Creative Nonfiction: He and I (a pastiche)

By Jeff Alphin

He writes advertising copy and I write advertising copy.
He is fat and I am fat. His appearance is slovenly and unkempt. I look robust and full of gusto.
He is a long time college DJ who uses declarative language to inform you what music is worthwhile, a waste of time, innovative, or derivative. I listen to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass on vinyl.
He wears an ivy league school class ring. On days I need extra power I wear a Captain Marvel ring and whisper “Shazam” into it at the crucial moment.
He is a grammar nazi. I intentionally speak wrong in meetings to see if he’ll correct me.
He clicks and clacks at a computer during brainstorm meetings. I stare at the ceiling, use a pencil, and carry a pocket sharpener.
He has a deep “aha” laugh that booms through the office when he catches a mistake. If they are humorous, I write office gaffs down on scraps of paper to share later with Jane.
He calls people to his office by their last name. “Rossman!” I know very few people’s last name.
He will eavesdrop every conversation and then enter it to interrupt with his often unrelated commentary. He will then laugh at it. Then he will leave. That’s when I make a face.
He literally uses the word “literally” every ten sentences. It doesn’t literally drive me up the wall but if I had an anti-gravity VW Beetle I would literally try and crash through the ceiling.
He thinks persuasive copy begins with “There’s never been a better time to” and “Don’t miss your chance to.” I disagree.
He has called me a “prima donna” to my face. I have called him much worse behind his back.
His job security is safe. I could be let go any minute.

Jeff Alphin lives and writes with his wife, Jane, in Baltimore, MD. His work is included in The Best of Fiction on the Web, Lowestoft Chronicle, Silk + Smoke, and Tiny Spoon.