Today’s guest poster is Tom! Tom’s my favorite big brother – now that we work near one another we’ll often meet up for lunch together, which is very fun. An awesome visual artist, and an amazing musician, Tom also writes sometimes. So I asked him if he would write something for me this month. I was very excited when he agreed! I also asked him to write his own bio, and he did so happily:
Tom is a jack of all trades and master of none.
He is known to accuse celebrities of conspiring against him and distrusts Canadian squirrels.
He could use good talking to and a haircut.
Not that she didn’t speak, her voice was quite lovely, albeit fragile. Rather, she never spoke about herself, relationships, thoughts, feelings or her past. Any conversation was in passing and there was never any subject or moment that warranted a memory.
I remember the rain falling in silhouette against a naked bulb, burning beneath its metal hat. The sound of rain meeting the concrete joined the sound of traffic from the bridge above, culminating in a loud prolonged hiss every time the door opened.
It seemed most nights were like this. And like most nights P sat in the corner of the bar, away from the distractions of the flickering TV and neon that illuminated the faces at the bar.
The city hissed again as the door opened and quickly closed.
The feather is what stood out, a small feather in the band of his hat. It was reminiscent of an earlier time, and while it did not seem out of place with the rest of his attire, it was out of place with the bar’s clientele.
He asked for the bartenders name and politely ordered a Manhattan without the cherry.
He paid for his drink with exact change and left three bills on the bar-top as tip. His back was turned when the bartender knocked on bar-top, though he still nodded in acknowledgment.
Drink in hand he walked to the corner of the bar where P sat. Her arms outstretched on the table, hands wrapped around her drink, eyes cast down.
His voice was too faint or the TV too loud for me to hear what he said, but I saw her eyes raise to meet his. Her face betrayed a beauty faded, but not forgotten, framed by the slight curl in her hair which she wore ambivalently. As her lips moved I tried to recall the sound of her voice, but all I could imagine was the smoke of a fire extinguished too soon.
He sat down across from her and they spoke for some time and while I can’t swear by it, I thought I saw him hold her hand.
I did think it odd when they left together. Silent P, leaving the bar with the man with the feather in his hat. I can’t tell you what she was thinking or if she was happy or sad, but I believe there was a sense of relief on her face.
While no one thought anything of her not returning to the bar the next day, or even the day after that, at some point we all started to wonder what ever happened to Silent P. Who was the man with the feather in his hat, that she left with after years of sitting alone in the corner of the bar.
She never returned to the bar and like most things no longer present, she too faded from our thoughts and memories.
I like to think the man with the feather in his hat was an old friend, an uncle, long lost brother or some other friendly person and that night was a long overdue reunion.
Still, I can’t remember her voice and probably never will. Nothing seems sadder then being forever silent.
I hope she is still out there somewhere, laughing against the silence.