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[The auction for this Significant Object, with story by Toni Schlesinger, has ended. Original price: $1. Final price: $88.]

“I have something for you,” she says.
“For me?” he asks.
“For you!” she says. “Wait, waiter, I’ll have a pale gold drink.”
“For you?” asked the waiter.
“I’ll have one that’s blue.” He coughs. “I’m so excited.”
“Here it is.” She places the 4-tile on the table.
“Oh,” he cries. “But it’s not Valentine’s Day.”
“Why does that matter?”
“You know, the candy heart that reads 4 U but without the U. What is it?”
“You remember…”
“Of course! You had it made to remind me of the four times I strayed.”
“I wouldn’t do that.”
“Yes, you would!”
The waiter returns. “Here are your drinks, for heaven’s sake.”
“I know, that time we discussed having a foursome!”
“We never did. That sort of thing is so out of fashion.”
“God. It’s from Vegas. Some indicator of money lost or gained.”
“No, you’re being too formal in your thinking.”
“It’s the 4 from the height chart in the lineup of suspects where you had to stand when you were arrested for murdering that man in Tennessee?”
“You’re getting close. Don’t look so forlorn.”
“I’m foraging. Perhaps the waiter knows.”
The waiter looked at the ceiling. “It’s not for me to say.”
“I’ll give you a hint. A summer day, all the world was as blue as your drink. You flew through the air…”
“…and I dove into the cool water of the swimming pool and I thought of marimbas and orchids and forsythia and when I came up…”
“You said, ‘Be mine forever.’”
“No, I said, ‘Be mine — for now.’”


Toni Schlesinger is author of Five Flights Up, a collection of her Village Voice "Shelter" columns, the creator of "Kansas O’Flaherty: Secret Agent" with artist Tom Bachtell, and a fiction writer, journalist, playwright, and performance artist who lives in New York.

6 thoughts on “4-Tile

  1. You are brillant. I have another idea for us. Let’s talk after labor day? I will bid a little!

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  3. Oh I am left so confused, is it significant. It’s clearly a sign, but if it signals such slippery sentiment, what will I think when I see it.

    Ah I will remember to be confused and to admit it.

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