Title: The Order of the Uplifting

Takeaway: Members only.

Seat: Back

Logged: 22 Jul 15 (Wednesday in the PM)


Time: 2 minutes

Replies: 10

Revisions: 5

Publicity: Superfeed

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You said, “I think I found my calling.”

You were wearing the jacket that “no one else got that year.” It wasn’t an ordinary members-only jacket. It was the amazing one, and confident there were other amazing ones out there, millions actually, that’s exactly what I told you.

You looked at me like you were facing a member from your secret order in the foreign land to which you accepted your assignment long ago, and said, “You want to know the story behind this jacket?” I told you that you didn’t have to – that it spoke for itself.

You gave me the secret handshake, which got all fouled up, and you nodded coolly, as did I in effect. I asked you how you found me. You said, “My friend just told me to come here and wait.” I said, “Good friend,” and we moved on.

We didn’t bother talking small about the past, or even getting to know each other really. Too much baggage and too many excuses. Besides, it wouldn’t be long before we arrived, and there wasn’t time.

We told each other what we needed to hear. I told you something smelled really good, like relaxation. You nodded and said it was probably your shea, cocoa and Vitamin C infused mango butter soap. Then you slowly reached down to your ankle. You magically produced a stick of turkey jerky from what appeared to be your sock, which was pulled on tightly up to your knee, and then your phone from the other sock, which was slinking down around your ankle.

You asked me if you could call me whenever you needed to. I said, “Of course. Anytime, anywhere, anyhow, from any corner of the earth – but not with either of those.” You put away the phone and the turkey and said, “Then how am I supposed to find you?” like you were pissed at me, but not in a bad way. More like you were an agent getting orders relayed from a director who was always a little too sure, as far as you were concerned, that everything would work out no matter how tight the jam, as long as you just had a little faith. I looked forward and said, “Just put that jacket on, look in the mirror, and say you know what.” You gave me that same look of shock you gave me before, and it wasn’t getting old. You just shook your head like you were having a really good moment and proceeded to eat the jerky in a manner befitting its designation.

We promptly arrived where I agreed to take you – the supermarket where you worked. A coworker said hi to you, and you tipped your hat. As you were leaving, a reflection of light gleamed off the diamond in your ear.


Horse » Authorship
Elk » 11:14 AM 04 Jan 16
Elk » 7:01 AM 04 Jan 16
Elk » 12:01 PM 27 Dec 15

The Thread (10)

 Author's voice in grey. 

  1. Love this one. I might suggest cutting it in half (keeping the first half) to make it more about members-only than a grocery clerk — just for campaign purposes. What do you think?

    Also, “reflection” appears twice (world around us and diamond in the ear). Is that an intentional linkage or should we parse further?

  2. I’d cut this line and combine the two paragraphs:

    To be sure we were safe on all sides, I looked carefully at about ten and two o’clock and caught a glimpse of the world behind us from a fortuitous reflection above my head.

    Then break paragraph again at “You asked me.”

    I’m a little confused at how the narrator feels about the jacket at the beginning – he concurs that the jacket is amazing but then says there are millions of amazing jackets out there. He’s being sarcastic?

  3. Agree with the confusing contradiction. Had the same thought while reading.

  4. Made Bear’s suggested changes – they’re proper.

  5. Looking back now, I can see the confusion about the jacket at the beginning. I know that I knew something by it then, but it’s not on the page exactly. Let me see what I can do about it.

    Also, the phrase “tell me,” seems to be missing after the word “to” and before the dash here:

    You want to know the story behind this jacket?” I told you that you didn’t have to – that it spoke for itself.

  6. No to “tell me”.

  7. In narration (rather than quotation), it reads poorly. If I said, “You don’t have to,” in response to “Do you want to know the story,” it would be fine. In conversation, anything is possible. Narration sticks to the rules, and in this case, there’s an omission of (even if there’s an assumption about) the action he doesn’t have to carry out, which is “to tell.”

  8. But theme of these is that the you/I narration is such a recount of the dialogue that it’s in effect dialogue, which has no rules but life itself.

  9. Gotta agree with Elk. The omission is in keeping with the less than formal style of Pony Rides in general. Dialogue – the imitation of speech in text – is your best guide. (Note this doesn’t necessarily mean transcription.)

  10. Rides should go with the flow. Damn the rules.

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