaps his error was in not using  a simpler word than inducement, perhaps some kind of caveman language.

He finished cleaning the table and sat down in a huff.  It was just now 5PM.  He looked at the texts now.  “Yes, Jin means the same in classical Arabic as in Modern Standard Arabic, though perhaps Disney’s Aladdin and an unfortunate ‘60s sitcom may have influenced the common mind.”

“No, he could not get the tome on loan from the rare books collection of Al-Azhar University.  The book had been there for a century and would remain there for the rest of this epoch.”

He scrolled down… down … down through the drivel that is almost two days of texts.  He came upon one from Shannon. It was a question mark.  Then he saw the other.  He pronounced it slowly and out loud as the hyphens sort of suggested to his brain: “Guggenheim.”  His mouth dropped open in shock and realization.  He looked up and there was Shannon.  He tried to gain control of his facial expression and stood up quickly.  The chair did not move backwards, consequently his knee slammed against the edge of the table.  His mouths twisted and his eyes looked very much like the Googly eyes on the wall to his immediate left.  So much so that it caused a passing child to laugh out loud, expelling what was hopefully tomato sauce.

“Hello Shannon, you look beautiful.  I just got your text.”

February 16, 2021 05:39 pm

Shannon Taylor

Maybe this wont be as bad as it seems she thought as the bus rattled on. The train leg of her journey was uneventful, at least as uneventful as it could be in the city. Shannon managed to crowd surf through the commuters, slip past three panhandlers, drop some dollars into the cup of a young woman playing a mean sax with a backing track behind her, dodged a fresh puddle someone left because they were too rude to hit a bathroom, and avoided a broken bottle of Two-Buck Chuck with the contents seeped out among the broken glass. Definitely uneventful by city standards, even though all of the foul odors were still permeating her senses. The bus stopped and she walked back the half block to the garish, overly bright painted building with giant googly eyes. There was no mistaking that she was in the right 'wrong place'.

What if he got the message late and ended up at the museum? What if, what if, what if? Yes the planning stage was clearly not a strong suit - for either of them. If he -is- there, she is determined to make the most of it. She did not want him thinking she was incapable of rolling with the situation or adjusting on the fly. Worse yet she was not going to walk in looking like a raving biotch who just spent the last 40 minutes on public transportation to get to -- Yonkers.

Shannon opened the door and the color, sounds and smells hit her like an avalanche roaring down Mt Everest. She closed the door quickly, remaining outside. A family of four brushed past her as she backed away slowly. Was she really ready to put on a happy face while the very thought of being in there made her skin crawl? Fingers clenched the door again, slowly opening it just a crack, the sound spilling out in loud bells, whistles, children’s screams and the sound of cheesy carnival music on repeat. Her heart sank. A second family brushed past giving her the stink eye, as if her moment of indecision kept them from experiencing all the majesty that was the Googly Dome. With a reluctant sigh, she straightened her shoulders and put on what she hoped was her best fake smile and opened the door to Hell.

Shannon had not taken more than ten steps when she started to feel her feet sticking to the floor. It was most likely spilled soda, at least she hoped that was all it was. The decor was tacky, the floors were dirty, the garbage cans over-spilling and children ran around unsupervised while adults huddled in a corner staring blankly at a large screen tv while rationing out game tokens with robotic precision. Finally she spotted him, head down in his phone, his emerald sweater standing out even with the rainbow of flashing lights assaulting her senses.

She didn’t mean to startle him, however she clearly did as his effort to stand resulted in what will most likely be a nice bruise on his knee. She tried not to laugh at his pained expression, instead reaching out her hands to help steady him. ‘No need to get up really, are you okay?” His discomfort somehow easing her own, she slid into the bolted seat opposite him. Too late, she felt the gum sticking to the black denim on her leg. With a scowl she peeled it off easier than she should have and realized it was only because it was ~fresh~. Gathering all the cheer she could muster, she reached for one of the paper towels on the table, smoothly pulling up the silly putty like pink glob with a look of distain. Finally looking up at Adonair, she tried her hand at some small talk.

“Hi, did you have any trouble finding the place?”

February 18, 2021 02:12 am

Adonair

"Hi, did you have any trouble finding the place?"

He smiled broadly. "No trouble at all!  In fact the same daemon that scrambled our communications was able to direct me unfailingly to this location.  That would be in between giggling and giving high fives to the other daemons for such a ridiculous mess he'd managed to cause.  Or perhaps it was a she, since the disembodied voice that got me here was female."

He held up his phone to indicate that he was referring to the maps application that had given him step by step directions to the Googly Dome. It was also the place where the auto correct and unhelpful search suggestion had originated.

"I take it as a personal challenge from the Powers that sent us here that we shall have a good time and laugh about it for a long time to come.  I hope you are in agreement with that bold scheme."

Adonair was aghast that he missed the gum.  He had cleaned the table, but not the chair.  He was trying to get hold of himself and project a positive, optimstic vibe.

"I do apologize for the gum.  I requested additional cleaning supplies from the employee over there," he indicated the young man who had been unhelpful, "but was informed that they did not have a crucifix or powdered iron."  He hoped this joke would do better with a more informed audience.

He noticed that the line at the 'order here'  window was relatively free for the moment.  "So... my rules for pizza are simple: no fruit, no fish, no fungus.  Any other toppings would be fine with me.  They seem to have only one variety and its somewhere between deep dish and New York style, which is a pity.  I think one ought to take a stand, even if its wrong, on which kind is better.

They reached an agreement on pizza, and soft drinks were self-serve and included Dasani water for some reason.  "I shall take the northern route and  brave the pestilential horde guarding the food supplies.  If you wish to wash your hands, the eastern route," he indicated the Ladies Room, "passes through the sticky soda miasma, but you should be alright if you stay on the path.  Do not be  bewtiched by the siren call of the video machines, and do not speak to the clown, he has only riddles for the which the answers are so idiotic that they will do permanent harm to your brain.  We shall rendezvous, gods willing, in five minutes back here at this table.  He made some sort of vague prayerful gesture and rose.

February 19, 2021 01:00 pm

Adonair

Adonair went to the 'order here.'  Although it had thinned out, he was still second in line and had to deal with jostling from both the right and the left.  He was not really the sort to put up with that, but this was not his day for avoiding things he didn't care for.  He reached the window and the person there disappeared with no explanation.  He bowed his head for a moment, took a deep breath and watied.  After a minute the same fellow who he had talked to earlier asked him, with the thinnest veneer of cordiality, "what can i git ya?"

Adonair smiled and enunciated carefully, "I'll take the 14" pie with pepperoni, green peppers and onions and two soft drinks."  He could see that the young man had been distracted by a crash to his left so he said it again and then clarified, "I have strict rules: no fish, no fruit, no fungus."  He was met with a stare as if he had sprouted horns.  "You know, anchovies, olives and mushrooms. Absolutely under no circmustances must any of that besmirch the integrity of my pizza.  Do I make myself clear."

"Yeah, yeah, Pops, got it."  He put out his hand for method of payment and turned over two cups for soft drinks.  Adonair made the payment and included a gratuity on the card of 20% even though he was less than pleased with the service so far.  He realized it was at least partly his fault for his expectations. Honestly, the children seemed delighted here. Next the drinks were filled according to their preferences from the choices available.  He returned to the table and sat down letting out a deep breath.  He put the receipt with their order number on the table. He was a bit shaken but managed to smile for Shannon and ask how her ordeal had been.

February 23, 2021 08:44 pm

Shannon Taylor

A small, grateful smile crossed her face as she watched Adonair order their food in a rather animated exchange. He seemed to be making a point to the young man behind the counter and she briefly wondered what the conversation was regarding. They had decided on pizza, and she had left it up to him to order, as she was fairly certain she would enjoy whatever kind he decided upon. She had a suspicion that he would be much more peculiar regarding toppings than she would be, not that they would taste like much more than a bland facsimile of what they were intended. With a laugh she made a mental guess that he ordered plain cheese, just as a way of being ‘safe’.

Deciding a restroom was a fabulous idea, she headed in that direction, making sure to avoid land mines filled with overturned sodas, wrappers from various candies, a lost mitten that would most likely be permanently glued to the floor considering the amount of dirt and other objects attached to the soaked threads. The lights and whirring noises were starting to get to her, and she almost found herself humming one of the machine’s enticing theme songs, having heard the 20 second tune nearly 100 times in the short span they were there. Idly, she wondered what manner of subliminal trance they were being subjected to, and hoped the auditory spell only worked on those with younger minds. She briefly considered a protection spell, and put it on the back burner of her mind, should she feel the need arise.

She assumed the bathroom would give her a brief respite from the garish decor and the inane music, however dismay soon hit her when she opened the door - along with the distinct and overpowering scent of neglect and discarded baby diaper. Shannon briefly wondered if she would indeed leave the facility with more germs than she arrived with. The water was tepid, at best, and predictably the industrial grade pink soap dispenser was empty, most of it’s contents running artistically down the white porcelain sinks and into a congealed mess currently clogging the drain in all three sinks. With a sigh, she looked around for a toweling to dry herself and ended up wiping her hands on her jeans, finding them the most sanitary option available.

She had just made it back to their table, apologizing for the delay, and about to go into a lengthy description of the appalling state of the bathroom when she heard their number called. Wanting to share in the ‘date’ responsibilities, she grabbed the receipt off the counter. “Stay seated, I’ll go get the pizza. I missed lunch and am actually quite hungry.” She held up her hand indicating she had this part, hoping he might find relief in not having to navigate the counter and people any further. She hit the self-serve fountain first, shaking her head when she saw the lack of caramel colored drink coming out of the cola dispenser, indicating it was more carbonated water than actual drink. “Oh good, Dasani water! That is probably the safest thing coming out of that fountain” she thought as she headed towards the counter to hand in their ticket.

The pizza she was handed was completely unexpected. The crust was in good order and it seemed to have a reasonable amount of cheese on it. She was delighted to see mushrooms, as she was more of a herbivore, but the pineapple certainly took her off guard. There were two kinds of people in the world, those who liked and those who disliked pineapple on pizza. Being a native New Yorker, it was obvious she would fall into the later of the two types. Regardless, she could hear her stomach grumbling as she headed for the table. She had barely slid into the hard plastic chair when she deftly picked up a piece and took a bite, hoping to stave off the headache that always accompanies a low blood sugar count. She managed to eat around the offending yellow fruit before yet another surprise hit her taste-buds causing her to wrinkle her nose. She gave him a quizzical look, trying hard not to gag out the bite onto a handful of napkins.

“Anchovies? Really???

March 08, 2021 07:42 pm

Adonair

Adonair's had went to his mouth.  Clearly the young man had done this to spite him.  Pizza wise, this was a worst case scenario.  Still, he must not alarm Shannon or appear to lose his cool.  "Ah there must be some mistake," he said with a smile.  He took the pizza, leaving Shannon with her one partly eaten piece and went up to insist upon a suitable replacement.  He got no satisfaction from the window and was directed to a heavy set African-American woman who informed him that no refunds or exchanges were made on partially eaten pizzas.  He argued but to no avail.  He left the hopeless pizza there and punched some buttons on his phone.

He informed Shannon that the situation would be corrected presently and they should try some video games in the meanwhile.  He needed to buy a little time for his plan to work.  He bought ten dollars in shiny gold tokens and they divided them up seeking to find a game that they both enjoyed.  They were at least laughing a bit when Adonair's phone went off and he excused himself, left the game he was playing and went to the front door of the establshment.  He brought back a pizza from a reputable Pizzaria, topped off the drinks and then beckoned Shannon to come back to the table as all was in readiness.  The pizza was civilized and had onions, red peppers and pepperoni.  It was nothing like the barbaric monstrosity they had attempted to serve him.  He, at least, could smile a little at so many mishaps, but they would soldier on and have a good time, he would move heaven and earth to do so!

March 10, 2021 09:47 pm

Shannon Taylor

Skee-ball was a popular game in Atlantic City for decades. While most of the games now relied on quick reflexes, thumb control and eye hand coordination, this game was manual. It required the perfect throw and lift to hop the small wooden ball into the hoops for points. It was the only game left that gave an immediate ‘reward’ and a sense of accomplishment for playing. Granted, the items were tacky plastic trinkets and dust collectors, in this case most of them with googly eyes attached in some ridiculous way. Still Shannon preferred the idea of something tangible to show for her efforts. It had fallen out of favor in lieu of things with guns, and button controls and blinky lights, but she preferred the manual challenge. The corner had sat empty, and it caught her eye as she walked with Adonair, spending some tokens on a pinball game that was unexpectedly competitive and left him only a few thousand ahead of her score. The small talk and laughs they shared more than made up for the awkwardness and beginning issues they may have had.

She lifted an eyebrow curiously, and was delighted to see he had ordered them a proper pizza. The taste of anchovies had only been weakened with copious amounts of sugared beverage and she was looking forward to taking a bite of a proper ‘pie’. He had set up the table, and she had hoped he wouldn't mind when she made the suggestion to move their meal to a more quiet and less sticky and inhabited location on the other side of the establishment.

The girl behind the prize redemption counter looked bored out of her mind and almost grateful that someone finally came to the area. Shannon was concerned at first that they would not be allowed with their ‘outside food’ and drinks but the girl didn't seem to notice, and if she did, she obviously did not care. A row of about 20 machines sat unused, some with barely enough light working to keep the backboard and scores lit. However, the tables were clean, the music not as oppressively loud and the lack of lights meant less chance of a migraine later.

Once they were settled in, she headed for the token machine and returned with a gleaming pile of coins, knowing they were useless any place else. With a smile she held two in her palm and grinned at Adonair. “Fancy a proper game of amusement?”

March 25, 2021 07:12 pm

Adonair

Adonair was rather proud of his trick of ordering a pizza delivered to a pizzaria, but they had eanred this deliberate snub. This pizza was actually delicious and the drinks here were acceptable, although the ones that had dried to the floor were a significant annoyance.  One grandfather was trying to show his grandson how to play skee ball, but the little fellow was continually distracted by the bright lights and loud sounds of more modern games.  

Adonair was stuck between using his softball pitcher delivery and his bowling delivery.  It seemed to be not like one, nor exactly the other.  He knew the game rewarded repeating the same action, like bowling did, so he tried to imitate his own successful rolls.  He had it down to a mathematical science in terms of footwork, balance, how far to wind up (which was almost not at all) and the critical follow through.  He always aimed for the center that yielded maximum points.  Yet for all of his analysis, he threw no better or worse than Shannon.  

At first it was competitive, but past a certain point they were high fiving each other as they realized their true competitor was the Googly Dome itself.  They exchanged tips, which, while they sounded useful and insightful, again proved to neither help nor hinder their scores.  During breaks they had eyed the prize counter and counted their tickets.  The teddy bears seemed to be in reach at 1000 tickets apiece.  There were three: one that held a strangely designed book; one that had a Yankees baseball cap and shirt,; and a polar bear with an insouciant grin that had made Adonair ask Shannon what he must be thinking.  He called it the 'Mona Lisa' of teddy bears.

They were out of tokens and each was on their last game.  They needed 240 points for the bear, though Adonair would probably go ahead and invest another dollar even though you got exponentially more tokens for a five or a ten. But they would never be in this place again, they would never have this moment again.  Adonair's brow furrowed as he lined up his penultimate shot.

April 05, 2021 09:29 pm
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(this month)
The Fallen (2) Graveyard
Phantom_, Mallory Quarters, CnCrasher, MenagerieSteals2, FTSteals2, CnCrasher 3, SpitiyuraSteal, MenagerieSteals1, FTSteals1, CnCrasher 2, MenagerieSteals3, FTSteals3, TF Jan RPM    Valkin
Stephen Cage 
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