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"putting us in time, 01: coffee with the ghost"

... and behold, a joyful noise was loosed upon the whorled

(photo of galaxy NGC 1566 in the constellation Dorado, 40 million light-years from Earth, taken by the Hubble space telescope)

(Lake Street Dive* band members Bridget Kearney, Mike Olson, Mike Calabrese and Rebecca Price; photo from WERU community radio in Blue Hill and Bangor, ME)

(Scene 27 -- interior, day, gone-to-seed cafe; Ghost Guy enters, walks slowly just above the floor from door to counter, then sits just above a stool)

GHOST GUY: (faint smile)

WAITRESS VELMA: So what'll it be, oh, missing-atoms one?

GG: (mouthing) Coffee, please.

WV: Sorry?

GG: (takes notepad/pen from jacket pocket, writes, turns pad toward her)

WV: (reading) "Coffee, please, fair maiden"? (glances up) Really? Have you had the prescription for the ghost glasses checked lately?

GG: (does silent "ha-ha")

WV: (pause, studying his face). Yeah, I get it. The same audience response I've been hearing all my life. (reaches behind her for coffee, cream, napkin, spoon and cup; pours)

GG: (adds cream, stirs)

WV: So ... the reason for the visit? Just curious. You're not a delivery guy with Federal Ghost Express, are you? Come delivering the letter that says my shift is finally over?

GG: (shakes head "no")

WV: That's a relief.

GG: (flips notepad to page, turns it toward her, points to her and then to page)

WV: What? You want me to read this?

GG: (does duck mouth-flap gesture with fingers of one hand)

WV: Read it -- "out loud"?

GG: (nods "yes")

WV: (looks at notepad) Okay. But, please, hold the cheering and the bravos until the end.

GG: (silent "ha-ha")

WV: (reading) "In the beginning there was a gathering of matter. Like there might be at, say, a music 'dinner party,' as a gathering that involves some things that matter. Which in this particular corner of the universe might involve four people sitting around the living room of a rental cave, after a meal of, say, beer and pizza from that new place in a clearing of the forest primeval, just down the street."

(looks up) I get it, you're a ghost writer.

GG: (silent "ha-ha"; then does rotating "continue" gesture with index finger of hand)

WV: I hate to deflate your lack of atoms any further, but direction from a ghost is really nothing new.

(continues reading, as she puts a piece of pie from the display, and a fork, on a plate and slides that to him across the counter) "All the dinner partiers are full, as they kick back, finishing their beer, while reliving the marriage of the sausage and the onions, and the talent Bobby Naples has for the put-together of a sauce that will keep your innards cozy, through a long and lonely, primeval night.

"Then, in the opposite of suddenly, the kickback gradually starts kicking forward as, one by one, the dinner partiers all rise. Like lone geese migrating back home to the breed-ground of their music, they stand and mingle, then drop into their places on this wing they've built for aural flight.

WV: (stops reading and looks up) More coffee, ghost writer dude?

GG: (nods "yes")

WV: (continues reading) "They're playing off ideas. Something one goose cooked-up partly, then brought in for the others to complement and garnish, and set out as a meal."

GG: (points to notepad)

WV: Yeah, okay. I ad-libbed. So sue your waitress with a meager tip. I was just trying to goose along the dinner scene. Don't take it personally.

(continues reading) "And it's the playing out, or playing off, or just following ideas, that's like the party Oz behind this group, communal curtain. But being on the flight path of ideas is more than just the reason for a party as a gathering of matter. So it's not the transitory nature of the ingredients that make the meal, or what gets cooked and what gets tossed out with the trash."

(looks up) Finally, the point. You know you could have said this three hundred words ago?

GG: (silent "ha-ha")

WV: (continues reading) "It's not the words, or notes, or how they come together and apart, that is the reason for this party-now. Of all the things that matter in a universe that's whorled, in 3D space and time, by ideas like infinity and continuum -- what any newbie human life-form with a feeling for its indie self, wants to be with for an hour or a lifetime, is just the matter in the link-link life that's going on inside our heads."

(looks at the last lines for a few beats, then looks up)

GG: (walking out the door)

WV: (incredulous) What? That's fucking it?

20150422 09:52 (761 words)
- * from Lake Street Dive:
- "Use Me Up" by M. Olson
- "Bad Self Portraits" B. Kearney
- "Stop Your Crying M. Calabrese
- "Clear a Space" R. Price
- "Seventeen" B. Kearney
... all from the album "Bad Self Portraits" 2014
- and a two-hour songwriting masterclass at the New England Conservatory, that is worth your creative-curiosity time



November 2016



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