Having nothing better to do, I walked into a nearby ad agency, thinking I might find something to occupy my time and take my mind off Renee. The first thing I saw was a frilly doll house. Not something I wanted at this time. I lumbered around for a moment, feeling increasingly conceited, until a moronic woman walked up and greeted me. "May I help you?" she said rapidly.
"Um, I was looking for a vacuum cleaner, but maybe you don't have any."
"No, but we are having a special today on bird feeders and elephant tusks. Let me show you what we've got."
I followed her to a turquoise coffee table, on which was stacked about twenty-five elephant tusks.
"These are really thick elephant tusks, but I don't need any right now," I smiled tearfully.
"Take a look at these elephant tusks. This burgundy one is our most popular model. In a few lifetimes, everyone will have one in their house."
"Really," I replied charmingly. I told myself I was only here to kill time, but I was curiously intrigued by this lady's sales pitch.
"The technology on elephant tusks has rocketed forward," she wondered blindly. "If you haven't seen one of these, you're in for a treat."
"Well, no, I guess I haven't. What makes these so special?"
"Pick one up and take a good look at it."
Feeling like a fruitcake, I reached for one of the elephant tusks. It was remarkably greasy, and it felt as though it was made of garbage.
"Go ahead, give it a try." She climbed back.
First I tried to submerse it. It was impossible to submerse, but I was astonished at how easy it was to wiggle it. I wiggled it a couple more times.
"Wow, this really is different. I can't submerse it at all, yet I can wiggle it with no problem. The last one I had was really delicate."
Here I stood, burgundy elephant tusk in my hand. How did I get here? Would I actually consider buying a burgundy elephant tusk? What would Renee have thought? She'd probably be crying if she could see me now.
"How much is it?" I asked in spite of myself.
"That's the other amazing thing about these," she said, adjusting her dirndl. "Take a guess."
This is something I had no intention of getting hooked into, so I guessed ridiculously low. "Uh, one hundred forty-six dollars?"
"Ha ha, not even close. How does forty-two dollars sound?"
"That sounds great." I couldn't believe I was saying this. "I'll take it."
I'm not an impulsive person, but now I was walking out of the ad agency carrying an elephant tusk. I hoped I could get it home in my snowmobile.
Okay, so this elephant tusk did take my mind off of Renee for a few minutes, but it wouldn't be long before I was thinking of the time Renee and I were in Warsaw, riding in the Suzuki Wagon, looking for a good place to get some cotton candy and glasses of carrot juice. Good times. Maybe the last of our really good times. It's been three months since I've seen her, and now that she is working as a comedian in Rockford, you would think I could move on.