Thursday, February 28, 2008

Half certain

Created from a prompt for a writing exercise. (Not a true story.)

“I’m half certain it’s not fish,” he says.

This is not what one wants to hear from their tour guide. It ranks up there with hearing your doctor is half-finished medical school or your lawyer is half-licensed to practice law. It is definitely not what you want to hear in answer to what that word means when you’re allergic shellfish.

He’s half-certain the mysterious chef’s special, if Thailand even has chef’s specials, won’t kill me. Great. I should have demanded a refund and gotten on the first flight to LAX when he was half-certain there’d be public bathrooms in the first god-forsaken authentic hell-hole he drug me into.

He used to be an English teacher in Japan, he told me, but he lost his job when he went on holiday here and called in sick for two weeks. Insisting it could have could worked for another week or two, he explained the reason he was caught to be because one of the Japanese teachers grew concerned and stopped by his apartment to check on him. He feels it confirms he had a special place in her heart.

Not special enough to keep her from reporting his absence. Usually if you love someone, you don’t get him fired, but he’s chosen not to see it that way. Now he does tours with the same level of diligence he displayed to his previous employer.

“It could be fish,” he says, squinting at the script.

“I’m allergic to shellfish.”

“Oh.” He blinks. “Try the dish below it. I think its vegetarian—or it has shrimp. You can eat shrimp, right?”

Sweat trickles down my spine to seep into my already damp shirt.

“Isn’t there anything on the menu that you’re certain of?” I ask.

He jabs his finger against a red and white logo. “That’s definitely Coke.”


Rachel said...


Sarah K said...

I like.