Monday February 21st, 2011

The exercise:

Today's task: write about the hustler.

On our first full day in Kingston, Kat and I went hiking in the Blue Mountains with my aunt and uncle who were visiting from Montreal with my aunt who lives in Kingston. The drive was... well, let's just say that if I was behind the wheel, we probably would have turned back long before we reached the hike.

As it was, my uncle drove and we ended up enjoying a beautiful stroll:

There were ferns and flowers everywhere:

Afterward we stopped for lunch at a cafe just around twenty or thirty corners - so, about a minute's drive away:

That's Kat with my aunt. My uncle had wandered off somewhere, looking at some flowers I think. I'll share a few more pictures of this lunch spot tomorrow. They're some of my favorite of the entire trip (that don't have either of us in it).


Keep smiling, laugh a lot. They don't suspect a thing. You're just trying to help, that's all. There's nothing in it for you. They want to trust you.

"So we continue on down that road and we'll be there in about twenty minutes?"

"Yes, but it's not very well signed. If you want I can lead you there."

"Oh, there's no need to go out of your way for us. I'm sure we'll be fine."

"No, I insist! I'd hate for you to get lost around here. There are people around here... they're not bad, just desperate, you know?"

Like me.

"All right, thanks a lot man. Don't drive too fast though, we don't want to lose you!"

"Of course! I'll take it nice and slow."

They don't stand a chance.


Greg said...

More great pictures! Kingston looks beautiful, from the little we see here :) And the drive sounds... well, fun like a rollercoaster! I really like the first and third pictures today, they're both really well set-up. I think you were having fun with your camera while you were out there ;-)
I do feel a little sorry for your lost and nameless travellers today; they really don't know what's about to happen to them, do they?

the Hustler
He was stood at the edge of the room, watching the dance-floor with eagle-eyes. They were all out there, strutting their stuff; the men with their chests puffed out and medallions swinging, the women in sheer pants-suits that looked as though they'd been painted on. His eyes passed dispassionately over them, uncaring of their attempts to impress and seduce. He ignored the minor skirmishes as flares sliced at flares, couples cut up singles, and shapes were thrown just to get his attention.
Then the song ended, the Bee Gees high-pitched warble fading out and there was a moment of silence, just three seconds long while everyone waited.
The opening bars of Do the hustle played, a space opened up on the dance floor, and he moved swiftly into it. The Hustler was in the house!

Thinkenstein said...

One's in a boardroom and one's in a bar room
but is there really any difference?

One robs you with loopholes and legalese
and one robs you with seduction and slight of hand
but is there really any difference?

One has a piece of paper from an ivy league school
and one has scratches and scars and wounds
both magna cum laude in hustling you
and no, there's really not a difference.

Marc said...

Greg - your hustler sounds a lot more fun to hang out with than my hustler :P

Thinkenstein - I really liked how you connected each stanza through the closing lines of each one. Very nicely done.

Heather said...

A day late, but hopefully not a dollar short.

He came into the room sleek and ready. A bright sparkle sat in his eyes as he smiled warmly and shook hands firmly. He was the man of the moment. The man everyone wanted to know. The one they wanted to be.

That was last month.

Now he sits in his office and twirls his pen. He wonders where to put the finishing touches. He checks that he has dotted his i's and crossed his t's. Sighing, he looks at the already dried ink with an air of excitement and dread. His moment would come again soon. Like his masterpiece, it would be a thing of great beauty.

He prepares for their reception; his and the masterpiece's. He calls his fellows aside. He talks to them about his idols, all powerful men that had at some point in their lives stood up to the world. He works them over, infusing them with a joy about the future that can only be reached by holding to the letter of the word in his masterpiece. But like every important moment in history, there must be some sacrifice.

This was all two weeks ago.

He stands at his window and watches the people amass. First came 5,000. Then 15,000- 35,000- and then 70,000. They have all come for him. His knuckles are white on the window sill. How could they be so misguided? So distrusting? So ungrateful? He told them what he would do. He told them and showed them for the last 8 years. How could they claim to be surprised? How could they call him a hustler?

He pulls in a deep breath and his shoulders relax. It is his moment. He will need to make sacrifices. His reputation muddied, his intentions questioned, his blood argued cold and warm. But there will be no compromises on his masterpiece.

This is today.

Marc said...

Heather - to continue your metaphor, it was worth every penny!

I am intrigued, to say the least, about this masterpiece. Good to see you writing again :)