Opinion

Internet’s bad metaphors can tell a story, too | Latte Guy | June 10

The following story is composed almost entirely of bad metaphors collected from a list circulating on the Internet.

It was a Tuesday in May, around sunset, when the horizon tries to swallow the setting sun like a dog sucking on an egg, but not quite.

It was raining hard, hailstones leaping from the pavement like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

Thunder rumbled ominously in the distance, sounding just like the sound of thin sheets of metal being shaken backstage during a storm scene in a play.

I was working the day shift at the Harbour House. The place was empty until she stepped in out of the storm. She walked toward me like a centipede with 98 legs missing and ordered a cold beer in a warm glass. I set the beer in front of her and she gulped it down like a piranha on a corn dog.

I couldn’t stop staring at her.

She was tall, as tall as a six-foot tall tree. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center, and they shown like two marbles that someone had dropped in mucus and then held up to catch the light, like limpid pools someone had forgotten to put pH cleanser in.

Her blonde locks glistened with rain like nose hairs after a sneeze. Her lips were full and red, like tubes of blood drawn by an inattentive phlebotomist. When she spoke I thought I heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

She had a deep throaty laugh that sounded like a dog about to throw up. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever, but I could tell she had an artistic sense that was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell real butter from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

I was sure we had never met. We were like two hummingbirds that had also never met. She was growing on me like a colony of E. coli bacteria on room temperature Canadian beef.

Every minute in her presence felt like 60 seconds. Thoughts tumbled around in my head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

Looking at her was as easy as doing the TV Guide crossword puzzle. My heart was falling for her like it was a mob informant and she was the East River. Her empty beer glass sat on the bar like an inanimate object.

I whispered in her ear, suggesting we get to know each other better, and she started panting, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on Nickel Beer Night. My plan was simple, like my cousin Reuben, but, unlike Reuben, this plan might just work.

We were about to sneak off to my apartment when a strange man walked into the bar. He was as bald as one of The Three Stooges, either Curly or Moe, whichever one goes Woo Woo Woo! He walked with a limp.

In fact, he was as lame as a duck. Not a metaphorical lame duck, but a real lame duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.

He had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

When he ordered a drink, he spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at solar eclipses without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

Their eyes locked on each other from across the room, and they raced toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 and traveling west at 65 miles per hour and the other having left Topeka at 4:19 and traveling 35 miles per hour.

They embraced, then ran out the bar into a boat that drifted across Eagle Harbor exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

She shouted farewell, and her parting words lingered heavily inside me like last night’s Taco Bell. Then she was gone, like dust bunnies before a leaf blower.

I had lost her forever, and it hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to a wall. My heart fell 10 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag of vegetable soup.

Oh well, easy come, easy go. I finished my shift and went home. Here’s looking at you, kid.

Tom Tyner is an attorney for the Trust for Public Land. He is author of “Skeletons From Our Closet,” a collection of writings on the island’s latte scene.

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