McWilliams: Take it or leave it


Take it or leave it. I had just completed some marvelous carnie feat that allowed me to present to this girl that I had known since first memory, one of the finest pieces of jewelry that we, me or her, had ever seen before.

For a few dollars more, along with the amazing amount of points I’d already collected, the necklace could be ours, or in this case hers. It was not all the money I had ever seen before in my life – but it was goddamn close.

We had been puttin’ up hay – loose hay – for a month or six weeks or forever or since the last rain, whichever happened last.

The circus was in town, or rather town was in the circus, because by the time they unloaded and set up, and plugged their drop cord in, they were bigger than town.

There were more lights and more people I did not know – and more emotions flowing through my body by being in her presence than I’d ever stood around and watched fly by before.

I’d just completed some marvelous carnie feat that would allow me to present to this girl – that I had known since first memory, one of the finest pieces of jewelry that we – me or her – had ever seen before.

Come to find out, this man was not challenging nor was he reassuring, he just said take it or leave it.

She got the necklace and I got the pleasure of seeing her get the necklace. She, the necklace and the carnival were all gone the next time I came to town.

I never saw the necklace again. I never saw the carnival again. But the girl is still one of my oldest and strongest first memories, and I’ve come to the conclusion over the years the very best offer I’ve ever heard is “Take it or leave it.” No gurantees nor apologizes.

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