Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Ben, Before Breakfast
Ben wakes, checks his competition in the mirror, and sets out to beat it. The shower, hair gel, breakfast of champions, and hot iron for today's choice of business casual: light pink, heavy pressed--all unite to form Ben's five-star front. He finds the mirror again to prove himself. About this time, Ben's younger brother and only successful side-business (he pays rent) shuffles into the open bathroom door, blinks at Ben, and offers an approving nod to his own reflection in the mirror. Ben, presently flustered with his seeming inability to just once look better, faster than his reflection, turns to Joe and, after a quick glance at the tie-dye t-shirt he is sporting, says, "For example, I would never wear a shirt like that." This picks up, as if seamlessly, the conversation the two brothers began the first morning after Joe moved into the basement, and carried on in like manner every morning thereafter. Joe smiles, admiring Ben's contemptuous expression, and retorts, "And neither would your reflection, it appears, which explains why you're still standing there, unable to out-dress such fierce competition. Ben doesn't respond, but remains standing there, a look of almost fatherly pity for the rebellious son etched on his face. But Emily and the two toddlers have moved into position at the breakfast table and Ben leaves Joe to wink at his bearded complexion in the mirror.