How Monty and Gomery Look

Fair Finley's description of her neighbors Monty and Gomery Overbove, direct from WILFAIR.


           The Overboves looked out the window and spoke low, making a point not to include me. I stepped over to pretend-look at a stack of bumper stickers on the front desk, but turned to admire the cousins because my up-close, slack-jawed-staring chances were so few.
Gomery’s nose was a classic integral, long and swooped at the end, and his chin an acute angle, though not sharp. His cheeks were two narrow rectangular planes with a wave at each cheekbone. A freckle just above and below the middle of his mouth gave the appearance of a division sign. A handsome equal sign made up his lips, thick lines, not thin. The loose curls that bunched at his back collar whenever he leaned on the front desk were a tangle of sixes and eights.
            And his rather elegant face? Total polygon. A polygon that sometimes appeared in my dreams, or in waking places I wouldn’t expect, like my oval soap dish.
            Monty’s appearance was pure movie theater. He was built like a vintage popcorn box, tapered at the hips and wide at the shoulders, though not white-and-red-striped with “Popcorn” large across his chest. Still, he was often salty, prone to buttering-up, and hot. His profile had a delicate gorgeousness, like he was shot in soft focus and projected on some screen. He stood as straight as a theater lobby standee made of heavy-duty cardboard, unlike his cousin, who sometimes bent over the motel’s front desk in the shape of an "is lesser than" symbol.
            Or an “is greater than” symbol, depending on the angle.
            Monty’s open stance forever blinked on-off-on-off-on, like the clear bulbs over a multiplex marquee. Gomery sometimes seemed to move through a cloud of chalkboard dust, as though he was thinking about symbols, and what they symbolized.
            They both had brown hair and both were tall, and there was no comparison to make to a movie theater or physics lab in their particular hair color or height categories. Rather, their tallness and hair color were similar to a lot of young men who were beginning their twenties in the typical way young men have begun their twenties for the last several millennia.
            So. Very well, in other words.
            I had checked in on the Montgomery Overboves #1 and #2 from my bedroom window for the last nineteen years, so I liked to think of myself as something of a local expert on these matters.
            “Expert” sounds extreme, but we had to be some of the only people to have grown up at our respective workplaces. I’d had a lot of time to “somehow” the cousins half ridickity, in my own mind.
            Somehow, we’ll be friends. Somehow, they’ll get to know me. Somehow.
            And I thought if I ever got to know the cousins better, beyond talking about hotel and motel business, I might begin to associate how they look with who they really are, rather than the two subjects I knew they were studying.
            I couldn’t wait for that day, if that day ever came, though I’d probably always look at the freckles just above and below the center of Gomery’s mouth in a particular way. And my soap dish would forever be face-shaped.



bess said...

I think these occupation-specific description are one of my favorite parts of Wilfair. They're not like anything I'd ever come across before and part of what clued mader feel like I was reading something special. I'd love to see an illustration of this passage.

Also, that bit about seeing his face in places like a soap dish? So true. There are still objects and things and especially smells that I will associate with people (actors, lawyers, bartenders) forever.

Wilfair Book said...

Bess, that means a lot. I'd love to see it illustrated too, actually. I have a pal who is a comic book artist. He's drawing Fair but maybe he can do this section as well.

Erika said...

Please tell me you are going to post the pictures? That would be awesome.

I have been finding myself seeing older cars lately and thinking: could I see Fair driving that?

It provides a lot of amusement. What car do you see Fair driving?

Wilfair Book said...

You ladies are amazing. Pretty much every comment you leave makes me want to write a whole new post!

Erika, I'm going to post about your question in the next day or so. Thank you!

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