Who Knows What Is To Come

My alarm goes off and life costs $800.

At least, that what it feels like fourteen hours, one vehicle breakdown, four teeth x-rays, and a diagnosis of two cavities later. Oh, plus the towing fees.

I refuse to let this weigh me down because there is nothing I can do about any of it now. Thinking fast, I grab my guitar and Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem essays, then borrow the Volvo with broken wipers and no brake lights (our family back-up for times just like this), driving away to work with one eye on the billowing gray clouds.

By mid-afternoon I’m approved as assistant manager for the coffeehouse, effective mid-September, and the skies open up dropping at least two inches of rain in less than one hour. The full moon is rising all day, and even though it is not yet dark I can feel it swelling in me. With nothing but odd circumstances thrown my direction all day, this is the only explanation I can muster.

At work, a short man with fitted jeans and a wide cowboy hat orders two-coffees-to-go-please and sees my guitar resting in the corner of the coffeehouse.

“You play?”

I nod yes.

“Tonight, after the slide show. You should come,”

I nod again, glad I brought the Art & Lutherie and not the Martin.

“You know Big Slate?”


“He knows where we’ll be. Ask him how to get there. I play mandolin. We got a fiddler tonight though, it’ll be good. If you need me, I’ll be in the Iron Studio, ‘Till then, uh-huh.”

“Will do,” I say, assuming his pattern of speech and concluding my statement with yet another bob of my head.

Knowing I can’t go anywhere until the rain stops, and further knowing that I have Didion’s book and can do my homework at the coffeehouse after dinner, there was nothing to do but say yes. Today I am but a pawn in the game. Tonight, when the moonlight spreads its eerie light across the top of Conley Ridge, and maybe, just maybe reflects a wild blue off the fiddle’s strings, the world will be lost to me for a few sweet measures of good-ole-porch-and-yeah-songs and suddenly, everything will make sense.

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