There was a woman. Seemed nice. A bit too friendly and eager to please. That phony off-putting demeanor so many adopt nowadays. Heavy-set. Hair in curls like my mother wore in the 1980s. Came to see me because she wanted to patent an invention: a surfboard with wings and wheels. The Urban Surfboard™ she called it. I watched her prototype and plans as one would watch a carefully curled piece of shit on a dinner plate.
I have more inventions to patent, she said. But this is the big money idea. I want to start with this one. We can market it like this: OK. You know how they have those wolf hunts. Well wolves are fast. I know. I looked it up. A hunter can get on this thing and scoot forward, chasing those little bastards. Shoot them. Grab them by the tail. I’m talking the ones that got the nerve to wander into town. That’s where the urban part comes in. This wouldn’t work well in the forest with all the grass and trees and things. I’m working on another one for that.
I laughed loudly and then mentally chastised myself for rudeness and unprofessionalism.
Ma’am, I’m sorry, but no one is going to roll down the street on your Urban Skateboard—I’m sorry—Surfboard. I can’t patent this. It’s basically a skateboard. The next lawyer down the street is just going to take your money. I’m going to tell you the truth. This is not patentable. You will never, never, never be able to bring this to market.
She grunted like a nasty pig and called me all kinds of fools and motherfuckers and bid me all sorts of fuck yous while I held my composure. She was not the first to curse me, of course. I watched her fat shake and tried to understand why this was the most grating cussing I had ever received, even though others had done a worse job of showing their asses, so to speak.
Just leave, I said.
I stood and she followed me, waddling down the stairs and cursing me till something like pressure built at the top of my skull. Her words wedged themselves between my thoughts, ripping apart every new one that formed.
Finally I sputtered, Shut the fuck up!
You are not a real lawyer. Wait till the Bar Association hears of your misconduct, sir esquire.
She held her yellow and red (with blue flames) Urban Skateboard prototype under her arm and I felt the need—for some reason—to stand outside the office, shouting, Shut the fuck up, as if it were my mantra. There was freedom in screaming, but still a vice-grip of tension wrapped tightly around my torso. I could have simply closed the door of my office and walked back upstairs. They say you only regret the things you fail to do. So many times I had failed to stand my ground and others—lovers, family, even strangers stranger than even this woman—had applied a thumb of pressure on me as if they were mean kids and I an ant. And like an ant beneath a thumb I didn’t just become squashed I disappeared.
How undignified of me. How unprofessional. How unlawyer-like. But still how necessary.
Bitch, no matter what you say, I will reply, Shut the fuck up.
I went silent and waited for her to speak and then responded, Bitch, shut the fuck up. The second time it was, Shut your fat ass up. The third time, Shut the fuck up, you cow-faced, cow-uddered, cow-bellied woman. So many variations one can think up in a few minutes time.
And when she was done and realized I had no intention of going back into the building, she hopped onto her Urban Surfboard™ and struggled down the block, one inch at a time before toppling over. I laughed. She threw up her middle finger and I shouted my mantra. The woman got her fat ass right back onto that surfboard and I remained there for some time saying, Shut the fuck up, or some variation, until I was hoarse and she was a little dot in the distance.
Rion Amilcar Scott writes fiction all over the damn place, tweets @reeamilcarscott and somehow received an MFA from George Mason University. He wrote a book called, Wolf Tickets, from which this piece is taken. Other wolf pieces here: http://forgottentunneltv.tumblr.com/WolfTickets.