Nipple in the Garden

nipple_garden

I read the first five pages of Dogwish by Henry Griff, the first fourteen of Henrietta’s Test Question by George Fedderman and at least the ten words of The Last Guy Named Mike by Frank Irvine Denner. I was reading the back cover of VENT! by Sandra Kline when Hank walked in. He looked from me to my pile of books.

“What are you doing?”

I tossed aside VENT! and lit a cigarette. “I’m trying to find a new book to read. Where have you been?”

Hank took a seat on the floor beside me, picked up Dogwish, put it down. “I was in the park counting all the nipples on statues.”

I laughed, dropping my cigarette. He frowned, “what?”

“Sorry, just, I mean–why?”

He shrugged. “I was in the park and I was thinking about everything I know and I got really worried that there is nothing that I know about the world that no one else knows and I looked up and noticed that one of the statue’s nipples had faded away. So, I counted.”

Hank smiled. I passed him a cigarette, not knowing how to respond. He took it, lit it. I picked back up VENT!

“What’s that about?” he asked.

I turned it over. “Some sci-fi book where immortality was invented a while ago and all the kids are like, in their fifties, but still look like kids and they want to get married and shit. Wait– I got this from your room?”

Hank nodded, “yeah, it’s my book.”

“Then why are you asking me about it?” I said, tossing it at him.

He looked at it, curious. He shrugged. “I don’t remember.”

“Is it good?”

He put it down. “Don’t remember.”

“Well then what was the point of reading it?”

Hank shrugged. “I read it to enjoy it. What’s the point in remembering it?”

“So we can talk about it!” I cried, throwing up my hands.

Hank frowned, shook his head and stood up. “You’ve got strange priorities,” he decided, walking off.

“Uh-huh, so how many nipples are there in the garden then?” I called after him. But, he didn’t respond.

13 comments

  1. I love Hank! I hope you bear him too? Hmm, what a pity that you can not talk to him about books or other important things. And in this story he does not make a good figure because he does not even seem to be able to talk about his own Interests!
    I think he could still learn a lot. Probably he was too distracted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with Hank on this, you can only remember so much for so long. Obviously he was saying,Vent, was not worth reading, however compiling an inventory of the nipples on display in the park is more important to the advancement of life. the advantages of the fresh air, walking exercise, the weird looks from people taking their dogs for a poo, avoiding the sprinting runners and smiling at ladies in lycra bouncing along – yes Hank I know what you are up to.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The books and authors are all fictitious? Are these all books of Hank? Well “VENT!” sounds somehow interesting. Perhaps Hank is simply overstrained. He loves the beauty and has got to wear blinders because he can not stand the world over? Perhaps he just needs someone who shows him that he can face and should face the truth?

    Liked by 1 person

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