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October 29, 2008

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Great post, Jim. I know exactly what you mean about being invisible, which doesn't stop people from bumping into you. And yes, it's "all about" their story or stories, not yours. (Do you remember the "all about" series of books? I liked "All About the Stars.") But as Robert Mitchum avers in "Out of the Past," "I always say everybody's right." Whenever Robert Mitchum says anything I believe it, and when he avers something, holy smoke. Also, the guests on late night talk shows always say a good listener is an interesting person, so there's that. And then all sorts of workers in the service sector of the economy put on a kindly face at the supermarket or fast-food cash register when you come along. It's as if to say, You're old, you made it, now go home, get drunk, and get thee to bed early. So you say "thank you" and she says "you're welcome" and she's wearing a t-shirt that says, "if you are what you eat, I'm fast, easy, and cheap," in white lettering on a black field.

Yes, this is a great post. I, too, know the feeling of being invisible. It's an advantage, actually, although it can arouse resentment. Given my Americanized (?) name, I've been an invisible Jew for my entire life, and many have unknowingly revealed their prejudice in my company. I've come to expect it when I travel, though I'm always stunned by the "you know how the Jews are" asides.

One's invisibility is magnified when you have iPod earbuds in/on. If you listen at a low enough volume, your music becomes a soundtrack for someone else's drama. It's fascinating.

David: Where can I get one of them t-shirts?

Stacey: Do you really get those asides? ack. that's horrible.

Bill: I'm sorry, could you speak up? My Ipod's on.

Jim: You're owning the room of the page, right here, brother.

David: Where can I get one of them t-shirts?

Stacey: Do you really get those asides? ack. that's horrible.

Bill: I'm sorry, could you speak up? My Ipod's on.

Jim: You're owning the room of the page, right here, brother.

Jill, you say it all. I want Bill's i-pod and David's t-shirt, and then I will not be invisible, but arrested. Stacey, let those bastards say those things in front of me and Jill: they're toast.

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Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark
                   

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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This Way Out

THE RULE OF THUMB
by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.

 

 


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