I am sitting at a table with a room full of talkative people. I am sitting at a nice blonde-wood table, on the other side of the table are several other people, there are places for at least six people at the table where I am sitting. There are six stools around the table; the table is set for six people. There are several computers tethered to the table as if they are located here for personal use. I have my own computer. It is a computer store, I prefer not to mention any more than that.
I am wearing a very tasty black fedora, soft felt, not expensive [Kangol] but another one of the hats I have bought after visiting prison. I have developed a mystery ritual that I buy [at least one] hat every time I leave prison. The sillier the hat, the better I feel.
The hat sequence is to help me understand what the hat ritual is about. The last time I visited prison, I bought two hats. I wore them both on the way home. One of them is a nice Stetson flat western style hat I have seen in the movies. It looks ridiculous on me. I have long felt that there is something liberating about wearing a ridiculous hat when you are on the road by yourself or in new territory or even after having survived something emotionally or physically dangerous, though for me this has mostly applied to the emotionally or spiritually dangerous, those challenging experiences the denouement of which for me implies a hat. ??
I am wearing one of those hats at the table now as I sit in the computer store. The hat has not clarified for me but it feels good, good to be wearing this hat as I am about to penetrate the newness of the phone I purchased this morning that I cannot get to function the way it promised me. The phone speaks. It promised me it would work such and such.
On the table where I am sitting is a tasteful sign that built of fancy plexiglass that reads: Personal Setup. There were four other people sitting at the table when I stumbled onto it, I made jokes about needing a personal setup maybe someone would come and sit down and solve my problems for me I thought maybe the young lady sitting next to me was my personal setup but I didn’t want to go in that direction so I made jokes about the professional who would come and sit at the table and solve all the mysteries, the doctor is in five cents, etc. I drank a little too much coffee. Wound up.
Everybody at the table seemed to appreciate my soliloquy, otherwise I would have stopped. I kept going, then Dan came over and explained to me something simple that given a decade of good thinking on a desert island with a painted volleyball I would have figured out myself but I would have not known it without being told earlier that morning at the store where I purchased the phone. My problem is solved as everything is downloading as it should and I made Dan into my personal God and if nothing else happens good for him today, this will be enough.
The hat hasn’t clarified.
I return to the story, my phone restoring as is my spirit. The lady sitting across from me and I agree that pens and paper are the preferred technology and we love them the most. I apologize for interrupting her, and she says: you’re fine. Thank you, you’re fine too I say and realize I better keep my mouth shut. She gets up to go says goodbye to me as if we are having lunch once a month on break at the Kroger’s where we’ve been working for twenty years.
It’s almost Shabbes and on the phone that is now restoring someone calls and asks me how am I doing. I am doing fine, in spite of my limitations I am fine and I was fine before I arrived here and I’m fine as I am leaving.
Yesterday I wrote a poem I took from a story I heard at a meeting:
How you doing?
Hi, How are you today.
Hello again: how you doing?
Don’t you have bad days?
I have good days
I have bad days
On both –
Today I am living it in prose.