Delayed Gratification

I am not very good with it. Especially when it involves books. The last time I had to postpone reading a book was in 12th standard when my mother locked my Christopher Pike because I had brought it home between two exams. Subsequently I have never let exams or anything stand between me and my books. I deal with people who tell me that they have no time to read with polite disbelief (Then the same people chase me round the neighbourhood with skipping ropes because I tell them I have no time to exercise.)

Now that I have told you everything that I feel on the subject, (really blogging is the quickest way to revert to the savage that you were before you were taught tto keep your mouth shut.) let me tell you why I am talking about delayed gratification.

Yesterday Spellcheck gave me Chicken with Plums. I was over the moon with excitement but then read only three pages. This has come in the wake of gobbling up Embroideries in half an hour and feeling a little bad about it.

As I was on my third page I remembered the Piranha's outrage over the Will Eisner incident. Piranha at that point had two Eisners. He gave me both to look at when I was sitting in his house and I finished reading them in one sitting. Piranha looked up from rolling a joint and I saw that I was staring into space. The moral outrage of someone who pretends to be cool is particularly vicious. He made me sit in the corner and think of what I had done. How could I have read them so casually when Eisner had taken so long to draw them? Flippant responses came to mind but I did not dare say any of them.

So on my third page of this lovely new Satrapi I felt the scaly tones of the Piranha ringing in my ear. Sadly, I put the book away. It is not fair.

In other contexts, the Piranha's response to girlish coyness or delayed gratification is one to watch with awe. One evening I turned up at his house because I had been locked out of my own without keys. Two minutes later the Main Squeeze turned up and was not pleased to see random woman sitting there looking comfortable. We made polite noises to each other and then she began grilling me. The Piranha rolled a joint and offered it to her. He had given up on offering me any after months of trying. I am not quite sure what the Main Squeeze's reasoning was but she clearly did not want to smoke while I was around. Perhaps she needed a clear head to continue interrogating me. She said, " I don't want it now. Later."

She asked me, " You write poetry? What kind of poetry?" This is a question I am stumped by. What does one say? The murder mystery kind? I mumbled something and earned a frown. As she probed further, the Piranha offered her the joint again. Over her shoulder she said, " Later, later". The Piranha flipped out. " Shall I put it in the fridge then?"

I slithered away unable to look at the remains of the woman. The grapevine later gave me useful information. The Main Squeeze wrote reams of poetry herself and was known to ask her men to write poetry for her. One husky, beer-drinking swain for whom the spell was broken because of this demand confided, "Machcha, her own poems are so long and her favourite word is 'minions!'


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