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"Giant Golden Buddha"

Exercise #32 - "Giant Golden Buddha"

In San Francisco there was a townhouse with a second story picture window - the living room, apparently - completely filled by a giant golden Buddha. This seated Buddha, which must have been at least six feet high, faced out, serenely overlooking the marina. The exercise is this: Robert has been invited for cocktails. He enters this living room from the hallway. From Robert's point of view, this large statue blocks what must be a magnificent view. What does he think about that? Write the scene and include some dialogue with the host and Robert's unspoken thoughts.

5 minutes begin ........... now.

As Robert walked up to the house, he couldn't help but notice the gigantic Buddha staring down at him from the picture window above him on the second floor. He took a step back. Did I really just see that? Apparently, he had, because a second look proved that the Buddha was there, glistening in the bright summer moonlight. Holy crap.

It had been over a year since he had seen the Denton's, and when he last spoke with them they had been die-hard, evangelizing Christians. What had happened?

Robert knocked hesitantly on the door. Maybe they forgot and are out to see a movie. He had never disliked the Denton's, but he had never been close with them, either. They were what you would call friends of a friend, acquaintances. Imagine his surprise when he received a formal invitation for a cocktail party on the date of July 21st. Unable to say no, he accepted the offer in a formal letter of response and expressed his excitement at seeing them again after such a long time. Lies.

The Denton's were home, to Robert's chagrin. Joe Denton opened the door, smiling broadly, his teeth whiter than Robert had previously thought possible. They practically blinded him in the moonlight.

"Robert!" he said, his toothy grin glowing from behind his lips. "So good to see you! Come on in!"

"Hey, Joe," he said. "How goes it?"

"Quite wonderfully, thank you." Joe took his coat and hung it in the closet next to the door. The foyer was compact and a little claustrophobic, with a set of stairs leading upward. "Come on upstairs. Everyone's in the living room."

Following Joe's example, Robert made his way up the precariously steep steps, clinging to the railing. He felt like he was mountain climbing.

As the two of them neared the summit, Joe called out to his wife.

"Annie!" he yelled. "Guess who's here?"

From the living room, Robert heard Annie squeal.

"Oh, Joe!" she said. "Is it Robert?"

Joe had already made his way into the living room by the time Robert had reached the top of the stairs, panting. I need to get in shape. Before he could recover, Annie threw herself at him in one of the most invasive hugs he had ever witnessed, much less been a part of.

"A-Annie," he choked out. "How are ya?"

"Oh, Robert! You look marvelous!" Annie stepped away from him, her hands on either side of his shoulders, surveying him. Her blue eyes glittered excitedly in the lamplight as she smiled. Suddenly, she frowned.

"Would you look at me!" she said. "Fawning all over you when I have other guests to introduce you to!"

Grabbing Robert's arm, Annie pulled him towards the small group of people sitting on their oversized, leather couches. He would have looked at him, but his gaze was attracted to the large, gold Buddha statue directly behind them. The statue was facing the street outside, so all he could see was a massive, gilded back.

"Everyone," Annie said, "this is Robert."

5 minutes up.

I liked this one. Sadly, though, I didn't get to find out why they had a huge, golden Buddha in their living room, but... it's whatever. I'll leave that up to you to figure out.

What do you think? Why did these once Bible thumpers change their religion to Buddhism? Or did they change their religion at all? Maybe they just like the statue. Maybe someone gave it to them, and they feel bad for not displaying it in their home despite their obvious problems with the iconic figure.

Not only that, but why are they so excited to see this man that they hardly know? I have absolutely no idea.

What do you think?



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