I got a good start on my Borges tonight before Fliptop Pegleg showed up. In the intervening period a Christian men’s group was meeting to plan a “Men’s Breakfast” event. One guy was clearly the alpha and leading the meeting, and he browbeat the others in a brisk, upbeat way about a shockingly long list of items that had to be prepared. He spoke rapidly about food, music, chairs. Periodically he’d come to a decision point and obtain consensus in a flash: “So we’re looking at Wednesday for that, about 7. Is that okay for you Craig? Ryan? How about you, Bill?” The other men responded in respectful monosyllables. I wouldn’t want to hang out with this guy but I bet that breakfast is going to be planned like the Invasion of Normandy.
They closed with the classic O.C. White Guy Evangelical Prayer, which is always slightly too long, full of catch phrases, and begins “Heavenly Father, you are awesome…” Alpha guy stayed for about an hour afterwards talking to another man. Again he was in charge, banging out paragraphs while looking intense and leaning forward; the other man nodded, agreed, chimed in occasionally.
Fliptop Pegleg arrived and ignored my book, sat down, made himself comfortable. The monologue wasn’t as painful this time, because he was talking about diabetes. He has to be real about that stuff, and it leads him to talk about other real things. He told me his father died of diabetes and TB when FTPG himself was only six, in 1949. He saw his father the day before he died, but couldn’t be in the same room; he got to talk to him from outside the hospital window on an outdoor bridge to another building.
I can’t forget that he’s unethical, creepy, probably criminal, and certainly unpleasant to be with, but it humanizes him a bit when he stops talking about video hardware or girls’ butts.
When I got home tonight the neighbors had abandoned a child seat on their front driveway so I took some weird, horror-movie style night shots of it with my house in the background. Baby stuff is generically spooky.