We’ve all met someone who doesn’t know how to do something we think is easy. Sometimes, it’s hard for us to wrap our heads around. How could they not know how this works? Or how have they gone this long without having to use one of those before? Sometimes, what they don’t know to do is understandable, especially if technology is involved. There are things computers can do I still don’t know about. But that’s not going to stop me from getting frustrated when someone hits adulthood and doesn’t know how to cook their own macaroni and cheese.
The prompt that brought about this piece (once again from the Tale Foundry writing group) let me pour some of that frustration out. Yes, some of this is loosely based on personal experience. You can’t write emotion into a piece without it stemming from a little bit that you’ve felt yourself. But this piece is purely fiction. There is exaggeration involved.
Something I would like to address before I hand you the story: this piece contains the consumption of alcohol. I do not support turning to alcohol when you are upset. Everything in moderation and all that. But, in the spirit of “write what you know” I know what my own limits are. Therefore, I know what the main character’s limits are. Every character is their own person with their own flaws.
Now, on to the prompt: So THAT’S What It Does.
Three-Cider Kind of Night
Tanya held the cold bottle to her temple, trying to ease her headache. Henry set another bottle on the bar and slid it to her.
“Two-cider kind of day?” he asked.
Tanya nodded, groaning.
“Just don’t drink them too fast.”
“One’s for holding, one’s for drinking. Both are for my head.”
Henry nodded and wiped at imaginary stains on the countertop. He knew his friend. She rarely drank. When she did, she was upset. He had time to listen to her troubles.
“How does someone make it to their 30s without knowing how to fill a kitchen sink up with water?” Tanya burst out.
Henry blinked. He hadn’t been expecting that to be the underlying reason for the rage seeping from Tanya.
“Or how to get ice out of an ice tray? Or how to unclog a toilet? Or how Windex works?”
He decided to hazard a guess. “New room-mate?”
Tanya put her head down into the crook of her elbow, moaning. “Yes, and I’m stuck with her for a year. Stupid no-break lease.”
“Didn’t you vet her before she moved in?” Henry reached for a glass to polish.
“Stacy highly recommended her,” Tanya said without looking up. “I’m never listening to Stacy again.”
“When did she move in?”
“Last weekend.” Tanya picked her head up. “At first it was just tech stuff. You know, what does this remote do? How does this DVD player work? Those I can understand. But, when I asked her to do her own dishes, she complained that the water wouldn’t stay in the sink.”
“I take it the sink wasn’t leaking.”
Tanya drained half the bottle she wasn’t holding to her head. “She hadn’t even plugged it. When I showed her, you know what she said to me?”
Her friend waited patiently.
“’Oh, that’s how that works,’ she said,” Tanya all but wailed. Both bottles clinked down on the counter. “I can’t live with her for a year, Henry. I’ll strangle her the next time she says it.”
Henry set a third cider on the counter. “Sounds like it’s a three-cider night.”