I get yappy. Talk too much, or at least make noises, riff and scat, offer opinions, observations and insights best left alone, or rather, to when I am alone. Otherwise, I fear, folks might get to talking some as well, about that guy. You know the one.
But sometimes I just have to float it out there to see what bites. At least that’s the kind of fishing dream I’m having. Big, odd-looking fish in relatively confined areas that should make for easy prey if I could just figure out what they’re biting on…
I give you this car:
I’ve seen it around town and have taken pictures of it before. I don’t believe I have posted the photos before, namely because I remember that they were not very good, lacking cover for a close shot. But today the grocery parking lot was fairly empty, which not only enabled me to see the car from a distance, but also park a couple lines away from it and away from the store door. I snuck the shots.
My grocery list was short, and lo and behold, found myself in line directly behind the owner of the car. I knew it was him; after all, it is a small town. He stopped to talk to someone in the lot, which allowed me to get somewhat close to him again, but not close enough to say something to him before he got into his car. Yet, as I was loading my bag into the passenger seat of my rig, he rolled down his window.
I said, “You have the coolest car in town.”
“Thank you. It’s a labor of love.”
He smoked cigars, evidenced by the one in his hand and a pile of stubs in a shallow pan on the passenger side floor. He had a rather substantial tremor. On the passenger seat sat a newsletter with the word ‘poker” printed in big, bold caps as a headline.
“You play poker?” I asked, thinking this might be a backdoor to find out a bit more.
“No,” he said as he picked up the paper. “This is the newsletter for the United Postal Workers of Portland. A guy at the gas station likes to read it.” Even though there are three gas stations in town and a number of employees at each, I knew which guy and it made sense beyond knowing his career history. “I’m not a union guy myself.”
“No,” I offered (and here is where the foot begins to tread closer to the mouth), “from the looks of it I’d say you’re and old hippie turned Libertarian who likes to smoke pot.”
“Might be some of that.”
“What’s your name?”
“Name’s Moe.” At which point I told him mine. “Here,” as he dug into his back pocket for his wallet, “let me give you my business card.” At which point I fished mine out as well. I palmed his while he took a good look at mine. “Clever.”
“I’m an artist.” Not that all artists are clever or all clever folks artists…maybe. Yet, I made the statement to clarify the image on the card.
I thought about asking him for a photo of him in his car, but unsure of a tipping point, thought better of it. Moe put the car in gear. “Well, onward and upward!”
I echoed, “Onward, ever onward!” I looked at his card. In the upper left corner it read “Fearless Leader” and in the middle had what might best be described as a modified “Kilroy was here” illustration. And, at the bottom was an email address. Darn, no website.
I felt a little cheated, and a bit exposed. My card had my website, an entry into my world and therefore meat to a matter. His was more a bare hook, but somehow just as, if not more, intriguing.