Writing exercise following this week’s Tuesday Trigger:
“So the parrot let you in,” the detective said, but he didn’t write it down.
“No,” Jerry answered. “He just, you know, told me to come in.” They had let him get dressed but he felt even more naked than he had in the back of the squad car, wearing nothing but a hand towel in his lap.
“I suppose the parrot told you to open the bottle of champagne and cook yourself a steak too.”
“Well, he didn’t say anything about taking a shower. That’s all on me,” Jerry said, but the detective didn’t look amused.
The officer’s face was weathered with what must have been a daily dose of disbelief, but his eyes belonged to a younger man. His eyes at least looked capable of colluding with a grin. His name tag read McHennessy and Jerry had heard the receptionist call him “Corgan”. You could have a beer with a guy named, “Corgan McHennessy” but Jerry couldn’t think of way to a explain away his burglary even over a beer.
“My fiancée ditched me at the Chevron station while I was in the bathroom. She had my wallet.” Jerry said this as if that could explain why a respectable CPA would let himself into a stranger’s house in the little town of Storm’s Pass and make himself at home even after he realized it was the parrot who had said, “come in.” How could he explain that the conversation he had with the parrot over dinner was so much like the ones he used to have with his mother? His life had gone off kilter when he no longer had his mom to listen and nod and sigh and listen some more. The parrot had only said, “I know,” and “alright,” but sometimes that’s exactly what you need to hear. And when he stripped and stepped into that shower, he was washing away the dust and the grit from all the roads he shouldn’t have taken. Under the sting and steam of the water he had clarity.
He was turning down the partnership at the firm, he was breaking off his engagement and then he was going to drive through the desert on that Harley he planned to buy, but how could you explain this to a small town cop.
“Of course it was the Chevron station,” McHennessy said as if it all made perfect sense.