Randomly selected portraits from a lifetime of unskilled point and shoot photography.
Diana. The Liberty Belle Tavern. Southside, 1995
So I had this dream. My wife and I were staying at a cheap hotel–one of those single story set ups with a swimming pool and a courtyard right by the roadside, on the highway leading out to Duck, North Carolina, which was odd because when we’ve gone to the Outer Banks we stayed way up north in Corolla where the beaches are uncrowded and the snazzy rentals let you pretend you’re wealthy for the week. It’s a hot morning, the kind where it never cooled off at all over night, and my wife is sitting cross-legged in the chair, wearing cutoff jeans and (she’s going to love this) a white shirt tied around her waist–exactly like the one Jennifer Aniston is wearing in the photo I’ve included–which is also odd, because she never wears shirts like that.
Also odd is that we were sitting in lawn chairs with a young, charming Bill Clinton, drinking our way through a bucket of Margaritas in the shade, wise-cracking and watching the logjam of Saturday morning traffic that clogs the bridge over to the island every summer weekend. I don’t recall our conversation, but it was full of laughs and, perhaps most importantly, Bill made no move to seduce my wife–which should have been a worry, because my wife is pretty attractive and while I trust her completely I’ve also met Bill Clinton in real life, albeit briefly, and his charisma was so powerful I was half tempted to make a run at him myself. The guy can work a room, and his was the softest hand I’ve ever shaken. Like a warm, soft silken pillow hand.
My wife decides to go back to our room and get some chips and salsa. So, we’re out there on the edge of the shade, Bill and I, watching the people trapped in their cars, sipping Margaritas and having a grand time and I have to do it. My wife won’t approve, but here’s young Bill Clinton and he’s such a pleasant guy, a real pal, and the dangers of busting up the time/space continuim, all that butterfly effect stuff, all goes out the proverbial window. I’ve got to say something, and I do. “One day, you’re going to meet this girl called Monica Lewinsky….”
My wife returns, and Bill is gone, disappeared in the way that people disappear in dreams without so much as a puff of smoke, and she immediately sees it in my eyes. The thing is, I can’t lie to her about anything important. I could weave a tale without a hint it’s a fiction, but if I want to tell her that, yes, I forgot to put the clothes from the washer in the drier, I’m done. And worse still, she’s trained my daughters to see through my bull shit as well.
“You did it, didn’t you?”
I looked past the traffic toward the horizon. The scent of the ocean heavy on the hot summer air. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“You told him.” She shook her head. “Didn’t you.
“What exactly did you say?”
“I told him not to fuck Monica Lewinsky,” I said.
She flopped into her chair and sighed in exasperation–a bit melodramatically, I must say. “So, it’s all your fault, you know.”
“No.” I said. “Nothing happened.”
“It. Was. You.” She said, slowly so I could get it.
“I don’t understand.”
“Idiot,” she said. “He’s just going to take you literally.”
“Oh,” I said. “Oh! Damn.”
I’ve saved a lot of email over the years–sort of an electrical pack rat, I guess (put on your Philip Dick and think on that for a nano). I’ll be cleaning up and sharing the best of it with you.
Hey man, how in the hell did I miss the Pixies? Where was I in he eighties/nineties?
I hope that all is well! Peace out.
I responded: “This is a song about a superhero called Tony. It’s called Tony’s theme!”
I had a roommate named Tony for half of 1990 in Wyoming–he was a great guy, a recently returned Mormon missionary from the Napolean Dynamite town in Idaho (which was, at the time, to this Appalachian boy, like being a devout Poyahmian from the Planet Skeeloi) and he just fucking loved the shit out of that song.”
Note: I rarely listen to the Pixies 23 years later, but I still keep in sporadic touch with Tony, and he’s been known to stop by this blog.