Friday, January 8, 2010

A Different Kind of Heavy Metal -- flash fiction

"Hi I'm Julie and I'm a button enabler."

"Hi Julie!"

"It started out innocently enough. I met him in a coffee shop. I was wearing a button that said 'I write therefore I am' and he was wearing a button that said 'I talk to strangers,' one thing led to another and well, we started dating."

Julie swallowed hard and looked out over the twenty or so faces staring back at her. The room was nondescript elementary school green, the chairs were hard, the donuts were stale, but these meetings had been a godsend for her.

Over the weeks she had come to really care about the people. The people in this room understood what she was going through. They'd all been there as either the addicted or the enabler. They knew how hard life could get when you loved a buttoner.

"At first it was just harmless fun. We'd go antiquing, pick up a vintage 'I like Ike' or a well preserved 'Make love not war,' but then it got to be more and more of an issue. He insisted that I wear myriad buttons whenever we went out. Soon the entire front of my jacket was covered, and then he started pinning buttons on the back. After a while I could hardly walk for the weight of them. And whenever I walked near the power lines don't even get me started on the humming sound."

She gathered her thoughts and reached into her pocket to show them three items.

"Then last night we were out having a romantic candlelit dinner. He handed me this button which says 'Will you marry me?' and then he handed me these other two buttons. One of them says 'No,' the other says 'Yes' and as you can see it has a great big diamond right in the middle."

She waited while everyone who wanted to see the buttons had handled them and handed them back.

"But the problem is, I don't know what to do. I really care for him, but I always thought that when I got engaged the diamond would be on my finger; not on a little metal disk that I wear on my jacket. I guess I'm just not a wear your heart on your sleeve kind of gal. And that's where he wants me to wear the 'Yes' button; on my sleeve. Because there's no room left on my lapel. He said that that way there would be room for each of our anniversary buttons. Because according to him I have unusually long arms."

She held another button up for the room to see.

"He gave me a button at breakfast that says so."





A link to this week's 62 #fridayflash stories at Mad Utopia

43 comments:

Marisa Birns said...

LAUGHING!

Love your unique take on wearing one's heart on one's sleeve.

Your description of the room with hard green chairs and stale donuts reminds me of Parent/teacher conferences I've attended. *shudder*

I think she should try very hard to pick the No button.

Here's a button for you: Well done!

Sam said...

Send him back the "No" button and run...run for the hills! Great story. :)

estrella05azul said...

My gosh Karen, I'm still LAUGHING!!! That was a fun read, I can almost see her with all those buttons :)

Weezel said...

"Elementary school green" is my favorite color!
Nice visuals here, very entertaining.
Write On,

Laura Eno said...

LAUGHING! Break your button addiction, girl and run! I can hear the noise when she walks. All that clanking would get on my nerves.

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Laura I think it would be a lot like the sounds made while wearing armour. Would bug me too. Which is why I only wear one button at a time, I wear it very well and then I move on.
[paraphrasing a MASH line]

Karen from Mentor said...

Weezel I love green, but that institutional green? not so much. Glad you liked it.
It was fun to write.

Karen from Mentor said...

Thank you for the "well done" button Marisa...I will wear it proudly.

And Sam? I think she should take the NO button too. Because otherwise soon she'll have to get a longer coat and that just wouldn't be a good look for her.

Glad to crack you up Estrella. You know that I live to please you.

Thanks for stopping by everybody.What I've read of this week's crop of stories has been stellar so far.

Diving back in....

David Masters said...

Very, very funny. Aren't hospitals that shade of green too?

A brilliant parody of addiction.

mazzz in Leeds said...

*dons the Applause button*

haha, great work Karen!
The power lines just about did me in!

Eric J. Krause said...

Excellently funny story! The question on a button didn't surprise me, but both the yes and no on buttons made me laugh. I think she may be getting in over her head (as the buttons will likely soon be).

Laurita said...

LOL (and I rarely ever lol)! I don't know where you came up with this idea, but it is a winner. Great story. :D

Linda said...

Standing O - belly laughs from me, the erstwhile dark and dreary one. Here's a button for you: I WRITE GOOD.

Peace, Linda

Hagelrat said...

brilliant. I think she needs to bin the buttons and the bloke! Or take him to the meeting.

Karen from Mentor said...

I suddenly find myself wishing for a tee shirt that says "bin the buttons and the bloke"
It just has such a RING to it.

Thanks for stopping in Haglerat. I'll ask her to have a quiet word with him....

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Linda and Laurita...wow two professed non LOL [ers] giving me an lol.....[blushes] thanks guys!

Karen from Mentor said...

Ah Mazz...very nice...the applause button. I'd like to have one of those. And a THEME SONG...a theme song would be cool.

And David..."parody?" .... moi? :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

Yes Eric, I think she needs to swim away before the tide comes in. Thanks for stopping in. Glad I made you chuckle.

techtigger said...

*eeeheeheehee!* what a fun story! :)

Draco Torre said...

Brilliant. Love this unusual story. Nicely delivered right to the end.
-David G Shrock

Skycycler said...

Ha! Surreal - like a scene from fight club, but with buttons! A great piece of commedy.

Cat Connor said...

LOL - on my bag there is a button that says, "I'm sorry my fault - I forgot you were an idiot."

On my jacket there is one that reads "I see dumb people."

I loved this story. :-)

Karen from Mentor said...

Why am I not surprised that you enjoyed it Cat? Did Chris by any chance propose with a bu...um... never mind.

Thanks Skycycler...LOVED your piece this week.

Karen from Mentor said...

Thank you Draco for your kind words. I was worried about sticking the landing last night.
:0)

And techtigger? the giggling spelled out like that combined with your handle made ME giggle.

Thanks for stopping in guys!

Melissa said...

OMG I started laughing at the first line--so loud that my oldest son said, "What?" and came over to the computer. Very creative and funny. I'm still smiling...

Deanna Schrayer said...

Great story Karen, as I've come to expect from you. What a fun way to look at the "wear your heart on your sleeve" phrase.
I've got to tell you, this story reminds me of an elderly man I used to go to church with. He had a pickup, still does in fact - I've seen it about town, absolutely covered in bumper stickers. Kind of makes me ashamed I haven't thought of telling his story before.

judy said...

I love this! I love how you perfectly capture the feeling and the sense of place for those meetings, right down to her appreciation and love of the people who truly understand her addiction. (Not that I'd know.)

What did they call it in Office Space? Flair? She has way too much flair!

So funny!

Michelle said...

ROFLOL - great!

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Melissa, is it wrong that I derive glee from the idea of disturbing others in your household with my wackiness?

@ Michelle, so glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks for stopping in guys!

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Judy...I never saw office space but I know what flair is because I asked my waiter about all his buttons in Applebees one day.

[I'm sure that I got a sneezemuffin a few minutes later...enforced FLAIR is never pretty]

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Deanna, maybe a pick up HELD TOGETHER by bumper stickers? Or one that hears voices....oh, the possibilities....

Thanks for stopping in, missed you this week for fridayflash. Hope you're feeling better asap!

KjM said...

Oh, this was funny. A great take on addiction, codependence and uncertainty about love.

Nicely done.

~Tim said...

You say humming near the power lines like it's a bad thing. [There's a pun in there somewhere... about the buttons knowing the words while the power lines know the tune... I'll keep working on it.]

Another great one from you!

Karen from Mentor said...

@KjM I think you just described most of the adults I know. :0)

@Tim Thanks so much. Glad you liked it. You're starting to get quite a nice little rep as a reviewer on Twitter. It's always the quiet ones that you gotta watch out for. And for the record? The tune would be "He ain't heavy, he's my brother"....
[everyone just go ahead and groan in the privacy of your own home]

Thanks for stopping in guys.
:0)

Anton Gully said...

Karen, easily the best button-related story I have read for days.

Karen from Mentor said...

Oh very nice Mr. Smart Ass. That's what I get for telling you I was missing your wit.
[what the hell was I thinking?]

:0)

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Karen,

That is truly hysterical. I saw it in cartoons. I'm tellin' ya, that guy has gotta go. How dare he push so many buttons on her - hehe.

Loved it!! And, the multiple meanings this invites. There are so many button pushers out there!!

petherin said...

That bloke is nuts! Julie should run a mile, if her buttons don't weigh her down. Fun story.

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks Peter, and that does seem to be the general consensus. Hey wouldn't that be a fun name for a Main Character? General Consensus.

Karen from Mentor said...

Yay Anne! A fellow pun enthusiast...now it won't just be Tim and myself carrying the weight of the words on our shoulders.

Thanks for stopping in with words like "hysterical" and "Loved it" in your pockets.

:0)

Christian Bell said...

This was quite funny and a fully enjoyable read! Button enablers—what a riot!

Karen from Mentor said...

So glad you enjoyed it Christian. Sometimes even I'm surprised at the quirky things that crop up in my brain.

Thanks for stopping in and taking the time to comment.
:0)

Johanna Harness said...

I think I'm the only one who wants them together. It's all about me. I want to read dispatches about their lives in a writerly gossip column.