Okay sure yes excellent good. Your dad said this to me. As written, without pauses between the words. About 10 minutes ago. Before we had our last shot and called it a night. I wanted to remember. Such an exquisite build up of like terms.
We were discussing the possible discovery of a ninth planet. Were well into it—past the technological wizardry and well beyond astronomers making up for the Pluto blues. Who knows how far we might’ve gone had money not entered the fray. Whereupon I suggested that maybe our priorities are a little out of whack, what with all that’s going on down here on ground zero. Which is when your dad came out with his little gem.
‘Okay sure yes excellent good.’
And followed it up beautifully—without, I might add, slurring.
‘But we have to look, don’t we? Just to see? I mean, it’s about figuring out where we came from, right? Even if the answer is literally right under our noses we still don’t know with absolute certainty the how of it. And by that I mean how it was we happened to come along. We as in us. Human beings. Homo sapiens. That’s the big ticket item, isn’t it? The thing that matters most? Us and our infernal desire to know?’
That about settled it. I wasn’t about to voice objections. Instead I poured us the last of the bottle and raised my glass to him. He obliged. We clinked glasses and after shaking off the shot he brought our evening to a brilliant close.
‘Next time remind me to stick with beer.’
OK. Sure. Yes. Excellent. Good. It’s hard to write drunk. I’m going to pass out now. On the couch. Can’t barely move, let alone get up the stairs. Thought you should know why.
Oh, and you know what else? His girlfriend was your L.A. teacher. That’s the big secret. Or maybe it was Home Ec.
Hope you don’t mind but I invited myself in again. Getting antsy for your bones. Besides, I like it here. Could get to feeling right at home. Still, behooves me to be mindful that it’s your space and I shouldn’t take up too much more of it.
Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? (FYI, that’s a week’s worth of inquiring salutations.)
Thanks for the McCann. But what I really want to know is: Are you coming back? Anytime soon?
Your continued absence can’t be about your dad’s girlfriend, can it?
Maybe it’s that Liz is home and the two of you are busily concocting, conniving, conspiring? BTW, the McCann is a delight. Read the opening novella in one sitting. Could as well be titled ‘Other Ways of Telling’. Which, as you know, rings true to the ears of my being. Thanks again.
Perhaps you are scheming a suitable scenario in which to place the current male fads of slick combovers and thick-frame spectacles?
Is it that ‘creative writing’ student you met? Tickling unseen rafters with her lofty insights? Just because she’s decided that one can’t be considered a writer unless there are letters behind one’s name doesn’t mean that it’s so. How old was she again?
Are you after mastering The Slow Reveal? Or are you pondering the wisdom of my quip earlier? That the most stressed among us should be grateful they don’t have to take on the heavy burdens of remembering to breathe and blink?
Were it not that I see you every day I’d be getting worried. What’s the deal? You haven’t given up have you? I know the whole work thing’s up in the air and we’re in need of a new countertop in the kitchen and us heading down the coast is probably not in the cards and you’d rather be outside anyway, with the crocuses and snowdrops and witchhazels, but sheeee-it, I’m on my knees here.
I expect now that you are having a good chuckle at my expense. Fine.
09 February 2016 – No, I haven’t given up. At first I didn’t have anything to say. Then it became a game. Wondering where you’d put the n-book next. What ground you’d cover. How long you’d keep
it up (haha) at it. And yes, I did find your efforts amusing and colorful and comforting etc. Not to mention the change in perspective. Thank YOU very much. Don’t you worry, I’ll be back again soon—the repairman’s here and I have my nose in ’13 Ways of Looking’.