I know a man I've never met. I know what he likes, where he's working, how his daughter is enjoying her vacation, and a lot of other mundane facts that I won't relate. I'll call him Tom because that's his name, at least that's what an entire table of his friends called him. They set up a cell phone in the middle of the table and put their good buddy Tom on speaker mode so that they could all yell at the device and Tom could talk to them, as if on cb, sounding as if he were Candy Cane on that godforsaken movie Joyride. Although my time in the sushi restaurant was far worse than being chased by a psychotic trucker. The people at the table were what we used to call yuppies, and they obviously didn't like each other all that much given that they kept Tom on the line for thirty minutes. How do I know? I timed them, dear readers, with my own cell phone, mercifully silent. I wanted to go over and tell them that the staff looked as if they wanted to take their knives to their throats, and I would not tattle on them if they did, would in fact help hide the bodies. But I'm no diplomat so I merely took notes about their conversation (hideously dull, I'm sorry to say) and enjoyed my Marlon Brando sushi rolls, possibly the best sushi in my mind, not having experienced a lot of sushi, but enough to know that Marlon would approve that his namesake roll was so good.
So I'm trying to be kind, trying to think happy thoughts about the group. Perhaps Tom was on his deathbed and couldn't be there except as they say in spirit and on that fricking cb-like speaker. And I contemplate the power of an absence. Sometimes an off-stage presence holds more allure than someone who is there. And I hadn't thought about a cb radio in some time. I used to love playing with them in the seventies, making up a handle, and rattling on about nonsense. My friends and I would talk to each other on them, forcing ourselves to hide and then speak through machines. Go away so I can talk to you, we'd say to each other. We never had anything earth-shattering to relate through the devices, but what fun we had, talking to someone we knew but couldn't see anymore.
Michelle's Spell of the Day"If we are not our brother's keeper, at least let us not be his executioner." Marlon Brando
Cocktail HourDrinking poetry suggestion: In Watermelon Sugar Richard Brautigan
Benedictions and Maledictions