So last Friday Dirk showed up. If that doesn't mean anything to you, I don't think I can summarize what's happened so far without asphyxiating. What? You take more than one breath when you summarize? (Wheeze!)
“All right,” said Dirk. “I’ll talk now.”
“Oh,” said Ono, “I blab Mister McFarland that I gaggle with the Light Bringer party. We slither and sniff you, then pop, squish, and swoosh you into oblivion.
Dirk just nodded his head. “I can see what you see in her,” he said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You’re in love, Big Brother,” said Dirk.
“How can you tell?”
“I know you, ‘Mer,” said Dirk. “Anytime you start admiring a woman’s nostril cavities, you’re in love.”
I couldn’t argue with that. Ono covered her nose with her non-cigar-wielding hand and I felt like I was a lascivious voyeur.
“So Mister McFarland,” said Ono with a bit of a nasal quality as she was hiding her nostril cavities, “The Light Bringer and Uriculous the Great don’t rattle, quake, or jangle you?”
“You boing, block, and boomerang magic to plink, zoom, and whish you and Elmer from doom?”
“I didn’t say that,” said Dirk. “I just said I wasn’t worried.” He stepped back into the bushes and returned with two instruments, a scratchwing and a bellow. He handed me the scratchwing.
“I already tuned it,” he said. “Do you remember Fassentinker’s third?”
Ono’s pretty features were still covered with… no, obscured by… that’s not it, somethinged with concern, but she sat on a rock as Dirk and I played a tune we’d been playing since before the beginning of either income tax, or fanny packs, and that’s a long time. Thankfully, neither the scratchwing, nor the bellows required the player’s mouth, so we smoked as we played, and if I say so myself, Fassentinker never sounded better.
Whatever the somethinged was that was somethingizing Ono’s face with concern, unsomethinged, and she began to relax, and even hum along. It was old, old music, but it was new to her.
For this one moment, the world was perfect. I had everything I wanted. I wanted to be smoking a cigar, playing good music with my brother, and have Ono there with me, enjoying the moment.
It didn’t last. I guess that’s why they call them moments – but I’m not sure, because I don’t know much about the origin of the word, moment. I could have meditated on that, but I didn’t want to spoil the moment – but it was too late; the moment was over.
“I have to go,” said Dirk after the waves of Fassentinker had finished washing over us. “I’ll look for you tomorrow night, ‘Mer. We need to speak confidentially.”
“That means alone?”
Dirk made that face he so frequently makes to let me know I’ve said something stupid.
“It’s all right,” said Ono, who must have found the music very relaxing because she wasn’t using her sound words. “I mean, you’re brothers, and you have a lot to catch up on since you last got together… a hundred and eighty years before I was born.
“And there’s the whole… I’m part of the enemy thing too.”
“Oh Ono,” I said. “We don’t think of you that way.”
“My brother’s right,” said Dirk. “You seem like an okay sort to me, but you’re right. I have some things I need to discuss with ‘Mer.”
I handed the scratchwing out to Dirk, but he held up his hand. “No,” he said. “You need to hold onto that. I’ll explain it all later, but it’s important.”
“Oh,” I said. “All right, so I should just wander off tomorrow night and you’ll find me?”
“That’ll work,” said Dirk.
Ono and I headed back to camp. I was sorry the moment had been broken. I felt there was a divide between Ono and me, even though it made perfect sense that Dirk would need to talk to me alone.
“He likes you,” I told her. “I can tell.”
“He’s very nice,” she said noncommittally. “He said I was okay sort. What’s an okay sort?”
“Must be a phrase he picked up in oblivion. I’m sure it’s a good thing.”
Ono took my arm and leaned in. We walked in unison, we were even inhaling together. Then Ono stopped and pulled away.
“Do you really like my nostril cavities?”
“They’re very pretty.”
She scrunched up her face, then shrugged and grabbed my arm again, and we continued on to camp. I looked down at the scratchwing in my hand. It was a fine looking instrument, and it had made some good music.
Why did it feel so ominous?
No, I don't know what a scratchwing sounds like. Anyway, here's my favorite percussionist, Lionel Hampton leaving his signature vibes to show us what a drum solo should really be.