Wednesday, June 17, 2015

something to look forward to

A weird duo, man and woman, came to the front door where I was house-sitting a few hours ago. I only tell this story to the most trusted people in my life, the man murmured. The Glass Bead Game, Steppenwolf, Beneath the Wheel- all true. The woman said that they had been sent here by certain local reporters. I asked which ones. My question was met with a total and baffling silence. We seem to be hitting it off, all things considered, the woman eventually said. They had faraway looks in their eyes and spoke slowly, calmly, keenly,deliberately. The man was sipping something from a flask that he kept in his blazer's inside pocket. He offered to share but the whole thing seemed a little bit off. Both were wearing poorly kept and outdated business attire. They claimed to be doctors, pharmacists, land surveyors, actors, park rangers, occupational therapists, fans of romantic comedies, real estate developers, money managers, information architects, alcoholics, renewable energy experts, nature writers, gamblers, sailors, chefs, violinists, bowlers, bungee jumpers, canoeists, creators of the new Green Lantern comic strip, farmers, woodcarvers, shoplifters, math whizzes, counterfeiters, tile setters, snake breeders, and interior decorators, speaking of which, might they step inside for a moment and have a quick look around? Against my better judgement I agreed. I am not the most talented house-sitter, probably. While they looked around I was expecting that they might want to engage in conversation, but no. They looked around in uninterrupted and unexplained silence. I returned to my Reader's Digest condensed version of Tristram Shandy, calling out that if they had any questions to just let me know. This offer was also met with what could only be called deafening silence. These are my kind of people, I thought. Well rounded, friendly, not afraid of what people might think, community oriented, funny, and willing to open up about both their successes and failures right off of the bat. After 25 minutes they returned to the living room and asked if I would be so good as to allow them to give me their honest opinions. By all means, I said. They started out by saying that I seemed like a fairly commonplace fellow, given to saying, doing, and thinking any number of commonplace things, and then finished off by saying that I was clearly not an asset to the neighborhood. No argument here, I replied. Even so, they were organizing a rummage sale in the area and wanted me to assume an active part. Nine-tenths of the stuff in this house is pure junk, they assured me. Your thoughts on the matter are probably junk as well, but we don't need to get into all of that yet. There will be plenty of time while we're sitting around in lawn chairs supervising the rummage sale. Again he offered me a swig and again I declined. They confided that in the way, way back of their minds they were thinking about splintering off and starting a whole new society in a sparsely populated area that one of their kid's friend's soccer coach's dad's former student's landlord's lawn guy's therapist knew about. If the rummage sale brought in sufficient funds, they would be able to buy a used RV and from that point it would most likely be all systems go. Had I ever piloted an RV before, they inquired? I lied and said yes. Tonya, the man said, I think this unexceptional fellow will suffice. Gregor, I agree with you wholeheartedly, the woman responded. These weirdos continued standing there, staring at me, in utter silence, for what seemed like a highly unnecessary length of time. I was about to ask what gives or something to that effect but they quickly left without another word. Stunned and inspired, I immediately began doing research on how to safely pilot a RV. I had a feeling that I would be seeing this duo again very soon, and I wanted to be ready. I wanted to be a legitimate asset.