Excerpt from “Against Type”

The storm sheet had pulled back, but the rain still fell. Grant could smell the water in the air, musty like every drop had been hanging there for years. He watched the rest of it with his chin lifted by a soured knee of his jeans, crouched against the wall on the narrow strip of linoleum that wasn’t covered by chairs.  He was very cold. He brought his knees in closer to his body, trying to fight the quiet of this place that felt not peaceful but the kind of quiet like someone shoving their hands into your ears. His own quiet broke with the first portent of wisp light from the room the stage manager pretended to be his office and Grant shut his eyes and instead of hearing the man jiggering the doorknob heard the knocks and claps of a prophet calling for the attention of the blind who attended him. The sun was on the cusp of eclipse and all would be cured before it began again if he could push forward with his hand held up to the prophet but the sun buckled when the stage manager was upon him.

Yes, the stage manager, an aged woman to his covered surprise, said, a thin figure lost behind a huge black coat woven rough and yieldless as a stagecurtain.

Grant rose. I’m looking for a job, he said. I’m out for a career that I can really mold myself by.

And who were you again?

I’m a motivated, enthusiastic, hard worker with a passion for the theatre who’s been acting in some form for many years with strong communication skills and a strong desire to help foster a cohesive and effective atmosphere on the stage.

Knees now locked, he continued, So, I’ve never liked to lie to myself. One of my weaknesses is that I was raised with a very inflated sense of self-worth. But by now I’ve learned full well that I shouldn’t expect my every need to be met just because I’m a human being. There’s only so much space on the mountain, and I might have to fight for that spot with the shady tree. As I’m sure you have, and as I’m sure you’ll allow me to do as well. Acting might just be something I love, as well as something I happen to be good at.

Good monologue, son. Maybe I’ll have something in the next production.

She looked at Grant but Grant said nothing, bonerigid siphon to a mouth that chewed on nothing.

Shouts leaked in above the gunshot raindrops.

Maybe you come back after the rain’s over, the stage manager said. I need to hear you better.

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