12-to-14-ounce bottle of ginger syrup by Deb Counts-Tabor of Sage and Sea. Add to water or soda - very sharp and dark and sweet and yummy.
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The waiter’s name is V. It’s a new restaurant, scifi-themed; all of the waiters have names like Klaatu or Ripley. I point out that V is a series, not a character, and he laughs. “No one remembers character names from V. But everyone remembers the show. Everyone remembers the lizards.”
He writes down my order, and I write down that everyone remembers V. I will file it under “television” and “things everyone remembers”. “Things everyone remembers” is one of my bigger boxes; it is not nearly full.
Not nearly as full as it needs to be.
Data loss. I do not remember the things everyone remembers. And I need to. In order to build a self, I need a foundation. So I write everything down, and I am always hoping that someone will let slip one of the things “everyone knows” or “everyone remembers”. V and the Challenger explosion and 9/11 and the Smurfs. Sometimes when I get home, after I file the day’s newly-gathered information, I take the slips out of that box and spread them out on the floor, subcategorize them. Everybody knows this about politics. Everyone remembers that song.
My food arrives, a faux-Klingon dish I’ve already forgotten the name of. I must look it up later and record it. The drink V brings is not what I ordered - it’s a neon-blue thing in a Klein bottle with dry ice fuming out of it. V grins and drapes himself over the chair beside me. “You looked like you could use it.”
“What is it?”
“Dunno. Try some.”
“I have… trouble. With things I don’t know.”
V looks around; seeing no manager, he takes a quick sip from my glass. “Perfectly safe.”
I sip. It’s sweet. V grins as I lower the glass. His hair is frosted silver, and I wonder if he’s dyed it, or if he sprays it on every night. His hands seem to have a mind of their own; he gestures incessantly when he talks. Italian, he says, with a shrug very unlike Val’s. I write that down: “Italians talk with their hands”, and also, “V is Italian.”
He has to get up eventually, as the restaurant gets busy. He brings me spoo for dessert, with a wink like Valentine’s.
Up to $1,082.24!
This has been the beginning of "Valentines", which will appear in Interfictions 2. Pre-order now!
Want to make something based on this story for the Interstitial Arts Foundation auction? Click here!
In other news, Frank the Rubber Chicken had a accident. His beak? Melted off. Kat will post pictures. Our mascot is beakless, oh noes!
And Max is lounging on a spare laptop, in a sunbeam. His life = so good right now.