How My Sister Helped Our Father Lose His Reelection
- August 25, 2022
- Posted by: iUrban Teen Online
- Category: Uncategorized
People eventually got to know Tarka as April brought May. Ze turned out to be an accomplished artist, and set up a table in the park where people could come and look at zir work, and maybe even take a piece home if ze allowed it. Ze never sold anything, and ze never made the same thing twice, not even photos (of the -graph or -copy types) of zir work were allowed. Ze was particularly taken with beads, and was often seen sitting at zir table or on a park bench (or both—sometimes ze moved the table in front of the bench. I say “the” bench because it was always the same bench. Tarka’s bench), laser-focused on the beads ze was stringing, trying not to drop them.
Alice Newman swears that Tarka Levin was the first guest at the Starton Public Library. Because, you see, Tarka didn’t have a place in town to live, as zir only possessions seemed to be zir clothes, zir cane, and a cloth shoulder bag in which ze carried food, water, and art supplies. There was only one motel in Starton, and a run-down one at that, but run-down or not, motels cost money, something Tarka possessed little to none of. And when you have no place to live in Starton, you go to the library. Alice and her wife, Paige Frontier, live in back of the library and run a sort of shelter and meal service out of it. It was there that Tarka sought lodging, in the library-shelter that was just getting started at the time. Of course Alice would swear ze was the first guest, because what a thing to brag about, huh? But Alice Newman has never been a braggart, so I for one believe her. First or not, Tarka settled in, sitting in the park at zir art table by day, sleeping at the library by night.
This is where my sister comes in. In October of the year of Tarka’s arrival, my sister joined a local rock band, the Ever-Lovin’ Lizards, singing and playing guitar. The only problem was my sister couldn’t sing. Well, she could sing. But she didn’t like to, and therefore hadn’t had much practice at it, and when you add in the fact that she had to play guitar at the same time, you can see the problem.
Paige Frontier, a fan of the Ever-Lovin’ Lizards, volunteered to become the lead vocalist when she became aware of this problem, so my sister and her soon became fast friends. My sister, being a moral human being from a relatively wealthy family, volunteered to help out at the library as soon as she heard about what Alice and Paige were doing. She began work at the end of October, on a day that happened to be the day before Tarka’s birthday. When Paige mentioned this to my sister, she was intrigued. She knew who Tarka was, of course; everyone did. And she knew that Tarka lived at the library, but she did not know that Tarka was such a close friend to Paige and Alice. Nobody was friends with Tarka, though ze was friendly to everyone. So, when my sister learned that Tarka worked at the shelter, she was excited at the thought of getting to know the mysterious enby who’d given her the blue beaded bracelet she so treasured.
My sister got into a conversation with Tarka when the two of them were moving stacks of books off of a bookshelf so that it could be moved across the room to make space for some more cots in the space already designated for sleeping. My sister, between armfuls of books, held up the bracelet and thanked Tarka again for it, by way of conversation starter. Tarka smiled. “I remember making that! Damned beads sliding every which way and falling on the ground. But it turned out beautiful, as you can see. Oh! You’ve cracked it!” And ze hefted another armful of library books, while my sister examined the bracelet. Sure enough, the oval, flat, blue glass gem that dangled from the bracelet was cracked, and my sister didn’t know how. Ignoring it, though, she as well picked up some more books.
Tarka spoke. “You know, Cymbaline, working here has really opened my eyes to the plight of the poor.” My sister, she told me, wondered why it took working at a homeless shelter to open the eyes of someone who wandered into town with no money, little food, and no house, but she didn’t ask, and Tarka continued. “Especially here, y’know, everyone knows each other, everyone seems happy—but currently there’s eleven people living here not including me, and I’m sure there’d be more if we could just spread the f***ing word, you get it, like everyone knows each other but no one knows the problems. No one knows the people the inequalities affect…or they don’t know them enough to care, at least. F***ing living in a bubble, they all are. We all are. And that’s why…” Ze trailed off.
“Why what, Mx. Levin?” asked my sister.
“Please. Tarka. Well, that’s why…..I haven’t told anyone this yet, but I think I’m going to run for mayor.”
My sister gasped.
“Why all the shock? Surely in such a small town you haven’t gotta be rich to be mayor. Heck, even if you do I could do it—with your help. Word is Cymbaline Ashwood knows everything and everyone. You could be quite an ally in my campaign. What do you say?
My sister stared at zem. “Tarka…I would but…my dad’s the mayor.”
“Oh, shoot,” said Tarka. “I guess he wouldn’t like that.”
“No. He wouldn’t. Not at all.”
“But do you agree with his politics?”
“I barely know what his politics ARE! He ran on platitudes and happiness. That, and the fact that everyone hated the last mayor. He doubts anyone will stand in his way as he begins his campaign for reelection. Spoiler alert, Starton isn’t very big on Republicans, and he’s a Democrat. To beat him you’d have to run as an independent, I think the deadline to enter the primary has passed.”
“See, Cymbaline, this is why I need you, you know stuff like this. But I get it. You’re in a tight spot with your dad as mayor, especially since you don’t seem like you like his mayoring job. It’s okay, I can find some other people. Paige and Alice probably want to help.”
“Not a write-in campaign, those never work.”
“Right. I was thinking of taking the independent route, like you said. Official.”
“Well, I wish you luck,” said my sister, and the two of them continued to move books.