“Hej! Jane? What is the strangest thing you’ve ever encountered while working here?”
The aloof mover’s eyes drifted from the book she was reading on advanced computer systems toward the driver of that afternoon furniture run, Kaja, who would occasionally pick up hours when her ex-husband had the kids.
“In yesterday’s run, we found knives in bags! Nobody was injured, but we were lucky. The owner had no idea how to pack everything!”
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For as many complaints people unrequitedly say about their relationships, I only hear a few positive comments. I imagine that will also be true in “The Story,” where men will complain to John [right] and women will complain to Trishna [left] about their spouses. Maybe it’s easier to complain? Since the last essay focused on the negatives, below, let’s focus on the positives, because really the only difference is the intended outcome: progress or regress?
Spoilers?: Minor (just character brainstorming)
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A new ticket appeared at the top of the ticket system’s list. High priority! “obscura4 down!” The second-level computer repair technician tasked with managing the queue, Sammohini, read through the ticket details. In the private notes, the first-level technician noted “customer says venkat always fixes this. hes out sick. does we need 2 call him?” She assigned the ticket to herself. ‘No one’s here,’ she thought, ‘and Venkat’s out sick, poor guy… let’s find his notes!’
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A customer complained to me about his wife’s technological irresponsibility. “I’ve got an audience, so let me tell you…” and though his rationale was sound – yes, you should be careful with expensive technology – I applied their seemingly rocky relationship to Trishna [left] and John [right]. How much will they accept or tolerate of each other’s faults? I’ve always imagined “The Story” to be primarily a nice story about two friends. Will they have sore spots?
Spoilers?: Minor (exploring character traits)
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“You look sicker than normal.”
The younger furniture mover reclined in her seat, cradling her dark-orange water bottle.
“Yeah. I feel it, too.”
The older mover readjusted his faded red cap and looked over.
“Maybe you should go home?”
She looked pale.
“My nausea is tolerable, headache manageable… and I need the hours.”
The older mover started up the truck for their morning route.
“At least it’s a short run. We should be back by 11.”
WANNA READ ABOUT THE BALANCE BETWEEN BEING SICK WHILE BEING SOBER AND BEING SICK BECAUSE OF INSOBRIETY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
I’ve been writing and rewriting “The Story,” scene after stochastic scene, for as long as I can remember. An idea will pop up while I’m riding the bus, talking to someone, or reading a book. I’ll see a couple on the bus and think about John [left] and Trishna [right]. Better than stressing about work! In these situations, memories, or maybe more, I wonder: how much of “The Story” will be based on real people?
Spoilers?: Minor (fiction building musings)
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Sammohini Lanchester: anything i can help you out with?
Hank Ospfrey: I’m good. Let’s check on Venkat.
Both computer repairers met Venkat is his area near their cube farm.
“Rokastaar, Suparastaar. How is it going?”
Their team’s veteran swiveled around in his chair.
“Anything we can help you out with, Venkat?”
“Not now. I have no work right now.”
“Doesn’t happen too often, huh, ‘Bhaee’?”
“Does not happen often. Nils is also sick.”
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