Thursday, January 5, 2017


This afternoon, I disappointed a beautiful girl simply by being myself.

The phrase "simply by being myself" is not a euphemism meant to describe a situation wherein I caused disappointment through any social faux pas or malapropism; nae, I disappointed by the essential fact of my existence, that is, my not being someone else.

I pulled the Malibu Stacy, the Grandson of the Mousemobile into the filling station intent on purchasing a Red Bull, maneuvered around the open manhole—demarcated by an orange traffic cone—& encountered the cute blonde cashier standing outside, smoking a cigarette. She threw her hands up in excitement, making with her hands a sign I did not recognize. I parked the Malibu Stacy & walked into the filling station. She greeted me with a "Hey" that trailed off into disappointment as she realized I was not whom she thought I was. I apologized for not being whom she was expecting, but she dismissed it as a trifle, explaining in incomplete sentences that I sport "the same facial hair" as another bloke, a regular of the filling station/Kwik-E-Mart whose purchase of an unspecified item is cause for a minor celebration with the aforementioned raising of hands into an unfamiliar gesture. Whom am I to compete with that?

After I handed her the necessary greenbacks, I dug in my pocket for a coin & she pondered aloud that there might well be the requisite nine cents in the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny tray. My digging was rewarded by the furnishing of a quarter; I kept the nickel & dime & added the penny to the tray. I greatly prefer to leave a penny rather than to take a penny.

As I type these lines, my belly is full with the reheated dinner of pork chop, mashed potatoes, green peas, & milk upon which I dined when at last I returned home from back-to-back Knights of Columbus meetings, & I am savoring the last of the New Year's Eve sparkling wine—'tis Italian, not French, so it's not champagne. Life is good.

She really was quite beautiful.

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