“I had to laugh when you told me it was a macaroon,” exhaled a nervous Sheila Day. “I thought perhaps it might have been a windmill cookie, and for goodness sakes, NO ONE eats windmill cookies anymore.” Neither did anyone sharing her public space in the small city park take note of the macaroons.
Sheila Day outweighed her companion by a good 200 pounds – those pounds being mostly comprised of adipose tissue that very likely had been placed upon her swollen frame by a good number of macaroons and the ubiquitous windmill cookies. Eat them furtively, Sheila – no one sees you. Hide in your Sheila-forsaken closet and cram those windmill cookies into your mouth. “Wrap your rosies around them,” as my father would have said had he ever known you. Sheila wore that hot-pink jumpsuit with an attitude. It would forever be 1983 for Sheila, and hot pink jumpsuits would forever be the rage. As classy as the paint-spatter mini-skirt she could no longer fit into.
“No, they’re just macaroons, and I like ‘em. But I like windmill cookies, too,” replied a forever-scared Tony. Tony had been scared since 1983 – the year in which Sheila was eternally residing. It had something to do with the threat of the Soviet Union’s missiles, unemployment, the second coming and that sprayable gravy in a can that Tony was never sure actually existed. Tony was genderless. That is, Tony never knew if Tony was a man or a woman. In 1982 Tony had been taken to the doctor in the middle of Tony’s 9th grade year (freshman? freshtony?), and Tony’s family doctor had to finally admit that something had gone really, really wrong. Tony had no gender…no discernable sexual organs. Tony’s anatomy below the belt resembled that of a G.I. Joe or a perhaps that of a Barbie…somewhere kind of in between, in fact. To cover all the bases, Tony tried out for the football team and the pom-pon squad that year, being selected for neither. Tony then just settled into life as a member of the forensics team and a bit-part in the spring performance of “Equus.” Life was never quite the same after the diagnosis, but finding an open changing room at the local Fashion Bug was a whole lot easier.
“Well, if I ever saw anyone eating a windmill cookie, I'd have to just laugh aloud.” Sheila reached for a macaroon, and nearly tipped off the park bench as she leaned forward and her center of gravity shifted. “My dad used to eat windmill cookies and he would dunk ‘em in his coffee, until they got all soggy and soft. I remember the little chunks of windmill cookie in his coffee cup when I would do the dishes. I hated that.”
“I hate coffee,” shot back Tony. “You can stick your coffee up your ass. And leave my macaroons alone.”
“Geez…why so touchy? It’s just a cookie. I’m not even drinking coffee, anyway, it’s a mocha. Geez.”
“Well, just don’t eat all my macaroons.”
“I won’t. Now tell me about your new job. You like it?”
Tony just kind of stared off into space and ran the soft bits of macaroon between tongue and palate. Tony could feel the tender little bits of coconut once the rest of the cookie had dissolved. For a second it was the late 1970’s, and Tony was in grade school again, eating a macaroon in the school lunch room, thinking about the episode of “Welcome Back Kotter” that was on last night, wondering who would get picked first when they chose up sides for kickball after lunch. Tony never got picked first. Hell, Tony barely ever got picked. Tony would end up watching the kickball game from the sidelines half of the time, half-heartedly watching, and with the other half of the heart thinking about going home to the family dog after school and playing out in the backyard that Tony’s mother had insisted be turned into a concrete topiary playground. Rotten concrete gazelles eternally staring at concrete gnomes who in turn stared eternally at anthropomorphic concrete pigs. A great yard to come home to.
“So you like it? Do you?” Sheila prodded Tony with her plastic drinking straw, and left a tiny droplet of mocha on Tony’s arm. “Sorry, whoops,” offered a genuinely repentant Sheila.
“Well, if I didn’t have to talk to anyone, it would be a whole lot better.”
“But Tony, you’re a morgue attendant.”
“Yeah. I know,” Tony replied, “except we prefer the title ‘Post-Human Mass Storage and Retrieval Specialist.’ Now keep your filthy hands off my macaroons.”
Across the street from the small park a group of school children were just beginning a game of kickball.