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"fellow ship"

... and other floats of boats

(photo from jchanders at deviant art)

"The realization that stuff floats is perhaps a discovery much older than the one involving fire as a way to toast the muffins of your world. ..." The words were printed out on a folded-over sheet of 8.5x11, and left on a seat of the 7:27 train from Glower Heights.

Following the printed sentence the ellipsis was added by hand in green, medium-ballpoint ink. Which is why the train was stopped at Daniels Center and Detective Falsestruthers, of the Pennsylvania State Bureau of Investigation, was called.

"Officer Melkin," Det. Falsestruthers says walking up and taking a large evidence envelope from the courier bag hanging from his shoulder.

"Bart," Angela Melkin responds. "Just curious ..."

"Yes?" Falsestruthers says, carefully picking the sheet up with a nitrile-gloved hand and slipping it into the envelope.

"... why it took two hours for someone from the PSBI to respond? I'm guessing the answer involves coffee and a donut named 'Francine'?"

"I stopped naming donuts," Falsestruthers says as he takes three photos of the evidence with his phone, "after 'Angela' had trouble going down."

He smiles at her. She's smiling back.


"Uh-huh. Donuts, going down, fuckhead -- do you think this conversation has a subtext?" he asks, sliding the evidence inside the courier bag.

"I think maybe that's a question you should bring up with Dr. Winkle."

"I'm guessing Rip would only answer with a question."

They're still standing in the aisle and smiling at each other as the train conductor approaches.

"'Why can't you bring yourself to like the girl?' Rip Van Winkle asks patient Zero," Angela says.

"'I do,' Zero answers," Falsestruthers says, 'but she has a head that's floating on its own. As do I. So we're more like flotsam meeting just in passing, each with different lists of things that matter, as the mix of individual and social currents that motivate our lives, pushes us together and apart.'"

"'Poetic,' Dr. Winkle comments, 'Like an ad for a laxative suppository called Harvest Moon.'"

"'That's a rip, Rip.' Zero says."

"Oh, how sweet. The children are interacting," the conductor adds, walking up. "Now do you think I could have my mother-fucking train back?"

"Sure thing, George," Falsestruthers answers. "Officer Melkin. Give my best to Lt. Woof."

20160211 11:53 (389 words)
- The Dears performing: - a) "Here's to the Death of All the Romance"; and - b) "I Used to Pray For the Heavens to Fall" -- from "Times Infinity Volume One" 2015



November 2016



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