Jean says, “Eh, I met you at Vesuvio’s. We were trying to get past each other on those narrow stairs. You cursed, I cursed, but then you told a joke about penguins and we had a good laugh.” Chris says, “Gritty tattoo parlor on E Street in ‘Berdoo, back in the early 80s, when we were both on the skids ... I don’t really like to remember those days, but it's there, the dingy walls covered with sample ‘artwork’, the smoky atmosphere, the pain ... Oh yes, the pain.” Delon says, “Well duh, John. YOU worked for ME and helped organize a major pro-life rally outside a Planned Parenthood in SoCal. Or wait, did you help us with the GO PEROT campaign in Texas back in the 90s? My mommy brain is fuzzy at the moment ....... Oh shit, wait, now I remember! I was all wrong. I’m pretty sure I first bumped into you right after we fought over a parking space ... before you went in to see The Vagina Monologues in L.A.!!! I was totally horrified that you were going to watch it, but admired your balls for doing so. Ha.” Rachel says, “On a layover in Bejing, you and Kathy were in the private jet lounge with me and my Dutch boyfriend Hans, and we started chatting over gin martinis …” Deborah says, “We met at an evangelical Islamic event in Wichita, Kansas. You commented on the excellent faux pulled pork sandwiches they served, while Kathryn was busy teaching a class in speed-knitting hijabs for busy housewives.” Dave says, “Ahh, where have I NOT met John. Our paths have crossed throughout history, stories intertwining, making appearances in each other’s tales like well-considered cameos. The most memorable must be yesterday, at The Gap. I asked, ‘Did you drop this?’ You replied, ‘No, I was looking for blue.’” Donna says, “We met on a tightrope in hell.” But I have to correct Chris. I’ll let Tom tell the story: “We met in church. Ha ha! No, really, I remember it like it was yesterday. We met at a session at the 1988 Anarcho-Syndicalists’ conference in Chicago. There was some doofus in a session arguing that Trotsky was the natural extension of Bakunin’s philosophy, and you shut him up by telling him that you ‘could detect a wafting odor of Stalinism emanating from him’ and that he ‘should crack a book every now and then instead of considering the Socialist Worker as the height of western intellectual achievement.’ We all had a good laugh and were fast friends.” But not even that was exactly it. It wasn’t Trotsky I was arguing for, it was Clara Zetkin, Bakunin was part of a totally other conversation, and it wasn’t the wafting odor of Stalinism she called me on; tho this was an Anarcho-Syndicalist conference, it was left deviationism! To be fair, and to quote Tom again, “those conferences weren't exactly ‘straightedge.’” This is so much better than my real life. In my real life I met everyone I love during the last days of Kronstadt. As Anne puts it,
summary, too much analysis, too much meaning to paraphrase
I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Instead of crying or being late, I try on these sentences
Sincerity in shards …
It’s your birthday or your gallbladder acts up or the bottoms of your feet turn yellow
These are your forces and you must know how to use them …
Rachel, says, “I remember I met you in that airport.
You were back in my mommy brain.
You were so shy I couldn’t stand up and had to sit down on the floor and spent the entire evening and lying and there.
You’ve not been on a layover.
Not that surprised.
I could hit it off with your nymph and licking hair licking floor leaking lymph because it was time too.
As ever all wrong was fuzzy at the moment with sample ‘artwork’ ...”
Which is not to say I didn’t get the tatts. And which is not to forget Guy and the fumes, and Dorothy and the “unfortunate incident over veal in Vienna” with Thomas Bernhard.
[Note: Sources: JBR, Jean Vengua, Christine Straitt, Delon Ackerman, Rachel May, Deborah Rogers, Donna Fleischer, Dave Stumpp, Tom McMurdo, FB comments, 16 Oct 013, in response to this prompt: “I would like my Facebook friends to comment on this status, sharing how you met me. But I want you to LIE. That's right, just make it up. After you comment, copy and paste THIS to your wall [OR NOT], so I can do the same. Go! (a FB friend's idea:)”; JBR, but see next; Anne Gorrick, “This Is a Cheezburger Dream Speech Dress Up”, at Anthem Journal; JBR; Rachel Defay-Liautard, FB comment, 16 Oct 013 (also in response to the above prompt); but see Guy Taylor, and Dorothy Auyong, FB comments 16 Oct 013 (also in response to the above prompt)]