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Guy Jacobs

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Member Since: May, 2006

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low-maintenance lo mein
By Guy Jacobs
Monday, April 02, 2007

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Do you know this guy? Don't we all?

Janis never made me coffee when she woke up. She was the kind who would jump in the shower, brush her teeth and then make up her face for nearly an hour. Even though I am a late sleeper, I always found myself ready to go before she did. I would throw on that same pair of jeans, that same old T-shirt and those old Texas boots that I once bought in an Oklahoma pawn shop. Ten minutes was all it ever took and I was ready to get going. Then again, I had no place special to go.
Janis worked in the makeup counter of a major department store. She would spend hours fixing up those elements of time that life laid on the faces of those who had more disposable income than I did. Janis considered herself a makeup artist. Her clients were her art. I never understood what she got so very excited about. One did not have to be Van Gogh to put on lipstick and eyeliner on one of those out of work, three carat diamond type of a woman who had nothing better to do with her days then run around the mall and spend her husband's money. What fine art was there in Janis's labor? Give a money a lipstick stick and he would do any of these women justice.
Janis considered her clients to be of great social prominence. She viewed each and every one of those women to be the next Daisy Fellowes, Charlene Shorto de Ganay or Charlotte Casiraghi.
I considered them all to be social pariahs. It was always just a matter of point of view. One day she was running around the poll for single dollars and the next day she married some rich smuck who went to dental school. From one poll to another, from whore to socialite, it was just a matter of perspective.
I drove Janis to her work place. She had a 9am appointment. Mrs. Farkas does not like to wait around. She has been a dependable client for more than three years now and never failed to leave a generous tip behind. Mrs. Farkas has a son. His name is Herald. He is twenty seven years of age. Next year, Herald will be graduating from Tufts University. Next year Herald will be moving back to town. If I had any sense at all, she warned me, I would treat her better than I did on a regular. Mrs. Farkas already hinted that she may want to introduce her charming Herald to her favorite Jani Pani as she so cordially referred to her.
She gave me a stern look but I preferred to smile. Janis like so many other women her age could not tell television from real life. Let her go with young Mr. Herald Farkas and his Fifth Avenue mommy. Let them dwell in their perverse socialite existence. As for me, I find a woman who worked in the food court, the kind that sold three dollar Chinese food to pimpled faced teenagers who spent their lives in the suburban hell of the mall. No more conversation about makeup and Champaign. No more talk of eyeliner and caviar. From now on, I decided, it was all about low maintenance lo mein
When I will wake up in the morning, I will smell Chinese food and fresh made coffee. I will sleep late and watch my newly discovered love put on her Magic Wok uniform in its eternal glory of red and white. Janis gave me a kiss on the cheek as she walked out of my used car. In six hours I will pick her up again. What to do until then?

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Reviewed by Jean Pike 4/2/2007
I liked this story, Guy. You make a very good point. I feel like I could pick your characters out of a crowd. You made them very real for me.


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