Good Narrative Principles

Half Measures


IMG_4646Charmaine is a big fan of “good enough”. Some, like his Boss at the movie theater where he works the three to eleven shift, would call his effort “half-assed”. For instance, everyone knows that Charmaine is the wrong guy to clean up the popcorn machine, unless that is, you don’t mind pouring fresh kernels onto the unpopped ones sitting at the bottom of the still greasy well. His co-workers, tired of having to pick up after him, have crafted a jingle set to the tune “Call Me Maybe” with Charmaine’s various assignments featured in the “Call Me” part of the song as in “Clean Me Maybe” or “Restock Me Maybe”. It’s a joke that never grows old.

Charmaine’s not evil or lazy. Okay, maybe he’s a bit lazy. But in his defense, he’s also indifferent to any notions of perfection. At work, he and his co-workers (it would be a stretch to call them “his buddies”) take turns slipping into this movie or that during the course of their shift. The game they like to play is pointing out continuity errors. As Charmaine sees it, instead of watching the film, they focus on the stupid shit like melting ice, the size of the ash on a lit cigarette or better yet, the contours of a bloody wound. Charmaine could care less. Instead, he prefers to get lost in a film and have it wash over him like a warm bath.

Even when his daughter Mariel was born, he never thought to count her fingers or toes. He gazed into her clear blue eyes and wondered how he could possibly be the father as everyone on both sides of the family are dark-eyed. He gripped this newborn stranger so tightly that she howled and continued howling until her pupils eventually darkened and she calmed down. Then and only then, did he call her Mariel and agree to change her diaper. Shortly after, Mariel suffered through her first case of diaper rash.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.