Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 27

their marriage, the salesman relented, perhaps realizing there was no negotiating with this woman. In fact, he didn’t even take the time to pack up the vacuum. Defeated, he closed his carrying case and clumsily scooped up it and the vacuum, before heading toward the door.

Once he reached the porch, the salesman turned around, struggling to remove a business card from his dress shirt pocket, still juggling the vacuum cleaner and case still wrangling in his arms. He then attempted one final sales pitch.

‘If you decide you are ready to change your life,’ the salesman began, out of breath. ‘You can call Mr. Sucks. You will not regret it.’

‘Thank you,’ Jimmy said, taking the card.

‘Have a good day,’ the salesman said in a cheerful manner serving as a thin mask beneath a thick layer of sadness.

And with that, the salesman stepped out the door. It was now raining.

Together, Jimmy and Julia watched the hapless salesman clumsily attempt to load the vacuum and carrying case into the back of the van. He dropped the vacuum onto the wet, hard concrete and swore loudly, struggling to pick his failure off the ground. When he finally got the vacuum loaded in, he struggled to climb into his van, which appeared to take every last ounce of energy from him.

The salesman pulled out of the driveway, only to stall out in the street – not once, but twice. On the third attempt, he finally got the van to start up again, before sputtering away, propelled by an ear-shattering backfire.

Jimmy turned to Julia. ‘I guess things could always be worse.’

‘Yeah. That’s for sure,’ she agreed. ‘That’s for sure.’