Why's This Ear in My Mailbox?

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Story Sent in by Annie:

Backstory: I have a thing for geodes. I think they're beautiful and I collect them.

In college, I met Tony. He was studying management and we were introduced by a friend. He and I spent a lot of time talking over the phone, and after a couple of weeks of calls and emails, he asked me out.

It started out great. He picked me up at my apartment. He brought flowers and was all dressed up. He told me that while he was studying management, his true passion was painting.

I asked him if I could see any examples of his work, and he pulled out his phone, fiddled with it, and showed me a photo of... Van Gogh's irises. I'd know it anywhere.

"This is Van Gogh," I said.

If his head could've exploded at that moment, it would have. He gaped at me and said, "You know Van Gogh?"

"Everyone knows Van Gogh. Is this a reproduction you painted?"

He frowned, said, "Never mind, then," took his phone back, and put it in his pocket, without a word. Honestly, if I hadn't known of Van Gogh or his style, would Tony have just taken credit for irises?

It led to an awkward silence, which Tony broke by saying, "You like geodes. After dinner, I'm taking you to the best geode spot."

I wasn't aware that there was any geode spot around the university. My interest was instantly hooked. He told me about this cliff, just off a main road, that had a major deposit of quartz. If his plan was to make me forget about the Van Gogh incident, then it worked.

We drove separately, I following him, to the bottom of a roadside cliff. When I say it was roadside, it literally rose from the ground mere feet from the well-lit highway, within eyeshot of a toll booth.

When I investigated the area with him, though, I found no quartz or geodes. It was all shale. Maybe we had the wrong place?

"No!" Tony said loudly, obviously agitated, "There were geodes here! By the truckload!"

I asked him, "When were you here last? When did you see them?"

"Freshman year," he said. Tony and I were both seniors. It made sense that, in the ensuing years, they'd not be there anymore for any number of reasons.

Tony became more frantic, picking up huge slabs of shale, looking under them, kicking at the ground, and in general going all wild-animal on me.

"It's all right," I began, trying to calm him down.

"No, it's not! You're going to think I lied about it!"

I said, "There could be any reason why the geodes are gone. I understand. It's not like you're trying to take credit for Van Gogh's irises or something—"

Tony roared, and for a moment, I thought he was going to leap at me. Instead, he bolted for his car and jetted at the toll booth like he wasn't intending to stop for it.

He didn't. He blasted right through. There's a nasty ticket, right there.

I didn't know what had taken hold of him, but conscious of the fact that I was a woman alone on a roadside, I hurried back into my car, turned around, and drove back toward the university.

I never heard from Tony again, and what's more, my friend didn't bring him up. It was like he had simply eroded out of existence.


  1. " It was like he had simply eroded out of existence."

    I see what you did there, lady.

  2. I think that the guy who showed you the van gogh thing was hoping for that you would think he was a great painter and he was going to get some action but when he realized you knew he tried to do something else.

    1. Thank God you were here to explain that.

    2. I'm not so sure about that Blue - just what kind of evidence do you have to support this theory?

  3. to nomatophobia, if you read the story she has a line where she says that his head might have exploded at that moment that my theory that he thought that but I could be wrong. And to G, hahahahhaahahaha that funny thanks for making my day!


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