Ashley's Ashes

She said "the world is an ashtray."
I said "maybe you're a phoenix."

The distance between two people can't always be measured with a ruler. I prefer the light whereas she chooses the darkness to rule her.

As the bartender approached, I had a feeling we wouldn't be ordering another round.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

During my senior year of high school, I worked in the produce department of a grocery store. This was actually a fantastic job for a kid to have, so I am not complaining in the least... but at times, it became monotonous.

Wrap vegetables.
Wrap vegetables.
Wrap vegetables.
Wrap vegetables.
Wrap vegetables.
Wrap vegetables.
Wrap vegetables.
Wrap vegetables.
Wheel out the wrapped vegetables and stack them.

A few of my friends worked there as well, and we carried on the way friends do. I liked being able to make my friends laugh and I'd say just about anything to accomplish this. Every now and then a joke or a pun would fall so profoundly flat that their silence would be deafening.

I could almost hear a thud as all eyes turned to stare me down before releasing a collective groan.

"They're not all gems!" I'd say, as if in protest. "You've got to pick and choose."

Eventually, my friend Dave made that his catch phrase, at which point a failed joke became almost as funny as a successful one.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"...maybe I'm a Phoenix?" she asked as soon as the bartender walked away to tally up our bill.

"Absolutely. You said the world is an ashtray. I'm telling you that maybe those ashes are your own. Now what are you gonna do? Are you just going to lie there in them? Or are you going to rise?"

The blankness of her stare reminded me of bad jokes told in the grocery store so many years ago.

Dates are like jokes: They're not all gems. You've got to pick and choose.

My statement, however, was a gem.

::::: | Wednesday, Jan 07 2009 at 11:29 PM
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