Two Men Questioning

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
If we're all created equal, why does it never show in the world?

Submitted: May 14, 2012

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Submitted: May 14, 2012

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The two of them walked into their mattress store. They didn’t own the store, but it was theirs in the way that it belonged to everyone around them. It was their town, with their restaurants and their mattress store; Separated from the other town with its other restaurants and the other mattress store. The taller of them was the first to speak, although neither of the two seemed in the mood to talk.

“You know”, the taller one said, “You know there ain’t much difference between mattresses”.

“Of course there’s a difference”, said the shorter one. The shorter one said, “There’s always gonna be a difference between them because not all mattresses are made the same”

“You can sleep on em all the same, can’t ya?”

“Sure enough, but there’s differences in quality”

“How you figure that?” The taller one retorted. “How you figure that a mattress be any better than any other? Who decided that one mattress is of better quality”.

“The materials”.

“Who decided on what materials make a better mattress? Stuffin is stuffin, springs is springs, a mattress is a mattress”.

The shorter one paused, contemplating the question.

“The mattress maker”, he finalized

“What?”

“I said the mattress maker”, he repeated. “Whoever made the mattresses would know the difference”.

“But why would the person who made the mattresses make some mattresses better than others? A good mattress maker ought to make every mattress as best he can”

“Well, why would that be? According to you”.

“Because a good mattress maker should love making mattresses, and he’d make every mattress as good as he damned could”.

The two fell silent as the gazed out at the stacks of mattresses piled on top of each other, sorted by various styles, prices, and visible disparities in quality. The two don’t speak for a good while. Finally, upon viewing the selection, the shorter one parted his lips and spoke.

“Maybe”, he said; and he said this with great difficulty as if he had found an answer that he wished to be false but he knew to be true. “Maybe”, he forced out with distaste as if the answer had been there all along, and had grown stale in his mouth. “Maybe”, he said, “Maybe there ain’t no such thing as a ‘good’ mattress maker”.

The taller one hung his head as the two left the mattress store for, after seeing what it had to offer, he had come to the same conclusion as the shorter one. There wasn’t any such thing as a good mattress maker.


© Copyright 2018 Aaron Fiegel. All rights reserved.

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