Lately, I’ve been sharing these posts on my other blog, www.writersacntuary.blogspot.com I got so many scheduled there, I decided to branch out a little. I hope everyone is enjoying them as much as I am. I love finding dialogue that’s witty and makes me laugh. I try to portray characterization through conversation. I hope I’m successful in that.
Summer Jensen has just moved into a new apartment building, across the hall from Patti, her husband Ewan and his brother, Owen. Owen is a chef and owns a restaurant on the first floor of their building. They are trying to put together a crib for Ewan’s youngest child, born the day before.
Owen handed Ewan a glass of truly exceptional bordeaux. It was another from his private stash. I didn’t ask how much it cost, just enjoyed it.
“This is going to take all night,” Ewan complained.
“No, it won’t. I’m good at this shit,” Owen said, as he successfully added another piece.
“You’re shit at this shit.”
“That’s Aiden. He can’t find his ass with both hands.”
“That’s the first time you’ve mentioned him by name,” I said.
“Really? I guess we know who we’re talking about, so we forget you don’t know all the players.”
“Which is an apt description of our brother,” Ewan added.
Owen handed me two other pieces. “Hold this, please.” He fitted a screw into the hole and applied the screwdriver, holding his tongue at a weird angle.
I frowned at him, tilting my head to the right.
“What?” He wiped his mouth. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Just—” I held my tongue like he did.
Chuckling, he took the pieces from me. “My dad always used to say, You’re not holding your tongue right, whenever I had trouble with something going together. So I tried different positions for it and that one always works.”
“You know it doesn’t matter, right?”
“Yeah,” he chuckled, snorting. “But I was six. To me, it sounded feasible.”
“Owen is the gullible one,” Ewan said, gulping his wine. “Wow, that’s good. Another one I could never afford in a million years.”
“That’s because you aren’t friends with a genius who salvage dives for fun,” Owen replied. “I get all my best stuff from Leo.”
“Leo?” I asked.
Owen grunted as he turned another screw. “English professor at the university. Certified genius, can’t find his own keys, but he does salvage diving in his off time. Sometimes, they find some interesting cargo. We’ve been good friends a long time. I studied for awhile with his dad. He owns Sarducci’s. His dad, not Leo.”
“Gotcha.” But I had to admit, I was having trouble following his conversation. I’m kind of a lightweight when it comes to drinking. This wine on top of the wine at dinner, I was feeling it.
More pieces added to the whole. Soon, Owen had the main structure together and was working on the spring action side. Ewan had to take over holding things because the pieces were large and unwieldy. I took over the supervisory job of trying to translate the instructions. I found them in French, Spanish and German. They had fared slightly better there. Having a working knowledge of all three, I was able to tell the men what to do. By the time I finished off my wine, I was giving them instructions in French, with a smattering of Spanish.
Ewan shook his head. “Owen, she’s had too much to drink. She’s speaking in tongues.”
Owen glanced at me, grinning. “Cool. Maybe she’ll decide I’m good enough to eat.”
“I’m not drunk,” I slurred. “Okay, maybe I am.” I pinched my nose and cheeks. “I don’t drink much.”
“I figured that out,” Owen said. “When you started reading, in what sounded like, Hebrew.”
I turned the page over, examining all sides. “No Hebrew. I think it’s Greek.”
Ewan took the paper, squinting at the small print. “Looks like Chinese and you’re holding the paper upside down.”
“Take it up with the complaints department. Here’s the number.” I showed him my phone where I had typed in 1-800-0-screw-u.
Both men laughed loudly. Owen took the phone from me, hitting dial. There was an answer. Owen put it on speaker.
“Hello,” he said in a clipped British accent. “Is this the party to whom I am speaking?”
“Uh—” the young man replied. “I just answer the phones, buddy. May I help you?”
“Yeah,” Owen dropped the accent. “What company is this? I got a call from this number.”
“I doubt it, man. We sell internet porn. This is the twenty-four hour help line.”
Owen burst out laughing. “People need help with porn?”
“I dunno, man. You’re like only the third person I’ve ever talked to. The others were drunks who dialed for fun.”
“And they pay you to answer the phone? Wow, where can I sign up?”
The young man sounded miffed. “I own the site, dude. You want something, or what?”
“Thanks, no. I don’t need porn. I have the love of a wonderful woman. A real one, not blow up.”
“Cool, man. We also sell sex toys.” He rattled off the web address.
“Thanks.” Owen hung up before bursting out laughing.
I rolled back on the couch, kicking up my heels as I squealed with laughter. Ewan was red in the face from holding back his laughter.
“I can’t—” he gasped. “I can’t—Gotta pee.” He wove unsteadily to the bathroom, shutting the door behind him with a thump.
Owen crawled to the couch, giggling like a little girl. He climbed onto the cushions like a mountain climber on Everest’s peak. I lay still, waiting for him.
© 2013 Dellani Oakes