2007-10-27: Dear Buddha


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Annabelle and Beck meet in the Secret Lair and have a roving conversation about superhero shirts and Japanese Anime.

October 27th, 2007:

Dear Buddha

The Secret Lair

Toward the back of the shop, a bright head of red hair is bobbing as Annabelle rifles through the different shirts on hangers. What she's bobbing to is the music blaring through the earphones pulled down so that they rest around her neck. That doesn't seem to matter to her, though, because the volume is turned up loud enough so that she can still listen. It's some sort of obscure rock that the girl is banking on that nobody has heard of before. Holding up a shirt that has a large buddha on it and reads, "Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket" she moves to try and hold it against her in the mirror.

Not far away is Beck, running his fingers through his hair and yawning slightly as he plucks a copy of Final Fantasy VII off the 'classics' shelf and turns it over in one hand to read the blurb on the back before depositing it right where he found it. He takes a few more steps down the wall to take another from its place, turning it over to read about it before putting it back and moving right along.

Though her music is turned up pretty high, Annabelle catches the movement that Beck makes out of the corner of her eye. Some young girls are shy or have qualms about talking to strangers. Anna is certainly not one of those. "Hey. Hey, Finaly Fantasy Guy, can I ask you a question?" Without really waiting for an answer she holds up the shirt in her hands. "Could you honestly respect a girl that wore a shirt asking for a pony?" By the look on her face, she's actually being serious here. Or, at least as serious as the girl ever gets.

"Uh … " Beck answers, suddenly snapped out of his yawning reverie to look towards the girl that is suddenly talking to him, "I … guess so. I mean, if you want a pony, you want a pony, right?"

His voice has an accent to it but it is so faint that it could barely be picked up unless someone was paying particular attention. He gestures to the shirt in question, "Maybe if it was a Pony of Enlightenment?"

"No, see, that's the point. The shirt is meant to be ironic." Annabelle frowns and turns it another way so that the writing is facing her again. "I don't want people to think I want an actual pony and a plastic rocket. Maybe it's the whole asking for Buddha thing. That may be too intense for some people." Carefully, she hangs the shirt up again and comes up with something covered in Japanese writing. "A pony of Enlightenment? I'm not exactly sure what that is?" Not exactly the most observant person, she doesn't even pick up on the fact that Beck has an accent. His voice just sounds a little off to her for some reason. "What's your take on foreign languages on clothing when most of the population can't read it? Poser? Or Indie?" Whether or not Beck wanted to have a conversation with an inquisitive 16 year old girl or not, he's certainly in one now.

"Depends on what it says," Beck answers, looking at the shirt curiously, "Although I suppose if the Japanese can get away with it, why can't you? You should get one that says 'Reggae Hairstyle Rock and Roll' in Japanese."

He shrugs his shoulders and retrieves a shirt from the rack himself - one with a big Green Lantern emblem on the front, "Hey, cool."

Thinking that over, Annabelle flips the shirt one way and then another to check it out from all angles. "I'm not sure if I could pull it off. I don't really speak any Japanese and as far as I know this shirt tells Japanese people that I eat dogs. And I don't. I love dogs and could never eat them. Unless they're hot dogs, in which case they're free game. Because those aren't really dogs. I don't know what's in hot dogs, but I'm pretty sure it's not actual dogs or the ASPCA would be picketing Yankee Stadium or something." She takes a quick breath so that she can continue her ramble. That is, until she sees what the man picks up. Giving him a skeptical look, she just shakes her head as the music on her headphones switches to another, slower song. "Do you really want a shirt that says your weakness is the color yellow? I mean, come on, that's the lamest weakness I've ever heard of. Oh no! I've been done in by lemon scented bleach!"

"Kyle Rayner didn't have a weakness except that he was kind of sucky," Beck says almost defensively, "And lemon-scented bleach is clear."

He puts the shirt back, though, and retrieves one with the Superman emblem, "Oh no, green rocks!" He puts it back and retrieves a Batman one, "Oh no, bullets!"

He hangs that one back up and lifts his shoulders in a shrug.

"The shirt could say 'I eat hot dogs' which would be true."

"But the bottle isn't!" Annabelle replies, though she's not quite so defensive as playful. "…I don't think?" Pause. "Fine, just lemons then." It's fun to talk to a grown man about comics. It's why she comes here, to have fun and to have interesting conversations. As he goes down the line and explains the weaknesses, the girl puts a hand on her hip and grins. "Fine fine, all superheroes have a pretty lame problem they have to overcome." But she grabs the Superman shirt and hands off the Japanese shirt as a trade. "If that shirt said 'I eat hot dogs' I would get it so fast." However, they don't know, so she won't. "Batman's actually my favorite, but Superman's logo is so much cooler."

"I have to agree," Beck says with a nod of his head as he looks at the Superman shirt, holding up the Japanese shirt to look at before he spots something on the rack and his face practically lights up, "No way!"

And he reaches in to get it out, holding up a bowling shirt with Mazinger Z patches and emblems sewn onto it in places. He holds it up against himself and silently asks how it looks.

Quickly stepping to the side so as to not be bowled over by the Man on a Mission, Annabelle clings to her Superman shirt and just stares at the bowling shirt that he holds up. "What…is it?" It's not disapproving or approving in any way. Merely confusion as to what in the world kind of team would have all that stuff on their bowling shirt. She's clearly not up on her Japanese Anime.

"Mazinger Z," Beck says, as though unable to believe anybody couldn't know what that is, "Oh, you're missing out. Come on."

Shirt clutched to him like some sort of solid gold prize, he moves towards the DVD shelves and begins to trace a finger along the spines of all of them as he looks … for … there!

"You have to watch this." He hands the DVD containing several episodes of Mazinger Z off to her.

"Okay." That doesn't really answer her question, repeating the answer like that. Annabelle takes a few long-strided steps as she follows the other man toward the other shelf until he picks up the DVD. Gingerly, she shifts her shirt so that it is held over her arm and then she takes the box set. "It looks like the Transformers or something." There's a robot on the front cover, what else is she supposed to think? "Do they turn into cars and planes and stuff? If so, you should totally get the shirt. That's awesome."

"They do all sorts of stuff," says Beck, like someone who has perhaps watched all these episodes more recently than the Seventies, "They can fire their fists like like a rocket launcher … make hurricanes … melt things."

He looks at the shirt proudly and nods his head, "I am so getting it."

Rocket launcher fists? Make hurricanes? Those Japanese sure are creative people. "Huh." Annabelle flips it over to another side and then her eyes widen at the price. "Fifty bucks?!" She moves to put it back on the shelf. "Maybe I'll get Mae's parents to buy it for me accidentally," she mutters. They have enough money to spare. An eye is given to the shirt. "It's certainly an interesting shirt." Not Superman, but definitely individual.

Beck looks a little disappointed when his newfound conversation partner cannot buy the DVDs but he nods at her explanation and stops holding on to his bowling shirt quite so protectively.

Suddenly, he remembers something and extends a hand out towards her, "I'm Beck."

"Oh! Right! Manners." Annabelle stretches out a hand toward Beck and beams. "Annabelle. Nice to meet you Beck." Glancing over at the DVDs she just put away, she gives a shrug. "I may have to just find them on the less acceptable channels of the wonder that is the internet." She gives a sheepish smile and tugs at the end of her hair as if she's already doing something wrong but, of course, she isn't yet. "Do you come here a lot?" Then, as if not expecting him to answer right away, she grins. "Hey, you know, Beck was one of my favorite musicians back in middle school. He got back into that really great technical turn-table craziness that he's suppose to do. So. You've got a really cool name. If only because it's like that other musician. You don't know him, do you? Because if you did, that would be the best random meet up I've had since that last guy I met on the street did a break dance for me in Union Square and didn't even ask for any change."

"I don't know him, I'm afraid," Beck answers, shrugging his shoulders, "Just a strange coincidence, I'm afraid. But I'm glad I have the … same name as the musician you used to … listen to in … middle school?"

That could be a compliment, right?

"I try to … when I'm not working."

"Oh." Annabelle is a little disappointed that this Beck doesn't know the other Beck, but it's something that she shrugs off and manages to get excited about anything else. "Well, he's still cool. And it's cool that you have the same name." Yes, a compliment! At least coming from her. "Where do you work?" She genuinely seems interested in what he does for a living as opposed to just asking out of politenes sake.

"Heh," Beck laughs, a little nervously, when the question is asked, "Its a pretty boring job, actually. I drive a newspaper delivery truck at about four o'clock in the morning."

This would probably be about the time to notice he definitely does look a little tired but not too bleary.

While Beck ma seem nervous and tired, Annabelle, once again doesn't notice that. Instead her eyes widen. "Wow, that's so cool. You must be up when almost everyone is asleep! That's amazing. I wish my folks would let me do something like that. They're always too worried that I'm going to get myself killed or mugged if I stay out past seven." There's a sigh. "I bet you see some really great stuff!"

"I see drunk people a lot," Beck admits with a nod of his head, "Not too many people are out wandering the streets at four. The ones that are usually are making their way home."

Not to be dissuaded from her idea of magical things happening at around four in the morning, mostly when she's supposed to be in bed, Annabelle has a dreamy look in her eyes. "Drunk people." That's something, right? "They're cool drunk people, though, right?"

"Uh, some of the coolest I've seen."

Beck isn't about to ruin the young lady's dream of cool drunk people roaming the streets at four in the morning doing … cool things.

Annabelle gives a sage nod. Of course they're cool drunk people. They're out at four in the morning. What else could they be? "Excellent." While she gives a look at her Superman t-shirt she makes her way back to the rack so she can hang it up again. "It was great to meet you, not-musician Beck. I need to get to a study group meeting, though. I hope to see you 'round here again!" She gives a cheerful wave and slips her headphones back on her ears, not bothering to turn down the volume. As she makes her way out, she pauses and slips one part off her ear. "You don't play an instruments, do you? Because then you could be musician not-Beck, which would be just a great nickname."

"I'll learn to," Beck calls back, video game and bowling shirt in hand as he waves to the departing Annabelle, "See you later."

"Great!" This cheers up Annabelle even more and she starts whistling to the music she's listening to. "See you, Almost-Musician Not-Beck!" It's a bit of a moutful, but it's certianly a fun nickname. And with that, the girl pushes through the door and off to her studies.

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