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Friday, May 30, 2008

Joki, I

Joki’s beeper rattles against the empty beer can. He put down his New Republic and reaches over for the device. Leslie Hayes. Leslie would have work. Unfortunately for Leslie, Joki is not at the moment looking for work.

At the moment, Joki is not looking for anything. No, strike that, he looks for something. Pats his shirt. He gets up from his stool and strides toward the saloon door. Outside, he lights his Kool and looks around this Wicker Park, this Chicago, where he finds himself. The boutique shops. The uniquely coiffed, semi-employed young men gamboling from café to café. The equally unique young ladies walking dogs smaller than the eiders of his native Iceland. The immigrants parking their cars, staffing the salons and restaurants, shirts sticking to their back even before their work days begin. The homeless and ill begging for spare change with their worn Styrofoam cups, as illusory and permanent to this landscape as the plastic bags.

What freedom.

Joki stubs out his Kool in a convenient planter and reenters the saloon. The beeper blinks red. Leslie’s damn beeper. Red means emergency. Green means all clear. Leslie’s beeper never blinks green. Joki grabs the device from the bar and read the message:


We need to be in contact. Who talks like that? Joki thinks.

R.I.P. Harvey Korman. You were a brilliant and funny man and you will be missed.

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