Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Well I hadn’t written a word of the highly over-discussed prolly now minor thesis in like at least a month (two?) and I finally knuckled down and cranked a bit out yesterday afternoon just to clear the cobwebs and thought I’d share it with you. It’s nothing to get hopped up about, rilly, but progress is a nice thing, all things being equal and fake sugar being sweet yet low. Hope all is well. Franz gives his regards.

It felt nice to be outside. The hotel room had gotten cold then hot then lukewarm after the 3 different times he’d woken up to fiddle with the air conditioning. Sleep had been an elusive partner and when it had come it had been frustratingly unfulfilling. Not standard protocol for Ben, even in weird places. Couldn’t blame the bed, either. Perfectly comfortable, better than his home bed actually. Too many thoughts floating through the brain. Wondering what the hell was going on with his two friends, if they were still in Vegas, which he knew, somehow, they were, despite attempts rendered lame to reach either of them at the hotel or via their folks.

But now he was out, wandering the streets of Atlanta, the breeze frittered by, it was a little humid, warm, but not overbearingly so, although this time of year it usually was. Yesterday, the funeral, had been slightly warmer than this, but not even that bad, not that he’d even really noticed it, strangely enough. Too much going on. He hadn’t sweat much, he’d remembered that. The closest thing to an inner commentary on the climate as he’d reached yesterday.

Bah. The weather. Who gave a fuck?

He was on his way to have a coffee and maybe a bite with the his grandfather’s good friend, a black man named Elwood. Elwood had something for him. something his grandfather had wanted him to have. Ben hadn’t asked why this object, whatever it was, was going to him & not his dad. He didn’t need to. That relationship he knew well enough, despite his old man’s efforts to butter it up in a field of lies.

He arrived at the predesignated spot, a small coffee shop a couple blocks off the main drag called the sandwich bean. Another lame name in a sea full of em. Elwood was seated towards the back, in a rather dark corner. Somehow the light permeating the rest of the joint was blocked inadvertently, or maybe advertently, by forces unknown.

“Ah, young Ben, have a seat,” Elwood said, not bothering to get up. There was a paper bag situated on the ground next to his chair. “time’s a funny thing, my boy. You’re right on time, yet things are definitely running early today.” He smiled.

Ben was confused. It wasn’t the first time. Their conversation at the funeral wake had been bizarre yet amusingly interesting. Nothing the old man had said had made much sense, but Ben liked him. maybe he liked confusion. Clarity was overrated, anyway.

PS: Speaking of literary projects, I just finished reading Jamie’s book, and it’s really fucking good. I blab further on the subject over here. If you’re too lazy to click over there, at least click over here & buy the damn thing. Aloha.