by Ed Malin
At the bus station. That is not where you expect to get a singing telegram.
But at the bus station, indeed, is where it happened. Never mind the Proud Boys. They didn’t know I got on the bus. Here I am. Soulful blue eyes. Looking at me from a magazine cover. Eyes that do not question. They are flat. Maybe that’s why some people don’t believe there’s a soul.
Here I am in an ever-expansive reality of perhaps more dimensions than I knew existed.
But do THEY know that I’m here?
People are looking. I have never gotten a singing telegram before. I’ve heard of it, maybe from something like The Three Stooges or someplace where people do outlandish things. It’s so dramatic, especially for this place. I chose it, you see, because there is so little drama here. However, would I fit in? Again, something that I have been trying to do, to train myself to be like the two-dimensional eyes in the magazines covers. No one would want to probe me further to see what else there might be below the surface, I would just be another person, in this place.
Well how d’ya like that?. This song I know. This song is from the Great American Songbook. Perhaps one of those Duke Ellington numbers? George Gershwin. Something that sounds like it deserves a big band accompaniment. Again, perhaps a little too big for this place. But even in this place, people let a song out of their hearts. Even in this place, people got rhythm. Oh I don’t know. I wait for the singer to finish the singing telegram. He hands me a folded piece of paper and turns to go. I ask, uhhh, to whom do I owe the pleasure? He looks at me and smiles like he’s in the witness protection program, glances at the ceiling, and tries to yank away from the grip I have on his wrist.
On the ceiling are there security cameras? Is it known that I am doing this? Perhaps the sender wanted proof of delivery. Well, thank you, I say, still wondering, perhaps in vain, perhaps futilely. Not who sent it, but why. How did they know where I was going?
I open up the folded piece of paper and read simply these words: “Process of elimination”. Now, when you know people who know people in the mob, you don’t really want to hear “process of elimination”. That sounds a little like no one’s ever going to see you again. Or, it might remind you of what your nutritionist says, a lot of fiber will help you with the process of elimination. I know I’ve been bad about fiber. But I have been looking over my shoulder most of my life. I think I will send THEM a singing telegram. But what song? How about (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.