Thursday, January 10, 2008

x365: 57 of 365: melba (ii)

Pink zip-up hoodie. Braces. Chemically burned strawberry blond hair pulled back in a hasty ponytail. A sprinkling of freckles and irritated pimples. And she's my bank teller. When did tellers get so young? Her nametag says Melba. I hand her a sheaf of cheques that I've been too lazy to deposit hoarding in order to keep myself solvent.

— You're a writer?
she asks, holding up one cheque from a magazine.

— Huh? What? A whatnow? Yes, I finish smoothly. I do a bit of writing, reviews and stuff. But it's not my day job.

Then I remember that my day job involves writing.

— I'm a speechwriter, so I guess that makes me a writer of some kind.

Melba stops inputting. She looks at me like I've told her I'm an archer at the parapets of Minas Tirith or something.

— A what?

— A speechwriter. I write speeches for politicians.

— You mean... they don't write their own?


Melba swings her head around and announces to the teller at the next wicket: &mdash Hey, did you know that politicians don't write their own speeches?

The other teller gets a look on her face like the escalator she's riding on has suddenly come to a halt. I wonder how often Melba sees that look.

— Yeaaah
, says the teller. She searches my face for a moment with an imploring save me please flash in her eyes.

— You two have a great New Year!
I say.

5 comments:

Sparkling Red said...

I do declare: this is a perfect little story. :-)

savia said...

Who the heck names their kid "Melba"? Fans of the toast? And how is it that you've encountered two of them in your lifetime?

lotus07 said...

Oh great! You let the cat out of the bag. Inadvertently, they probably also no longer believe in Santa Claus either. Another childhood memory dashed on the rocks.

palinode said...

sparkling red - Thank you.

savia - I'll answer your questions in order. 1) Parents. 2) There must be. 3) I just don't know.

lotus07 - Sometimes I think of all those kids watching speeches and not knowing where the words really come from, and I want to, uh... I don't know. Get a soda? Yes: I want to get a soda. And throw it at something.

i am the diva said...

i can hardly wait for the "Made for TV Special" about learning and laughing and the magical world of bank teller-ing...