The wind whipped the little waves on the puddle into whitecaps, crashing them into the blacktop beach of Barry’s driveway. The puddle was destroyed as Barry backed his baby blue Toyota Prius through it on his way out onto the road. Barry hated that puddle. He hated the fact that his driveway had such an imperfection, but he didn’t have the money to fix it, so he learned to hate and move on. That was Barry’s philosophy, “Hate and move on.” Made life a lot simpler to live
At the next stoplight Barry looked at his reflection in the rear view mirror. His ‘Movember’ beard was coming in great, much thicker than last year. He gave it a stroke and a pull with his left hand. “Now that’s a smart looking beard,” he said to himself. “The beard doesn’t make the man, but this guy makes the beard.” He smiled and pointed at his reflection. “The ladies will be all over it.”
The light turned green and Barry returned to driving. He kept a watch out as he slowly passed Alice’s house. It had been three weeks since she dumped him. Okay, maybe dumped was a strong word. She had told him she wasn’t interested. Even though that was a mortal sin in Barry’s eyes, he was willing to give her a second chance. Like his beard, Barry knew it took a bit for him to grow on people. That made Barry laugh. Alice would look funny with a beard, unless it was while she wore his while kissing him. Barry slammed on his breaks and pulled over to the side of the road. Maybe he would give Alice the chance to see how ticklish her upper lip could get.
Barry walked up to the door and pressed the doorbell. An annoyed “What is it?” came from the little tinny speaker below a blank LCD screen.
Barry grinned and hit the button again. The screen came to life, and there was Alice, live on her own little channel. “What do you want Barry? I’m kind of busy right now,” Alice said as she held her fingers splayed out, waving them in the air.
Barry stroked his beard, offering her first a left side view, then a right. Barry wanted her to catch the full effect. “What are you doing?” Barry asked.
“I’m literally watching goddamn paint dry,” Alice said, as she continued to wave her hands back and forth.
“Want some help?” Barry asked as he put his eye up to the camera. “I have an eye for it.”
The picture of Alice froze on the screen for a moment before disappearing completely. Barry pressed the button again. “Come on Alice. I know you’re there,” he said.
“Really? You think so?” Alice asked with the sarcasm almost melting the little speaker. “You must be Albert effing Einstein.” The screen remained blank.
“Come on,” Barry pleaded. “Let me in. I just want to talk.”
“I don’t have the time,” Alice said. “I need to get ready for my date.”
“I don’t remember asking you out,” Barry said.
“Yes you do,” Alice replied.
Barry laughed. “That’s right, I did. And you”
“Shot you down,” Alice finished. “Now go home and stroke that little beard some more. It’s looking a bit lonely.”
Barry almost laughed, but decided he wouldn’t rise to her bait. “Enjoy your paint drying,” he said. “Probably going to be the highlight of your evening.” He made a hasty retreat before she could say anything else.
Back in his Prius, Barry looked again in the rearview mirror. “Screw Movember!” he yelled as he shoved the mirror up so he could only see the tan ceiling of the car. Barry started the car and pulled into traffic. Alice didn’t know what she was missing. Hate and move on. Good thing it was still early in the day. The barbershop would still be open, and a clean cut look was in his future. “The ladies will be all over it,” Barry muttered to himself.