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A correction-pen

Pike and I loan stuff to each other — tapes and newspapers and tools and money (he's paid me back on the rent) — and it's never a problem, so when he asked to borrow my typewriter for a few minutes, why not?

I thought it would be Pike typing, but no, it was Terry, and it's almost a rule, any time I mention Terry she's going to be annoying.

Today there would be no exception to that rule, but I wouldn't trust Terry with the typewriter I use all the time. Instead I brought out my back-up unit, an old Smith-Corona with a quaint typeface. She said she was filling out forms for a job interview, and her handwriting is crappy. I wished her luck. She was dressed fancy, at least for her — a skirt instead of her usual jeans or shorts. 

Expecting trouble because she's an imbecile, I left my door slightly ajar so I could hear, and after a few minutes of her slow clacking and cussing at the typewriter, she yell-asked, "Doug! Do you have Wite-Out?"

With my main typewriter I make corrections on-screen, so it took me a moment to remember, but yeah, I have a correction-pen somewhere. "Just a minute," I shouted, and dug it out. It's not the name brand product, but it's a felt pen that oozes correction fluid instead of ink, so I brought it to her, and said, "It's a felt pen that oozes correction fluid instead of ink."

In hindsight, of course, I should've explained it more thoroughly. Should've explained it twice, but — it's a correction-pen. It's not a technological breakthrough, and complete instructions are printed on the side of it. You take off the cap, and it paints white. How could anyone fuck that up?

I walked to the kitchen to prepare three delicious peanut butter, pickle, and onion sandwiches for breakfast, but Terry was screaming before I'd unwrapped the bread.

She'd tried to open the pen the way you'd open a Wite-Out, and somehow she'd snapped it in half. A money shot's worth of correction fluid was on her face, and on her skirt, and she was screaming.

She tossed the correction-pen into the trash, cussed and cussed, and she hasn't yet said anything that sounds like "sorry." I may have said something kind about the pen or the mess, or I may have forgotten, but I won't begrudge her for this morning's stupidity. It was damned funny, and worth the price of a correction-pen.

♦ ♦ ♦

Handing out flyers at the shop, I saw two men I recognized from Macy's, coming out of Twin Peaks, a nearby gay bar. They were holding hands, and it made me think of my pal and co-worker Carlotta at Macy's.

She always enjoyed speculating about who's gay and who's straight in the office, and she'd told me once, she'd decided that these two were both very straight. It goes to show, you never know.

For half a moment I wanted to call Carlotta and tell her, because she'd love knowing what I now know. I flushed the thought away, of course. Wondering which way someone tilts is one thing, but outing them is something I'd never do.

From Pathetic Life #11
Monday, April 24, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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