I once set up a friend of mine with a man she came to refer to as the Slow Talker. The situation was classic set-up; my friend was lonely, my then-beloved had a single friend who was great, and I nursed the fantasy of having an instant couple friendship, no muss, no fuss, since we already liked both people. For once, my motives were relatively pure -- usually set-ups involve dumping one pain in the ass lonely friend on an unwitting victim to not hear the incessant whining about there being "nobody good" out there or setting up someone you are secretly in love with, but cannot have because you are already in a loveless, dead relationship that you feel you must continue for any number of reasons. Alas, no good or bad deed in playing Cupid goes unpunished, and my story is no different. My friend and the Slow Talker went out on three dates. My friend was a little high-strung, a little bit hospital corners, a little bit House of Usher. (You see why we are friends!) The Slow Talker was a kind, smart lawyer, a beloved only child without any real issues. The match was, as they say, a few rungs lower than heaven. His list of sins included wearing sweats on a date, renting terrible movies, taking her to a country place called The Dinner Bell where he'd dated most of the waitstaff, and well, talking slow. I'd never noticed it before she pointed it out, but a lot of his sentences took a long time, as if he were a record set a few seconds off its normal speed.
We all went out once for Chinese food, and that was the beginning and end of my couple friend fantasy life. The dinner was strained and awkward -- even my very asocial then-boyfriend was working his ass off to make conversation, a sign that things were sinking fast. I'd hoped for a last minute save from the fortune cookies, a divine sign that things were better than they seemed. Ha! No help from those evil things! I got one that said, You have found love, the same one my then-beloved got. I wished that I could magically transfer mine to my friend, but no such luck. My friend and the Slow Talker got fortunes that aren't really fortunes, you know, You are artistic and have many friends, etc. The Slow Talker read his slowly, as if he were translating from another language. She smiled at him, like he were a child, not one of her own, not a beloved one, just someone struggling to make sense of what was in front of him.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I'm standing here, knowing that I have a loaded gun in my mouth, but I love the taste of the metal, and I can't let it go." Robert Downey Jr. at his last court sentencing for drugs
Drinking music suggestion: Another Side of Bob Dylan Bob Dylan
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy birthday to my dearly departed dad, born a day before Elvis' birthday. The park I am pictured in was the site of many of his company picnics.