Imagine a rabbit nibbling grass out by the portable classrooms of a city high school — the students, raised on technology, immersed in STEM curriculum, staring blankly at what clearly isn’t AI and what doesn’t fit into the laws of probability, unless you account for an infinite number of variables; perhaps chaos theory enters into it.
Many of the students will glance but not perceive. It requires too great a paradigm shift to observe and recognize.
But then there is that one student who sees, smiles up at me as I hold my classroom door open, and says,
That child will suffer greatly in this world and conceivably become a poet.
My girlfriend is not all of that. I mean, she holds her own against the weather in June. The heat and storms ramp up in May big time, And they just go on forever. Sometimes you step outside and the sun will knock you over — for real! Other times you go weeks under clouds and rain; And they call it The Sunshine State! But yeah, my girlfriend’s better than the weather here, And she’s always fresh, you know? So, I’m writing this so others will know, And maybe spray it on the wall that surrounds her neighborhood — Make her immortal like. Maybe I’ll get an “A” for this, you think?
It was nearly closing time. I was wiping down the counter one time before laying out the paper mats and setups. Val is kind of adamant that we have everything ready for the breakfast crew. It’s a crap diner and the pay is lousy, but in 1981 I’m lucky to have a job, and every now and then I get a decent tip. Every now and then I meet a guy who is pleasant, is happy with the service, and isn’t trying to get into my pantyhose.
I didn’t notice when the college kid in the charcoal overcoat left; just heard the front door close.
Over at his booth I discovered enough cash to cover the check and a decent tip, and the book he’d been reading: “Jitterbug Perfume,” by Tom Robbins.
The check ended up on the spike, the cash in the till minus my tip, and the book ended up in my purse. My dogs were killing me, but it looked like tonight I’d be dancing a bit before I fell asleep.
Later, in bed with a glass of red and Knuckles purring at my feet, I opened the cover and discovered a note:
“The book is an acquired taste. You anticipated my every need tonight. Not trying to pick you up. If you like the book, maybe give me a call and tell me why. No strings. — Neil — 822-0820”
Shit! I stayed up all night reading. I liked it. I liked it a lot.
* * *
Trying my hand at a writing exercise — write in a voice different from your own. In this case, that of a woman. Stirring up memories of a diner I knew as a child. I would appreciate feedback on how well… or less than well… I did. Also on how well I placed it in the early 80s (if you dare admit you have any memories of them).