Body and Engine by Liza Wieland

You don’t remember, but, actually, we’ve met before. A city council hearing, last year. You had to recuse yourself, as I recall—conflict of interest. Right. I’m glad to see you again. And sorry. I mean I’m sorry about the tow truck. I don’t really know what happened. The car just stopped. First the radio fell silent in the middle of “Heard It Through The Grapevine.” Then the door locks clicked up and down, maybe twenty times, as if the vehicle were possessed.

But luckily, this was just at the bottom of your driveway. So the driver—his card says Lucius Wright—he just happened to be going by, or so he said. I wonder if those guys go out scouting for business, trolling the neighborhoods, looking for trouble. Lucius Wright will tow it to Diversified Body and Engine, and I’ll find my way there later.

I was, yes. I was talking to him in sign language. After a minute or two I realized there was a problem with Lucius Wright. I was asking him where exactly Diversified is, and he said, “After lunch,” and then he said, “Let me get you one.” So I knew. It’s in my application, about the signing. You must not have read my application yet. I’ve heard of interviewers who do that, read the applications later, after the candidate’s gone, so they won’t know what’s coming, so they can wing it. Makes sense to me. Story of my life, winging it. Anyway, it’s in the essay. Second paragraph. My interest in sign language, what I do exactly, the occasional public meetings, like I said, political rallies—mostly, though, literary stuff, usually poetry. I’m that person at readings, downstage right, below the poet, no jewelry, no fancy fingernails, a woman you hardly notice unless you need her.

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