Thursday, May 12, 2005

Tonight

In the warm dusk tonight: me outside the bar that once, in my feckless youth, was called David's. And George is there too, hitting on a pretty blonde girl named Ramsey. But I didn't know that then.

Not until he calls after me.

"Whatchoo up to!"

This is, marginally, meant to be a question. But in his excitement it is all imperative.

"Makin trouble? Huh? Yeah, I know how you are! Uh huh!"

I should say I'm not entirely unaccustomed to being addressed this way. Maybe not with so much zeal. But the rest. I went to high school with a guy who could only address me as Troublemaker. I broke him of this, finally, by calling him Troublemaker after roughly each syllable that was spoken.

But back to George.

I turned around. "What?"

"Oh, man, shit, we gotta watch out for you. You got them shifty eyes. Fuck!"

"Yeah, that's me."

"I knew it, man! Uh huh! Ramsey here better watch out! She lives with three girls. Are they ugly?"

Ramsey just looks at George. She says no.

"Oh man, shit, you know it. Don't hang with no ugly people? Yeah!"

We exchange names. George thunders on.

"You new around here? How new?"

I tell him I teach English at the university.

"Oh, man, a professor! What do you teach?"

I tell him English, again. Ramsey and I share a knowing look. I left, crossed the street, and turned around after a block. George stood there, alone, smoking a cigarette.

He waved.

3 comments:

huskypoet said...

Hi, Paul, just wanted to tell you I enjoyed reading your poetry book (Resurrection...). My MFA thesis advisor, Jonathan Johnson from EWU-Spokane, recommended it. I'm adding it to my thesis list...I defend June 1st. Thanks for a good read.

Anonymous said...

I love that story

ruth

S. Lelia said...

O my lord Paul, that story was hilarious. I can just picture this guy....