Friday, September 13, 2013

Possibilities

   - I've got a question for you. 
- Alright.
- First I'll tell you another story. Not the one I want to tell.
- Why tell it then?
- You'll see. Last night, when the cafe closed, that's one o'clock now, I was crossing the street right there, and a beautiful woman leans out the window of her shiny new car and asks,
- What's wrong?
- You don't want to know.
- I do. Where are you going?
- Not far.
- Can I give you a ride?
- Really?
- Yes.
- Then yes.
 I slip into the front seat and look over at this smiling strikingly good looking woman.
- Look at you.
- Where do you want to go?
- The market, three blocks down Beverly. Aren't you afraid I'm a mass murderer?
- You?
- I guess not.
- What's wrong?
- Nothing interesting. I'm a happy guy with practical problems.
- Everything will work out. Here we are.
- That's the story, the first story.
- I like it.
- I don't like it. Nothing happened.
- Something will.
- Two days before, I was sitting where you're sitting now, and this guy comes over, he's about 27, 28, says,
- The battery on my phone is dead. Can you look up an address for me on your computer?
- Sure. What's the address?
- 417 Holt.
- 417 Holt?
- Yeah.
- That's strange.
- Why? Is it far?
- No. I used to live there. Are you going to visit someone?
- Yeah. A girl.
- I gave him directions, he thanked me and went off. Now today, before coming here, I was at this little cake shop in Silverlake, that's ten miles from here, I go to just about every morning for coffee. And who walks in?
- The guy.
- The guy. I look up and he's walking right up, putting his hand out to shake mine, says,
- Remember me, 417 Holt?
- What are you doing here?
- Visiting a friend.
- Another friend.
- Yes.
- What do you do?
- What do you mean?
- What's your job, how do you make money, if you make money?
- I manage escorts. Do you know what an escort is?
- I was married to one. 
- You were?
- I might be still married. She disappeared.
- And then what happened?
- That's the story. The story so far. The end of the story is this question I want to ask you. I see three possibilities. First, the guy was a detective, showing himself to me to see what I'd do.
- Why would a detective do that?
- Maybe to scare me into doing whatever he'll ask me to do later.
- Like what?
- I don't know. Just before I came back to Los Angeles, I was in Tel Aviv, I got an email from a journalist saying she was writing a book about dangerous woman. She'd heard about my wife and wanted to know if I'd help with information, she'd be featured in her book. Fine, I love to talk about my wife. The journalist asks whether I was legally married, did I have marriage documents, was I ever divorced, were the stories I'd written truth or fiction, would I testify in court? I'm suspicious. I ask, Sure you're not a detective? Why the legal questions? Why no questions about confidences exchanged? Words of love? The journalist made a big show of being outraged by my suspicion. I wrote to her Facebook account, seeking confirmation she was writing me from a Gmail account. No answer. I wrote the journalist, asked her how she heard about me. She replied she attended a church in Santa Monica where she met a girl who knows the doctor who married my wife. I knew about this doctor. A couple of years ago I'd visited him at his office, a little down the street from here. I introduced myself to the receptionist, told her my wife was supposed to be working there. She went into another room, returned and said she's been instructed to order me to leave. I asked the journalist,
- Are you planning on knocking on my wife's door, say Hello, I'm Jane. I'm a TV journalist and writing a book about you?
- Is she dangerous?
- More than spiritually? Physically dangerous? She knows dangerous people.
The journalist/detective wrote upon consideration she had to protect her family and would not be pursuing the investigation. The next week, I'd returned to L.A., I got an email from the doctor asking me if I'd talk to his lawyers. He's suing his/my wife for divorce.
- You think this guy following you is working for the doctor?
- That's one possibility. I don't favor it. Another possibility is that it's simply a coincidence. My old address. The second meeting. Escort business.
- What do you think?
- I don't favor that explanation either. There's another possibility.
- That harmonies have been created in your life, are revealing themselves. Telling you something is going to happen.
- Formal repetitions, suggesting more to follow. My life is taking on a style. A style not created by me but by the world. But this I don't get, this business of the world making itself into art. That's my job.
- Maybe you should take a vacation. Sit back and see what happens.
- But that's my complaint! Nothing happens.
- You say nothing happens after telling me these stories?
- Like I said to the woman in the car, I'm happy with my self, my stories, couldn't be happier, it's the practical things...
- Everything will work out. You'll see.
- I'm used to being the artist. What am I supposed to do while I wait for the world to work its style for me?
- Something will happen.