Make it funky.

“I’m okay, today. Just okay,” she tells her, continuing on, “I so want to be a normie.”

“Between you and me, I think normies are a bit of a boring, drag,” she replies to her.

~

And, I think I see a splinter in your eye; but, I fear I am mistaking it for the log impaling mine.

So, she takes a walk.

It is mistimed; because, the sun is so bright she must cast down her eyes instead of holding her head high.

In her cans, she hears someone play chord C on a piano, repetitively.

Middle C.

And, while she cannot count the time, she times the steps of her feet.

Four between each.

The iterations end.

A voice asks her “What shall we play next?”

“Doesn’t matter much to me. Just

make it funky.”

Show myself

My shoulders don’t just fold;

they collapse.

My upper lip moves, caught on a hook

being tugged by an unseen angler.

My lungs forget how to work.

My brain refuses to accept the notion that people want to show kindness to strangers.

They.

My fingers sign as though suffering a rheumatoid attack.

Snout buried.

And, in this moment,

I wish to become invisible.

But,

I show myself anyways.

Silenc3 Refomul8ted

The govenor of the state of New York was recently asked to relay declarative sentences regarding the data analysis his scientific experts yielded unto him.

He laughs.

“You think I don’t give you a straight answer, you should talk to these statisticians. They never give you a direct statement.”

I laugh.

I message the statistician I know all too well.

Telling him the statements.

He responds, “There is a possibility he’s right.”

~

Today, I reread myself from twelve days ago.

She stands and windmills her arms in circles sixty times.

She bends her neck and it cracks.

“There it is,” she says, thinking, ‘Fuck. Taco Bell would be good.’

I guess I was exercising/exorcising.

<giggle, blush>

~

Today, I reach out to aforementioned statistician, writing,

~I have a shuffled deck of seventy eight cards, I draw one at random. I replace it into the deck and reshuffle. I draw a card at random. What is the likelihood that I draw the same card?

⊙One in seventy-eight. The probability is completely dependent on the second card matching the first.

~What is the likelihood that I drew a different card each time?

⊙P(no match) = 1 – P(match). 77/78.

So, she scribbled out the math in crude ways. Slowly, by hand. As she had as a child.

<never turning in a math test before the buzzer sounded>

Well, fuck the ten of swords, she giggles.

~

I reread myself from April 26

Some facts are hard; some truths are soft.

Make your own Kierkegaardian leap. I didn’t bring a parachute for me, let alone you. But, would it be okay if I fell next to you?

Phædo

Swan Song

Pædrus

And, No-One wilt sculpt you a wrinkled, time weathered, mountain from a molehill better than Æ.

And the reason, P.

~

Yesterday I asked my sister for her good Word and wrote the following:

The –thorpe was octo-. Eight little houses in the hamlet.

A cluster.

A community built from playing with a bit of hash- -tag

you’re it.

The difference between mitigation and litigation.

~

Right, exactly, now, the sun insists through snapped shut blinds.

Where the chord connects on the à gauche, median, and dexter sides through little loops knotted about each slat

~

I see my handwriting spell it out for me:

The heyoka becomes a narcissist’s tulpa.

while this shepherd slept.

All night, I sawed the log. Twelve hours of non-lucid dreams.

I open my front door and a little, mangey, wiry grey Australian shepherd pretty much falls inside my flat. S/he had been curled up as close to my door as possible, sheltering from some storm. Waking up when the door opens, the dog crawls inside, jumps up on my futon, shows me its belly, and gives me those eyes: Please. I’m not going back out there.

Then, I woke up.

I guess it’s the pup’s turn to soujurn in my dreamland heaven, the Landgrave I build and to which I retire.

Must be my turn to tend the fields.

I wonder how long the poor fellow covered the herd while this shepherd slept.

if you fold shoulders

Pulling in deep to hear him say, half asleep, “I can do it.”

Can you do it on command; can you do it without hands?

I mumble, “give me a modicum of good sleep.”

Head nuzzling under his chin.

“Let’s doze. The world wants me awake; but, I’m not ready to face it.”

A hand moves to rest on an ass.

I hear a man’s bicycle’s spokes whir by my open window and he hums beautifully as he rides.

I slip from the bed’s cocoon, to part and peak through my blinds’ slats; but, he’s already breezed by.

The neighbors putter in the shared garden, a new bird feeder being installed.

I get dressed to do an investigative prowl around my block before coffee.

As I walk, I understand that I am created by intersections of energetic threads being woven together by a macro loom.

And, I remember: if you fold shoulders and make yourself small, mija, that is how people will treat you.

Avoid.

And, a voice in a void is worthless without resonance. Show me your panacea, boy.

Echoes of Sette in cassettes.

Pure white noise is the sound of a resonant channel chattering in the background. Before we had silicon and screens, they used the rubbing of crickets’ legs, the guttural thrust of a frog’s croak. Working like a little whirling dervish screw driving its way into foreheads.

And, I return. And, the caffeine calls. And, my pour over waits for the water to boil.

Subterranean seattle alien nonsense blues

Looking like an ever-loving swine in sunglasses. Peacocking. Tail feathers all a’fan. Such a pretty fellow, just ask him.

I over hear a man dropping something in the parking lot. Cursing loudly.

Ten minutes later, he yells out at a neighbor’s squawking parrot, “shut up, you fucking freak.” Pandemic conditions do not become him.

~

“I’m just saying,” she not only, but also, says, “I’ve watched a criminal amount of cute animal videos this week. Like, if I was on the stand and used it as an alibi, it would go like this:

“Like, see your honor, my tablet history clearly shows I was four hours into binging six hours of watching cute cat videos when this crime was perpetrated.”

“Let the record reflect the witness is not guilty of this crime, but will be charged with something because of the egregious waste of time and countless brain cells. While I cannot formally find her in contempt, let the record show, this court sure holds her in contempt.”

“Like, I would not get a new job if these records of time spent watching were included in background checks.”

~

I hear the old man in the overhead apartment, creaking support beams in his pacing above me, while aggressively complaining at his phone. “Who wants to play a game,” I think. “What’s the creepiest pet name you can imagine?”

There is a cat named Mister Daddy. I know because I was in the house when it was naughty as I heard its owner crying, “No, Mister Daddy! No. That’s a bad Mister Daddy.” And, you know what? Mister Daddy, being a cat and all, just looked at this sweet girl like, “Ahh. I don’t care. Get outta my face.”

“Sounds like a real soul-shattering experience.”

“I lost sleep for a week.”

POW’s of an invisible contagion

The restaurant had been taken hostage by some invisible organism/s which may or may not be present.

The siege occurred five days ago.

Ever since the onset of the hypothetical, immediate threat of possible hostile occupation, the front of house staff has stared out the restaurant’s windows with tea saucer eyes like anxious animals in ASPCA advertisements.

Please, sir, won’t you come inside and have another?

Prisoners of a war that may or may not need fighting.

In the back of house there is a shell called the ‘skeleton crew’.

The chef runs the silverware through the industrial dishwasher twice when we run out of clean spoons with which to reset tables.

The absence of the spoon in her settings, distresses.

So, a hostess gets uppity when she runs out of spoons.

She gets especially uppity when it happens on slow days.

But, today it does not matter.

So, she cares not, just notes it needs doing and notes whose rotation it is to eventually do it.

Today there is no dishwasher. They called him off.

We take turns with the task.

She simply sets tables without spoons;

knowing full well, no diner will be seated at the incompletely set table for quite some time.

No patron will arrive to suffer this mild inconvenience.

Aesthetics suffer almost imperceptibly while the bottom line suffers devastating loss.

But, she goes through the motions automatically.

There is no need to increase hygiene standards.

That shit is always first and formost.

Global freakout or otherwise.

“Funny how the WHO’s commercial guidelines for handling this threat are exactly the same protocols we already follow,” she mumbles to the owner.

“Who do you think is actually the problem?” he asks, through a thick Vietnamese accent.

“Let’s all just wash our hands, not touch our eyes often, and get on with the business of being alive,” she thinks.

She brings him oatmeal with his favorite fixings, without being asked.

Just like everyday, she makes sure a table is spotlessly clean, disinfected with properly diluted commerical cleaning agents.

“What is the real price of convenience and luxury?” she wonders.

The hourly wage of one dishwasher’s full shift.

The daily hourly wage of a line cook and sous chef.

Two hours of a hostess’ time.

One hour of the second in server’s time.

The present guests receive the best service possible.

~

Everyone plays dead for fear of becoming dead if they don’t; but,

a few diehards refuse to sacrifice quality of life for speculative quantity.

And, she bebops, dreamily hosting the modest volume of today’s lunch service.

She notes a newly added sign over the hand washing sink at the server station.

It says: <insert restaurant name here> EMPLOYEES. PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS. IT IS GOOD FOR YOU <insert punctuated, smiley face here>

“No shit.”

She knows the sign is not for the benefit of the restaurant’s staff.

Your server is far more worried about catching something from you.

They wash their hands to keep you off them, not to protect you from them.

~

Her energy always turns over when the clock reads 3:33.

She doubts her shift will last this long.

Her focus refreshes at each daily 11:11.

This occurs approximately eleven minutes after her clock in today.

She renews herself everytime she recalls her own selfhood.

A startling state.

~

A man at the bar counter suddenly catches her eye.

Her mind wanders and the tray perched above her left hand, rocks like a drunkard trying to walk.

A drinking glass full of used water falls and shatters.

Bomb of contagion spraying soaking shrapnel.

It soaks her entire left side.

It sounded crisp. Quite pleasing.

It is her first time dropping a glass in the restaurant; and, she fears she might quite like breaking another.

Night witch

There is the window.

There is the empty tub.

Here is the towel rack; and,

on that hook is a robe hung.

Hanged.

The robbery of the spirit was abetted by the victim.

No one to blame, so

don’t take it personally.

Take a person-ally, one who will sing the body electric; and,

hold them dear even when they diss-appear

like leaves of grass

under winter’s precipitation.

Like snow, so heavy, ceaselessly falls,

a voice sings, “I will bury you all.”

Wolf People.

Lent of a Leap Year.

Self-referential

Different parts of the same translation; the map is not the region.

(Turns out he had picked up about thirty pages before where she had left off.

Tolle lege : her favorite moment in the pagænt of St. Augustine’s confessions.)

<Fat Tuesday gluttony,

Ash Wednesday and crosses signed upon foreheads.

The Lent of a Leap Year.>

~

“What are you giving up?” the eighteen year old busser asks the thirty year old server.

“All hope,” he jokes.

Spring time questioning early autumn, at the winter’s end of a snowbird town.

~

The ache first settled in her stomach as discomfort.

(Then it arose like a tingling in the base of her spine.)

<Then her left shoulder began to ache and howl.>

~

The set of a matrix iterating itself endlessly.

(Completely incomplete.)

<Inexorable.>

(Consistently inconsistent.)

<The diversity of psychic unity.>

~

Charles Ludwig Dodgson once told me
“Kurt Gödel spoke the purest sentence and all he said was ‘G’.”

~

F systems

(Unprovability.)

<the set of Sette, containing all sets>

Referential self

where the players lick their wounds

I look over at the guy next to me.

“Last one, Kimber. Four fingers with a splash,” he says.

He turns to look at me.

“My nightcap. Whaddaya take to help you sleep?” he asks, patting his pocket.

“Two peanut butter sandwiches on white bread. Creamy,” I reply.

“Hugrhm?” is this noise he makes.

“Yeah, crunchy is more of an a.m. thing for me.”

“So you don’t wanna buy something?” he says, again patting his pocket, like I had missed his question’s point.

“I’ll buy your nightcap, there, if you can give a good answer to a dumb question,”

His pupils dilated as soon as he heard “I’ll buy.”

He swirls the spirits against three ice cubes, as if contemplating the offer.

As if he had something to lose.

“Okay,” he says after an impotent dramatic pause.

“What is the meaning of life?”

Without pause, he responds, “To find an answer to the question ‘what’s the meaning of life.’ “

“Put that one on my tab, Kimber,” I say.

~

I’m here to hear loud music.

I’m here to feel the second-hand smoke hurt my lungs.

I’m here for a headache.

I’m here to be alone in a crowd.

I’m here to eavesdrop.

People chasing highs; People stalking thighs.

Licking each other’s wounds.

I am here because it will help me to sleep.

melting moon.

The moon drips its reflective countenance of liquid mercury, onto the shimmering shape of the Sound’s watery face.

Gazing into the Smokey Mirror.

Particles of snow issuing down in waves that look like how the pealing of bells sounds.

With my right hand, I slide my ballpoint pen behind my ear;

I sink my nails into the binding of the journal held in my left hand.

°

Recalling the conversation from my dream of talking to spiders.

We were in the orange, rocky desert.

There were seven but they were all of the same. A single mind working the seven bodies in tandem ala a Greek chorus.

I know you, trickster: I tell him.

But, see the form I take? Not everyone has me come to them in this guise: he tells me.

I see a feather rising slowly over his left shoulder.

The plumed serpent uncoiling from the stalking position.

A creeper crawling and a lengthy lurker.

°

I push my open palm into the loose powdery snow at my feet.

The icy give of the precipitation accepts the impression of my hand, creating a glove of cold.

I suddenly see the luminosity of this bardo.

Effie at Sound Level

Ø

The real price of your handbag involves multiple lives and wages of economies. Repair your brogues with a local cobbler, on the Main (sic. high) Street.

Crystal palaces aside dashes bisecting Eisenhower’s tar strips for the machines of some imagined war. The ones we drive and call highways. Four ways. Parallel, running lanes. Bits of varicose veins on this nation’s aging skin. The final passage of the Kon-Tiki, Ra Expeditions.

And, the cars passing by on the high road of the hilly bowl a’layed before the Sound, sound like currents running through macro-Boolean gates.

{Red light, stop.}

{Green light, go.}

{Yellow light…}

Use your best judgement.

~

I sit in reverie before an altered, candle flame.

Through my open windows, the sound of gravel ground under pedestrian boots crunches now and then. A honking car horn’s reassurance, echoing, as someone redundantly clicks a particular button affixed to a keychain.

The blast of a ferry foghorn. The doppleganging drone of the passing by train’s horn. These things sound like the call to the adytum of the temple.

I enjoy the world immediately around me, settling itself towards bed. Cars are little pups, turning circles til all tired out. A slowly descending cacophony.

The difference between darkness and the absence of light.

I consider the chartreuse evening and imagine you toiling the earth, tilling, to sow your seed

beneath the pylon of the pit.

Dreamt the Within from Without

I recall a big, yellow, American-style school bus,

in the middle of the desert.

I just arrived.

There are extraordinarily beautiful, tall, elegant people about, maybe fifteen total, leisurely milling. They have nothing pressing to which they attend.

I am alone and new, per se.

I am acutely aware of this.

I feel disapproval.

I receive an unfriendly welcome; this I derive from the expressions of the others as they take notice of me, for the first time.

A stunning, pale-skinned blonde approaches, motions to the school bus, and, with perfectly calculated ‘disinterest’ says:

They can teach you the ways of death.

As though this was that which I sought.

Of course, you’d need to talk to Kimberly first.: she says.

I say: Kimberly is actually my cousin. She is already dead.

I intuit this disarms her through surprise.

My immediate understanding and audacity to speak it to her face.

And, (no shit) I think: Nice try, you silly bitch. I wilt not fall for your maleficent insinuation. I am just barely pretty and charming enough, in a strangely colloquial way, to have made it to this place of your people. I know your resentment of my prescence leads you to seek my removal, but I am in no rush to die. I certainly will not seek my death at your subliminal request. You feel threatened by my uncultured, odd intelligence. There is no reason for this. I do not want to mess with the circles within which you run. I am no threat. If you were slightly less self-involved, you would perceive this and make me your ally.

I’m the proud-beauty of your worst night-mares.

I say to her mind, in mine silent stillness: Æ ain’t leaving on that short, yellow bus. You may try to trick this fool into it; but,

Æ see through this mirage you call an oasis.

She walks away.

I pull out my stakes, canvas tarp, and tenterhooks.

Pitching camp before the freezing night comes.

I come from the water: a voice of my head suddenly says.

(I briefly become lucid in the dream, before losing the thread.)

I recall: there are four, fundamental groups: Water, Earth, Sand, and, blood.

Æ am a blood, but no-one can tell, unless Æ tell them.

I had reached the Sand after arising from distant Water.

We all came from Earth, but I had not been there or seen them in ages.

And, as Æ am thinking these things, I feel an intensifying heat rising in both hands.

Fingers and palms burning in sensation, not flames.

I think: I have the power to raise intense heat from my hands. I can emit it into the world around me, perhaps as a weapon. I feel over-confident.

I examine the feeling more closely.

I discover that Æ am not radiating the heat from within myself.

Heat is being emitted from an invisible sphere outside myself.

The orb is somehowl held in place between my palms, as if strung upon a string.

Like a diabolo.

I reach this revelation after experimenting. Moving my hands closer together/farther apart. Noting small changes in nerve sensitivity.

What I first thought was coming from my Within to the Outwards is actually being generated from the Outward and perceived and wielded by mine Within.

Period Pains – Homework (Peel Session)

No rights: homage.

/Do your homework/

/hand it in/

/do your homework/

/you can’t win/.

The newly hired, seventeen year old busser arrives for her fifth shift.

I have been training her; and, she is under the mistaken impression that she answers to me.

She walks up to me and says: I know I’m supposed to wear all black, but I felt like wearing green today.

She wears a lovely army-style green button down shirt.

Am I busted or does it really matter?: she asks.

Yeah, it matters: I laugh: They’re gonna make you go home and change, I bet, but talk to J.

J. sends her home to change clothes.

I think: she’s gonna fit in just fine, on this isle of misfit toys, if she can deal with wearing the uniformed colour.

A hallow on the high street.

I arrive at the restaurant through the back door.

I walk through the kitchen into the back office to drop off my coat and purse.

A book of poems by René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke sits on the employee table. I know it has been dropped off for me to take and read.

But, there is no note and no one says anything of it.

I do not bring it up.

The community blocks off the high street this evening.

No cars are allowed. Only hoards of costumed pedestrians.

The restaurant is booked. Chock full of reservations.

We are situated in the heart of the affair.

The previous owner, who retired two years ago arrives

to distribute candy with the new owner.

I introduce myself and

open with: so you released this place two years ago?

Yup. After twenty one years.: he shrugs.

Did you found the joint?

No. We inherited/bought it from the previous owners.

Was it called the same name when you took over, or did you change it?

Yup. It was called by the same name.

Do you want some hot tea to take with you? It is cold out there.

I want a glass of chardonnay at exactly seven o’clock, when this ends.

I make a sticky note reminder and post it where it will continue to catch our bartender’s eyes and thus,

Attention.

The seemingly ancient regulars begin arriving. None of the regulars made a reservation

for

Tonight.

Every reservation includes a note: window table requested.

Specters at a feast, watching the separate feast of the youngest generation,

through our looking glass.

The tables have been rearranged. The layout of the floor altered to allow more tables to be in front of the huge frame windows.

I intuit how unwelcomely our regulars perceive this change.

Understand the regulars eat every night here and have done so for over a decade.

Well, I suppose we’ll sit at this table. We want to watch the trick or treaters.: they huff, already walking towards the desired table.

In anticipation of this, i have placed placards on tables reserved for those who called ahead.

It bears their name and time of arrival.

I fear this one is reserved. I can seat you here or here. Anywhere there is no placard.

But, we never call ahead: they protest.

A lot of people did: I say.

I think: how do you not know what to expect tonight? You have been eating here for decades.

None of the reservations do I recognize.

The aura of the restaurant becomes maroon instead of its usual sunset orange.

{I hear a whisper say: tulpa.

I whisper: heyoka reads, tulpa.}

An exasperated, decorous but uncostumed, regular flags me over.

She and her companion dine with a couple I have not seen before.

[Trans. They planned to impress their friends here, this evening.]

She has been painstakingly doing panto. Craning her neck, trying desperately to espy the youngbloods in the street.

Yes, Misses ______?: I say.

I don’t know any of these people you have given the good tables to. All these people made reservations?: she accuses.

Yup. They all did. And, they all specified they prefer a window seat. You know, I don’t recognize any of them either, yet something led them here. Kind of magical, huh?

If those people leave, can we move to their table?: she responds.

Perhaps.: I allude, walking away.

These reservations are specters of the feast of the specters at the feast of future ghosts.

To them, i am tonight’s hostess.

Like them, I remember I have died before, will die again, and

I forget to remember it.

I will wake up.

I will fall asleep.

I will sleepwalk.

I will lucid dream.

I will remember to not forget that I am going to fail to remember

Again and again.

In delicious, concentric, Socratic circles,

Ever issuing out to the ether.

The fall of a trip.

A pair of mended pantyhose, rationed from back during war time, hang on a wire, until dry, next to a patio railing lined with salted peanuts made as an offering to the nervous yet inquisitive Stellar’s Jays.

How I appear; how I am; how I perceive.

I first steeped in the blues near the delta shores of Muscle Shoals, as a child.

Families singing songs since forgotten by most places where time flows through you more quickly.

/ the grandfather clock was too tall for the shelf, but as it weighed,

not a penny,

not a penny, weighed more/

A pendulous arm with a weighted ball

pivots about the point of suspension.

Ticking out time in mono sound.

Watch it and I will show you how that strange land taught me to turn five seconds into three æons.

And, I write these words, first, by longhand to show how inane I can be; and,

to see those recognizing

kindness is kin of open-mindedness.

Sometimes I get a little...:howls the singer.

/And, when nobody’s there to write it, I’m gonna show you everything…/

/and, I can feel it in the silence…/

/why dont you come take a trip with me./

An emptied vessel is not necessarily vacuous; but, to

presume it is craven to be filled, is teleological fallacy.

Without trying,

{still}

a cistern is what it is:

Bits of sand transmuted into glass blown

to be exploded and then recapitulated.

Sea glass is simply sandy trash recycled.

I found the open secret viz a viz a well-marked rabbithole

with a spray painted perimeter to warn that

you fall at your own sweet risk.

Collected Strands

Restless a.m.

I

Ayes running through my mind’s eyes like little cottontails scrambling into the brambles.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Robins bobbling around for worms.

The only animals appearing sleepy are tethered. A dog walking a human.

A clot of hair collects about a nail head that is pounded into the railing.

I suppose it is mine.

Strands tugged a’loose like feathers, after the daily ritual of:

arrive home, sit outside, and, let the waves down.

Like little feathers lost only to be reassembled into

a new configuration.

A merkin for the metal.

Hosting Flaneurs

The chill in the air smells like the last time I fell in love.

Knitted woolen leg warmers donned. Chestnut brown and unraveling from overuse.

My sister gave me three pairs, last year.

“You want, like, Flash Dance legwarmers for your birthday?” she asked.

“Yeah, I am standing on my toes these days.”

An hour ’til I walk to the restaurant.An hour of coffee, words, and nicotine.

I will pluck my heavy comforter (trans. duvet) from storage after work.

I seat a one top.

Coffee?: I ask

I insist on it: he says.

We have that in common.

No cream. Bring white sugar if you have it: he says.

White sugar?: I think.

Kat, do we have white sugar already on the table?: I ask, unsure what white sugar means.

Bleached sugar, you mean?: she asks.

Smiling, I say: dunno. He wants white sugar. Those words.

Well, we have raw sugar, nutrisweet, sweat n’ low, and truevia in packets on the tables. We have Splenda packets here, just in case. Brown sugar for breakfast…:

The dishwasher (who provided his own sobriquet [call me MC BlackCoffee: he told me, when I first started] ) interrupts her.

He wants this: he says, holding a shaker the size of two coffee cups stacked on top of each other.

What kind of sugar do you call this: I ask him.

The good kind: he says.

We need to reevaluate your nickname. Sugared coffee is not black coffee: I tease.

Don’t change the color, does it?: he nods, smiling.

Server T. touches my shoulder: the guy at table six has a book for you.

Oh, word. I was hoping he would make good: I say.

How do you know him? He wasn’t sure if you were the right person. Plus, you just seated him.: he says confused and a bit irritated I had let one guy sit at his four top.

I don’t know him. I didn’t recognize him: I reply.

He shrugs. I smile.

Two nights ago, I discovered this server knew philosophy as well as, if not better than, me. And, he discovered a coworker that could keep up with him. We had discussed the very book table six has brought me. He seemed happy.

~

I met table six when he came in for breakfast a few days before. I noticed him reading a Martin Gardner book.

I dig that guy: I say.

This seventyish year old man looked up at me. I recall one eye not opening all the way, although both eyes appear open today.

I found Hofstadter, Penrose, and Feynman through him: I say.

He stared at me.

He wants to be left alone: I think.

I walk away, after offering: I’ll leave you to enjoy.

As he left, he stopped by my hostess post and asked: how did someone your age find out about these guys.

Well, I was ten years younger in Alabama selling collegiate clothing in a boutique and I got very bored.

~

I go up to table six. He has brought me his second copy of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, thoughtfully wrapped in plastic as it rains heavy. This was a gateway book for me and I lost my copy during my move from AL to WA. I am thrilled a copy has found it’s way back to me.

What kind of restaurant is this? You and my server is a philosophy graduate.: he says, looking quite serious.

One that is open to hiring ex-academic flaneurs: I joke.

I have him sign and date the book.

By the way, your server is also a third degree black belt: I mention.

~

Server T says: Don’t you think it’s funny we were just talking about that book the other night?

Ha, I am surprisingly unsurprised. Things like this happen a lot to people like us, don’t you think?: I respond.

Well, I think there would be some observer bias in such a thought: he says, quite rightly.

But, observer bias is unavoidable by definition because we are observers at every moment. What are your thoughts on metaphysics?: I push him.

I try to avoid metaphysics. Too messy.: he says, walking away.

Yeah, yeah. That’s what all you philosophers say these days. Too messy and too close to mysticism: I call out as much to myself as to him.

A ghost ship at full clip

Fighting-as-discipline haunts me with every new face I meet. (Invariably they are black belts, INK’D athletes, ex MMA fighters, etc.)

Cannily uncanny. It may be inspiring my clip this morning. I certainly find the trend personally inspiring. The same way the numbers 93, 13, 11, and 777 hook my attention. Do I see them at every turn because they occur in a disproportionate amount or do my expectations simply enliven significance?

My feet carry my brain to work, propelled as though by the will of something outside of my conscious thought.

I walk too fast. I don’t know why. Mind still foggy from tying one on with the family last night.

Damn. I can barely keep up with my own pace.: I think, walking.

Click, click.

Click, click.

Quick.

Oh well, the energy required to change my momentum seems more consuming than just continuing to walk along, too fast.

It is a grey sky morning.

Have I actually woken up?

°

The sun finally arrives and beats the cloud cover into smashed splinters. It makes the day seem real. I feel my heart finally kick start, keeping rhythm with the coffee coursing through my system.

Howllelujah.: says the newly given up ghost,

in a whisper of surrender to this new day.

Almost a double ewe.

The British invasion occured today, at the restaurant.
A delightful change of clientele in town for Birdfest.
Aside from the accent, the nearly, overly polite manners gave them away.
Along with the ability to smile and make kindly eye contact despite not having had their morning caffeine.
Who cares if they mean it.
Such civility for the sake of simple decency resonates with my Southern background. The South has little else to offer, currently. Hence, my leaving a few years ago.

(Serving people who have arrived to have their first cuppa in our dining room is always an intimate moment of raw honesty. Coffee, tea, or booze).

They enjoy my accent as much as I enjoy their’s. They laugh when I say ‘y’all’.”

I say it a lot. Habituated.

“Most practical pronoun in American English. Much better than ‘you all/guys’,” I tease.

Server P over hears this.
S/he snags me by my shoulder and, laughing, tells me, “I like ‘y’all’ as much as I prefer ‘they/them’!”

It makes me giggle. It makes me feel good to hear this.

Until today, coffee out ordered tea.
Eight to one.
We run out of tea pots to distribute, for the first time ever.

I convert our decaf urn to a simple pot of hot water, to meet the refill demands.

¤

A solo diner arrives.
I wave as I approach from the rear of the dining room, so he knows he has been espied and will be assisted as fast as my heels can click my steps toward him

“Oh gee, hi there. How are you? It is just me, I am afraid,” he says to the hostess (me) before she (me) has even greeted him.

I break into my you-are-dear-to-me smile, immediately.

He was not British, though he held the manners and demeanor.
He had me in age by at least one and a half decades.
Long lovely fingers, nearly sky eyes but not quite.
Like a mockingbird’s.
Like a seagull’s call, cackling at me, because I kept wanting to mistake him for someone else.
We swap a good moment.

He looks a bit bewildered when I tell him I can seat him at a table or he may sit at the bar.
I have put him on the spot and he does not know which he prefers. It makes him genuinely squirm a bit.

Most American folk are most happy to be asked for their opinion. People love to let you know that they think “this” about “that.”

“Tell you what, our best server is bartending today. You should enjoy her service. Let’s go the bar.”

He blushes, nods; and, again,
I want to mistake him for someone else.

I lead him to
seat 35, specifically.

I watch him as I work, this sweet, little, mockingbird.
He watches me working, when he thinks I am not looking, but my job here is to always be looking.
I watch him try to subtlety watch me.
I avert my gaze, at times.

Eventually, I can no longer refrain.
I walk over to him and say, “I just want you to know you have such beautiful eyes. Exceptional.”

He gives me a look of shock and discombobulated confusion.

I touch my palm to his shoulder and walk away.

‘Exceptional’ because he recalls someone shamefully impeccable.