We all know Bentley doesn’t read most of the books in our book group, but he doesn’t know we know. He isn’t here tonight when we discuss The People of Forever Are Not Afraid. By show of hands some of us loved it and some of us had otherwise to say about it.
For example what was up with the rental with a bedroom and a half—what was that? It shows up in the latter part of the book. And what about the line that said something about how the more sound was taken from us something something the more we turned into a song? Where did you read that? We pick up our books with the yellow cover and thumb through the pages. One of us finds the line.
The room gleams, two walls are glass, sheeted in 4 x 10 lengths. On the other side of the glass sit two men with laptops balancing on their knees, books stacked on the table between them. The window for our room fades to white when the sun goes down. Green technology, energy star efficient. We can stay here until we decide we are finished. The window stays white until sunrise and then you can look through it again.
“I didn’t actually finish the book.” Someone admits to this.
“How far did you get?” someone else asks.
We turn to page 55 and nod our heads: This happens.
What also happens is the way the soundtrack at the gyros shop is only 25 seconds long. At the peak of the singer’s soar, just as he is declaring undying love to someone named Adonia, the music stops. You can imagine easily the scratch of a record skipping, someone crossing a room to reset the needle. Five seconds and then the song begins again.
“Maybe the shop could only afford the free sample to this song.” My daughter gestures with one hand, the other is busy with a gyros because once you pick one up, you cannot set it down just so you can use both hands to talk. Cucumber dressing dripping, tomato pitching forward. If you are going to eat it, you better bite in now.
So we do the math. Soundtrack plus delay equals thirty seconds. That is two pieces of the song every minute. Okay, so we’ve been here thirty minutes so we’ve listened to this sixty times. We agree we won’t leave until management finds a different song.
I want to buy old cigar boxes, but the cigar shop next to Bottles and Shots is closed. A bold blue sign on the outside of the door warns, “These doors must remain unlocked during business hours.”
Another sign says the store opens at 9:00 A.M. It is 8:49 A.M, but he doesn’t want to wait and so he takes me home. We’ll get the boxes another time, he says. Then he drives away.
Front door unlocked, happy dogs to greet me. I fill their water bowl and start a load of laundry. In this way ten minutes pass. His car returns. The cigar shop is open now, he says.
Why a penguin against a rope: this.