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2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. (more)
anthonyjlangford2@yahoo.com.au


Mini Fiction - A gentle book in a man store.






A Gentle Book in a Man Store.

A gentleman in a bookstore approached me, while I was in the tropics on holiday, when he observed the book I was browsing. Apparently a good read. The title, irrelevant now, revealed later...
A conversation ensued, followed by a stroll in a mutual direction and a decision for coffee. He told me he had worked in Music Management and had signed some of the biggest acts of the eighties.
He told he had retired at fifty two, had been married five times but that he was not a father. He owned a big property. And a small publishing press. For the love of it. Drove a Mercedes. Had a beautiful exotic garden. And a Golden Retriever. Dressed well. Had a nice watch. And had been with his current partner for twenty years.


I admired his journey, but soon realized that he had asked me very little about myself.
I mentioned an eighties band I liked who had not been a huge success but earned longevity, the desire of many an artist. Yet he did not know them.
When I quizzed him on local property prices, he floundered. Yet spoke confidently on rentals.
He spoke bravely of his decision to quit his old job in his late fifties. Did not wear a wedding ring. Had no clue on pet food prices (as I have a dog), yet admitted to relating to cats since a child. When I confessed to being a writer he skirted around the topic of his ‘hobby press’ though let slip that he did not know a reputable Publishing house.
Surreptitiously re-examining his watch, I considered it a fake.
He hated gardening and when pressed, body corporates. He also said he detested women who demanded child support in a post-sexist world.
I was suddenly in a hurry. As I was leaving, I half-heartedly asked him if he wanted a lift. He said it was not necessary as his BMW was close by.

I don’t need to tell you that the moral is, if there must be one, don’t take everyone on face value and I often find that those who only talk about themselves, are too self-enamoured to be trusted.

Oh, and the book? Catch Me If You Can: The true story of a real fake. 





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=]

9 comments:

  1. Interesting that he was drawn to you because of that book. The numbers alone don't add up, my friend. He's been married 5 times and his last marriage has lasted 20 years? Was he 6 years old when he first married? Furthermore, why boastfully lie about 5 marriages? I'd say he has issues but you already know this.
    xoRobyn

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  2. like this a lot, did this really happen to you? a really interesting perspective by you. I'm thinking now of how I react to people when I meet them, pretty openly I think, but I can pick a bad vibe up quickly, and once that happens it's hard for me to shake. Thanks for a great start to my day,I enjoyed this one big time.

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  3. Thank you Robyn and Sally.
    This is a mixture of fact and fiction, but what is fact, especially from the mouth of someone youve just met? whatever they tell you.. until you realise it doesn't add up...
    And for what purpose? A total stranger (me). Strange.. but in a way, kind of sad that he felt the need to lie.

    Thanks for your thoughts and for taking the time out.

    =]

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  4. Great story Anthony and well written as always. I like the subtlilty of the lies and that when you reveal at the end the reader wants to back and work out all the inconsistencies.

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  5. Nice Story. I love your mini sentences. Prose meets Poetry...

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  6. Cool story - I think everyone can relate to meeting someone like this guy unfortunately...

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  7. Thank you madart and Anonymous. :) Nice of you to leave a comment.

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  8. Putting on airs. I don't know much about literature but I remember learning that from my English teacher. He actually made me enjoy Macbeth, which is quite a feat for me. And him.
    Quirine

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  9. Good story. Take people at face value until they put themselves in it. But sometimes looking beyond and beneath the face can expose a person to who he really is and sometimes that is the reason he wears his face. It might be that he is not full of lies and deceit but a mask to protect himself. I hope that makes sense.
    I hide myself behind being anonymous.

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