“But you aren’t even looking when you do it!” she blurts, delighted, flummoxed. I continue to look either at her or through her. The cadence of my efforts continues, even when I lift my hands.
“You’re not even doing it on the table!” she squeals blithely, as if I had just performed the most outlandish feat she could have deigned to have me execute. I never realized that someone could have so much esteem, could derive such joy, from my ability to shuffle. There’s not the smallest mote of duplicity in her voice.
“See! When you do the fffffffffffffft, it’s reeeeally fluid.”
“Yeah! Yeah, see? That one!”
“Oh, the Bridge?”
“No, that’s the fffffffffffffft.”
“Every part makes that sound.”
“No, just that one. All the sounds are different.”
I suppose she’s right. I hadn’t thought of it.
Mid. Riffle. Bridge. Reset. Mid. Riffle. Bridge. Reset.
Krrrt. Brrrrrrrrt. Fffffffft. Ch. Krrrt. Brrrrrrt. Fffffffft.Ch.
My muscle memory is a better storyteller than my mouth. I don’t need to tell her of all the moons I’ve shot, nor of all the rivers I’ve turned beyond a fickle flop. She can hear what a knave I am with every crack of my knuckles, even if she doesn’t know that she knows.
“See? Like there. When you make them go together, they like, they go perfectly one after another.”
Gently, paternally: “I guess so.”
It’s a funny thing--how it’s best not to protect a protégée. In the end, we’re all lousy mugs hungry to muggins. Even the rules of etiquette are a lie. 15 two, pair for four, the rest don’t score.
Krrrt. Brrrrrrrrt. Fffffffffft. Ch.
A smile: “Care to cut?”