Sunday Scribblings "Indulgence"

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is “indulgence.”

in·dul·gence n
1. the gratification of or yielding to a wish
2. something that somebody lets himself or herself or somebody else have, especially a luxury
3. a kind or tolerant attitude toward somebody
4. in Roman Catholicism, a grant by the pope of partial remission of time to be spent in purgatory or of some other consequence of a sin.
5. time given to a debtor to repay a bill


I start my day by sharpening an entire box of Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils.
Each has a uniform leaded point. Each is the same length, post sharpening.
I line them up on the leather-bound blotter on my desk, then fire up the computer and look at porn for a couple of hours.
I’m lunching with Freemon and the jokers from accounting, so I grab my file of take-out menus and spend the rest of the time until noon trying to decide where to eat. Knowing if I flash the platinum card, they’ll let me pick the place. And I feel like noodles at Momofuku.
In fact, I’m looking forward to it.
Anything to get out of the sterile confines of my corner office, with its steel-and-glass minimalist décor. Did I pick this? It’s got all the charm of a urinal.
“No matter,” I whisper, running a hand through my hair, which is heavy with pomade to hide the fact I’ve been growing it out for months.
In anticipation.
Soon, I’ll be on vacation, a week in St. Kitts to get some sun, let the beard grow. Get some grunge under the fingernails, take off the buff from the manicure I mistakenly got on a whim, not thinking ahead.
Then a week in San Francisco, living on the streets. Wearing others’ castoff clothing. Eating from the garbage. Begging people for change. Sleeping near the pier, or maybe down in the Haight.
Slumming we call it. Getting down in the shit, getting real.
Some might see it as a unforgivable indulgence, exasperating a problem when there’s no need. Especially since there’s so much suffering out there. So many hurting.
I’m not here to put up a defense. Or to offer an overwrought explanation. No way.
It just means my lamb with chickpeas, merguez spices and golden raisins the next time at Dovetail will taste even better, knowing there’s someone – men, women, families – waiting out back for the scraps.


gautami tripathy said...

Very detailed and liked the thought process involved here. Loved beng indulged by your writing.

that thin line

Miss Alister said...

What a culture clash, an excellent concept! I particularly enjoyed your sketch of a corporate office with “all the charm of a urinal.” I wish I could download some of the head gears you got, man—cranking out all good, all the time, à la your incomparable style. Always hot, tasty, never a disappointment : )

George S Batty said...

Please don't eat to much. Have the left overs put in a doggy bag with Old Grizz's name on it. I'll be in the alley waiting

Dee Martin said...

Wow. I had to wait a moment to comment, I mean I know it's just a story but it pushed my buttons and made me instantly enraged. I had trouble with this. Aaarg, that's some writing when I want to throttle someone LOL

Jane Doe said...

Wow! Wonderfully descriptive! Not just pencils, but Ticonderoga NO. 2 pencils, each with a uniform lead point, the same length, etc. Very funny; as I was reading I laughed out loud several times. I love how at the end he is not apologetic at all. It speaks deeply as to his character, living his life as he pleases with no desire or need to explain anything to anyone. Despite the fact that it is short the character development is phenomenal. Great writing.

Hal Johnson said...

Whoa. I'm with Dee up there: this really pushes the buttons. Tasty.

Serena Shay said...

Wow ThomG, Spot on - indulgence indeed! Excellent writing.

Nara Malone said...

Greaat writing. You brought the settings to life. I completely get the idea of slumming, would like to try it in reverse sometime. I wonder what you call that.

floreta said...

wow, i never thought of this as an indulgence! but it's definitely a lifestyle choice some people do willingly choose to take!

MinnesotaScottson said...

Great, vivid descriptive. A lot of food for thought in this short little piece.

Megha said...

Really fast and absorbing, and what a twist. Like it :)

Tumblewords: said...

Indulgence agrees with this character, for sure. He's groomed with precision, without pretension. He IS. Great stuff, as always. Hmmm. Exacerbate instead of exasperate?