About the Want

For @inventrix’s commissioned continuation of

Part 6 of 7.5

“You have quite a bit of interesting stuff here,” I countered. “I mean… stuff I’ve never seen before. Languages I’ve never seen before.”

“That is because, my dear, you have never traveled, have you?”

“I went to Michigan on vacation once,” I offered defensively, “and I’ve seen Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.”

“That doesn’t count,” Jordan poo-pooed. “That’s a day trip.”

“You have, I think, seen a great deal where you are. But you long to see wilder things, things that are not so… what is the word?”

“Mundane,” I answered, suddenly tired of it all. “Dirty. Routine.”

Jordan was looking at me strangely. “We have a house. We live with four other adults, two cats, three rats, and a toddler. Three of the adults are in a love triangle, one of them is a performance artist, one is insane, and three of them change gender presentation depending on the day. You work in a museum. Last weekend, we went urban spelunking in the old mental ward. What is routine about your life?”

“We never go anywhere!” I was aware, on some level, that I was having this argument, this argument I’d carefully been not having for years, in front of a complete stranger. But it had been a damn long day, and the argument had been a damn long time in coming.

“We have responsibilities!” Jordan shouted back at me. “We have things we have to do, JJ, and we can’t just be like Ashton and hare off whenever we want to!”

“Why not? Ashton does fine!”

“Because Ashton doesn’t get anything done that needs to get done! Ash isn’t here looking for an AC, Ash wasn’t getting the groceries last week, Ash wasn’t fixing the porch. Face it, JJ, it’s you and me when it comes to being grown-ups, and if you bail on me I’m never going to forgive you!”

“Toni buys groceries,” I offered weakly.

“Toni has a child to feed. You know, it’s not that I don’t want to travel, J.J. I’d love to see Paris. I’ve been saving up for years. But someone has to clean the shit stains out of the toilet. Someone has to be an adult. And I wish for once it was someone other than me…. ma and you.” The last bit was gentle, and a little bit guilty-sounding. I didn’t complain. I tried to be a grown-up, but Jordan seemed to have been born knowing how to do it.

“Mr. Ting knows what you need,” the small man said quietly. “Now, the question becomes… will you take what you need from Mr. Ting’s store? And can I provide it?”

“And can we afford it?” Jordan added bitterly. “Do you like us enough to give us a reasonable price?”

“Aaah.” He took in air in a long sigh. “That is not how my pricing works, dears. Mr. Ting is not about like and dislike. Mr. Ting is not about profit.” He picked up one of the #^^#(275)^, the shiny silver pointed tubes. “Mr. Ting is simply about need.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/286307.html. You can comment here or there.

9 thoughts on “About the Want

  1. Oh, the Venn set diagrams of their household. The toddler, when older, dealing with the idiotic questions of others who think “who do you live with” is a simple question.

  2. And just how much of what you don’t need will Mr. Ting take in exchange for what you do? Or is that not how the pricing works, either? Fairy bargains: possibly even more dangerous than fairy gifts.

    • Thank you! (It was modeled after a certain bunch of people we both know when some of them lived on 7th and Short, but I made changes as I went)

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