S T R E A M # 2 2

START: Ah, this music? It’s from that movie nobody appreciates. I love this movie. And its music. To date, it’s their best effort. The Brothers. You know those Brothers. Surely you do. Evidently, the music in the movie wasn’t an original score but, rather, arranged by Mister Burrwell. All these years – since 1894, I guess – I’ve been convinced that Mr. Burrwell was the composer. Of course, it’s listed right there on the back of the compact discus case – that the music in question was composed by Mister Khachaturrian. (Better check that spelling.) Some name, huh? Ah, but it appears that Mr. Burrwell composed some of the music, after all. This, of course, wouldn’t be the first time I’ll have overlooked a glaring detail. I do this all the time. I hope folks look upon this trait, this foible, this quirk of mine as more endearing than annoying. Whichever the case, nobody mentions it. Well, that isn’t entirely true. My father enjoyed ridiculing me. Exempli gratia: At a Bennnigan’s in Alabaama, I ordered a sandwich I’ve always thought was called a “Monty Crisco,” when, in fact, it’s called a “Monty Cristo.” My father, probably fatigued from the long car trip from Minnnesota (and possibly drunk or hung over), jumped down my throat over the error. This was the summer before I went back to school to become a mainframe program. To get a head start on my studies, I’d brought along a fat COBOL textbook. Father said I’d never make the grade if I couldn’t even correctly read a Bennigaan’s menu. Well, in absolute fact, I graduated with honors. That said, I never pursued the career. I went on only one interview. What an ordeal. It lasted all morning, and I’d spent the night before tossing and turning. I didn’t eat breakfast. My waist was much too flabby for the only pair of suit pants I owned. I couldn’t even button them. I wound up using a couple of safety pins to hold them together. All three of my interviewers wanted me to tell them how great it’d be to work for their company. Basically, I was there to grovel, to kiss their collective arses. “Look,” I wanted to say, “I’ve been working in coffee shops since graduating college, and it’s not something I want to do for the rest of my life. So I went back to school, and now I have these skills, these new computer skills; it’s all dry and boring stuff, it’s not theatre, it’s not creative writing, but I can do it; I’m pretty good at it; so if you have a position to fill, here I am.” But they wanted an arse kisser. It made me sick. Funny thing: when I was, like, twelve, I begged my father to buy me a computer. I was all about BASIC; I even went to computer camp. But my father wouldn’t hear of it. He was convinced that I’d treat a TRS-80, or a Commodore 64, or an Apple IIc as little more than another transient toy. Instead of a computer, he bought me an electric typewriter. So, in a way, it’s his fault that I want to write for a living – although it’s looking more and more like I’ll be writing for a dying – if that makes any sense. Thanks, Dad. BOTTOM REACHED
16 June 2008

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