Chapter Six: Palmstory

by Emon Hassan on December 6, 2008

Coffee shop. Quiet part of town. 3:32 pm. The light reflecting on the snow outside falls on Valerie’s face. “Those blue eyes!”, Doug’s songwriter self cries out. He is quiet, but his fingers speak – on the coffee cup.

She is in charge today. Getting to understand him can’t be left on Doug alone to accomplish.

Valerie: How long have you been playing?

Doug: [she asks me that, finally] A while.

Valerie: Why you being an ass?

Doug: What do you mean? [It worked!]

Valerie: [pause] How many years?

Doug: 6 years.

Valerie: Why didn’t you just say so in the first place?

Doug: Sorry.

Valerie: [smile curls up on lips] Look at you…all uneasy. You have a problem talking about yourself?

Doug: Sometimes, yes.

Valerie: Do I make you nervous or something?

Doug: [No]

Valerie: I don’t? [pause] I think I do. Let me see those. [pause] I learned to read palms a little.

Doug: In school?

Valerie: [lol] No, silly…not in school. Ok…when you were a little boy…maybe 6 or 7….something pretty serious happened to you. Something that still bothers you to this day.

Doug: [not blinking]

Valerie: You like to think you’re over it but you’re not. It occasionally haunts you and you don’t know how to deal with it.

Doug: You could tell all of that from reading my palm?

Valerie: [places her right palm on his – looks at him] No.

Doug: He told you?

Valerie: It came up, that’s all.  {he’s taken his palm back by then}

Doug: Why is he talking shit about me?

Valerie: It’s not shit. It just came up, that’s all.

Doug: When was this?

Valerie: I don’t know…this morning…I had to drop off something at his place.

Doug: Drop off what?

Valerie: It’s nothing! Why are you overreacting?

Doug: I’m not.

Valerie: Yes, you are.

Doug: Is this some sort of game you like to play?

“You know what…fuck this” still hung in the air when she got in her car and drove off. It’s 3:42pm. He takes his first sip of the coffee. It’s cold just the way he likes it. It will take him another minute to place the blame on himself for what just happened. It’s easier that way.

He hates the lead singer even more now. He hates having persuaded his brother to become the lead singer even more.

By the 5th sip…he hates everything he stands for. It’s 3:44pm.

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