That Shaggy Feeling

Soon, orphans.

Photograph from the first ever Pat Freestone concert, maybe in 2004.

Scott Rahin came over. I knew he was coming because he sent me three pornographic video clips via text message, followed by one more that said “im donwstirs.”

“Oh, God,” he said. “I'm helping out my friend's band. I need to tell someone about this.”

He told me which friend. I didn't know the guy had a band. “It's new,” Scott said. “It's ridiculous. Everyone is in their late 30s and they're all deciding to start a new band and they're totally serious.”

Scott proceeded to tell me a long and carefully reported story that, out of the courtesies of friendship, I sat and tolerated. He explained that he had, over a drink, given the band ideas about a song, and they had finally taken his advice and adjusted the guitar sound with a surf-reverb tone.

“But I hated it,” Scott said, after an eternity of rambling. “They sent it to me, I said, no way, change it back.”

“Huh,” I said, desperate to reach into my pocket and check my email.

“I can admit when I'm wrong. But Mike got very offended and told me I was an idiot, that I'd had it right, and, you know. I don't budge even when I should. So it's now this huge blowup that I have to deal with and no one is about to apologize.”

“Well,” I said. “What are you going to do?”

“Well, what I'm going to--I mean, the thing is, I really don't want to keep fighting with everyone. I kind of learned a lesson from this?”

“What lesson.”

“I'd say the real lesson, the thing that I just figured out, is don't fight the band that heeds you.”

I did not speak for some time. “So,” I finally said, “now that you did that, and I acknowledge that you did it, and I don't want to talk about it, but I acknowledge it and I want to move on, now that you did that I'm going to tell you, in exhaustive detail, the story of my mortgage, which is not yet finalized, even though we already live in this apartment. As of yesterday the deal involves 19 people and eight interested parties.”

“That's like a Dickens novel,” said Scott.

“The mortgage broker said he'd never seen one like this before. If it's not finished in ten days we're obligated to move out. ”

“You just moved in,” said Scott.

“I know that,” I said.

“Does the story have orphans?”

“Not yet,” I said. “But soon. Let's make a chart.”




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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

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Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

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