The Big C

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Now You See Me

Andrea, running at the track as she has been ever since the painter arrived last week, accuses Adam of staring at her breasts. "Titties," she says. Natural, beautiful. Designed to be looked at. He swears he wasn't but begins to blush. She presses the advantage, she stares him down. She's behind the wheel of something powerful, and she's only just learning to drive. "I bet you never seen titties as fine as these, have you?" He swears he has; she counters that he's never touched. Offers to let him touch hers. "Shut up," he squeaks, and balks, and wavers. Andrea takes Adam's hands in hers, and teaches them something new.

To the cute receptionist Sean introduces himself in a crazy homeless fashion: "My name is Mr. Tolke," he begins. He isn't on the schedule and, despite the copies Cathy made of his strange diagrams, he doesn't know the somebody he needs. Sean smiles, beautiful, and looks into the young man's eyes: Sure he can work some magic? It doesn't work. Sean just needs to see somebody, just needs somebody to see him. To look him in the eyes, in this strange new uniform. To see him.

But even with the yuppie suit, nobody will see him. The boy asks Sean to come back in a month; the house will be demolished Friday. There's nothing he can do. "Do you really wish you could help? Because it kind of sounds like you don't really give a shit. If you really wanted to fucking help, you would take this fucking phone, and you'd tell your fucking bosses to give me a five minute fucking meeting." Intensifying descriptive gerund.

The security guards watch him throw his tantrum for a while, before they step in. At the rugby fields, Paul watches through his one good eye. And when Rugby Slut Tina approaches with a joint, he can't help but let her in. Sean is arrested. Cathy takes her panties off, back at her desk: With children working hard out in the rows, nobody looking up, she watches the painter look at her legs and finally parts her knees, for him. Designed to be looked at. And the crack, up above her head, fixed and sanded and painted over, good as new, in the time that it took to hit the salon.

And as they wait for the children to leave the minutes feel like hours and the story builds and builds, and when the bell rings and they're gone, Cathy takes her iris to the window, in its pot, so that it can see the sun; and when she feels his painter's hands upon her shoulders, she closes her eyes; and when they cross the line forever, the last thing he's said to her was a reminder and a favor and a true thing; it made her open her eyes wide, finally, waking up to something she forgot, and the last thing he said to her was this:

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The Big C

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