Chapter 13
The World From Heaven CD - Saltwater/Drive-In


“Like twenty years ago (?), hell I don’t know, it was sooo long ago… I mean, I remember some stuff, nothing revelatory, nothing fancy, just tid-bits here and there. It was different then man, you know, you remember certain things in certain ways.” “I don’t know what you mean…” “Sure you do, we all do, although it’s not my responsibility to interpret it for you.” The cassette recorder clicked, I was thanked, and before the door closed ahead of me and I was given the two-minute warning. “Great,” I thought, “two-minutes to relax.” The lines in the leather cracked under my ass (I gained a few over the years) and I poured myself another scotch. One minute, thirty seconds. It’d been raining all morning and there was a slight discoloration in the carpet beneath the chair facing me, “I’ll get to it tomorrow,” I thought. “I should have them take off their shoes when they come in…” still, this ain’t Japan and I ain’t gonna stare at some guys bloody feet for forty-five minutes anywho, so that’s out. One minute, twenty-seven seconds. I pull the shot to my lips and breath on the edge of the glass. A rainbow's worth of reflection breaks on the floor and through the drops on the window you could see hints of white peering in from behind the County Court Building. Fast, smooth motions and the glass returns to the nightstand. It’s not hard to swallow anymore. One minute, twenty-four seconds. The taps on the window grow into knocks and I curl my toes deeper into my socks. One minute, twenty seconds. A slight exhale and “Fuck, is it too warm in here?” Samantha was supposed to take care of that. She never does what I tell her, it’s going on fifteen years now and I’ve had to sweat through every one of these fuckin’ hoo-haws. One minute, fifteen seconds. Thank God for the dimmer switch on the track lighting, I can’t stand bright lights, not anymore anyway. Too many years man, I can’t take anythin’ more than a soft glow now. One minute. “No fucking way!” I can hear Samantha shriek from the kitchen. “He will not take another fucking vacation! The last time you sent us out we wound up in downtown Missoula fucking Montana with a ten person line-up waiting for a book signing by the Iron fucking Chef!” Forty-five seconds. That’s the difference between Samantha and me; she’ll wait her whole fuckin’ life to go on the right vacation and I’d just as soon get the hell outta here no sooner than they’d send me; that, and she enunciates the g in fucking. Thirty seconds. “What’s the first question gonna be like?,” I wonder. “So, when you wrote Soldiers In Skirts, were you hinting at some kind of pseudo-feminist neo-Marxist anti-capitalist humanitarian new world order, or was it an existential response to your failed first marriage?” Fifteen seconds. The windows are pounding louder than my head and I can feel the weight of the building shift when I get up to stretch my back. Ten seconds. Ten seconds early and as usual Samantha’s rhythm beats a boom-ba-boom on the door and she sticks her head in to announce the next interview: “Mary, from Magnet, ready for you…” “Damn, Magnet’s still around (?), yeah, send her in…” A quick wink towards Sam and Mrs. Mary Magnet comes in. “Hi ya.” “Hello,” she says and sits down. “Let’s jump right in?,” she asks. I nod. “So, when you wrote Soldiers In Skirts…” I stare intently at the puddle beneath her sneakers in the middle of the rug dreaming of Missoula, dreaming of the dimmer switch. “…Honestly, I was just really into Joy Division.” (Josh Gabriel)

 

 


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