Me and Forrie Magee (a 30:30 Report)
This is not the occult, I ain’t no party for that weirdness, un-huh, no Caspar the ghost either, gives me the heebie jeebies every time. Nah, this is me the reporter, a thing I always wanted to be, like the old man, listen to Heart singing Tell It Like It Is which always was gonna float my boat, but enough of that jive, I’m here to tell you today about my old pal Forrie Magee, yeah, him from back in my high school friendship, as in best of friends, running pals, big-time philosophers, how many Friday nights ya got? All that. And back not only as far as Junior High too, of course, but though my fractured brain DNA’s don’t remember so good no more, Ima guessing that boy got bussed directly from Parkwood Beach to my neighborhood Pilgrim School – can’t think of an elementary closer Jake – so we be like all palsy walsy since nearly the beginning of time, which you just may be asking yourself so what’s the big deal Brah, everyone’s got someone from their own way back when, which I grant you can’t argue about that — but why I’m going off here and now about Forrie is he has returned from the great beyond. You could say, clinically speaking, back from the graveyard, back from where (we suppose) the sun don’t shine, though we’ll get to that momentarily – yup, back from the dead.
I’m not going to get in to the hows and whys, maybe you already have a thought on it, nope?, but the when, and we’re talking back into the 80’s when he left us, somewhat mysterious and he was off in Nevada somewhere by then, we’d lost the kind of touch we had all our young years, which were sweet and filled with soft laughter, never mind maybe 20,000 beers and copious amounts of beach time, get with it Schmidt, the boy did live at Parkwood “Beach”, emphasis the latter, and we’d jump in and swim out to the raft and ogle and yodel towards summer girls, there’s a couple I could go into detail but won’t not here and now anyway, so here it is today a Thursday and I’m in the basement thinking about Twitter and the seventeen books I have in some degree of completion and where to scrounge some kind of grant or permanent non-refundable donation to help pay for publishing, the fees and costs, the shippings, the file formations which is a technology far beyond the pea-brained level of moi’s abilities, so’s you gots to fork over the dough, Bro, which is what I say to myself rather gently there are enough other deals to be all recriminitive about y’all, but the point being it is taking forever to get to it,
Yet I’m in the basement now doing the two-finger dance I do and I hear someone coming down the stairs which is not exactly uncomfortable but a tad spooky since the wife and kids are off to New Orleans for the big séance convention, so who the heck can this be and I turn and almost fall down stone cold iced when I see Forrie standing at the bottom of the stairs and he gives me that sweet, sweet smile of his, all blonde and innocent and really real and walks over and gives me a hug and steps back and plants just a little kiss on my forehead and says only this – “Sure missed you Milky.” I should explain Forrie gave me the nickname “Milky” back around the end of eighth grade which, he said, was either because I sure loved me those small cartoons of milk up in the cafeteria, man I would slurp down three of those lunch puppies if it wasn’t a gym day, or because I was, with my Portugee heritage always browning up big time beginning April every year and right through the end of November so he’d say I needed to dial the skin burning back, baby, pour a little white on that tan Stan and what I needed was a milk bath, so either one of those works, take your pick, but he began to call me Milky and I began to answer to it (just a him and me thing, my mom and dad would have shook their heads if they heard it, wonder for about the 11 hundredth time how’d they get me for a kid), and now it is like 29 years later from eighth grade and Forrie has appeared in my basement and we head up and out into my Camry and I step on it big time and tool over to the northeast quadrant of town and take him, I’m buying, to what is called the ‘Neighborhood Coffee House’, which has become my favorite guzzler spot in Portland, it supersedes my local café which I basically camped out in for about eight years, but now it’s here, what I call (to myself only) as ‘The Hood’, and I put down a finsky to Darla behind the counter and get a couple of large to-go containers of their dark roast and we load up on heavy cream – I see Forrie adding a tablespoon of sugar, that’s a no can do for moi, and we go to my favorite table which is of course available and begin a six-straight-hour commiseration of the golden topic of what it was, what it is, and what it shall be –
Which is a phrase first directed at me by my man and likewise running buddy and serious Maryjane sharing bro Irvy Irvininsky, anyway he first said the then, now, and tomorrow thing to me back in sophomore grade, it is way cool, and that sums up well the gist of our (Forrie and me) convo, which does include seconds on the coffees and a couple of pee breaks apiece, and since I like to include ambiance in all the tales I tell I will say that “The Hood’ is basically one super large room with mile-high ceilings as it is in the northeast corner of an extra-large neighborhood church, this particular area underused until some religious alderman or caretaker came up with the idea to sell some coffee and ladies’ choir biscuits and muffins and better use the space, and so there are possibly 12 small, square tables spaced out and a couple of couches and I cannot think of one time I’ve been here before – maybe like 35 visits or so by now — when there has been more than three other customers spread out and about, nor has there been a single occasion amongst all those visits when it wasn’t Darla behind the counter, which is like an old door planed down and shellacked, turned sideways and supported by three large wooden boxes on each end, of course the big steel coffee makers and a glassed in counter for the ladies’ baked things, I kind of think that Darla might live here, maybe she crashes on those couches when it’s the midnight hour, and there are showers somewhere I’ve heard them running, you can hear stuff when sipping coffee in ‘The Hood’ because they don’t play music which I appreciate, the golden silence thing,
But there I go running off one place or another and being all kinds of unfocused because I’m guessing you showed up here this morning to get the lowdown- the 411 – on what’s Forrie doing back from the big old beyond, and what the heck is he back to tell me. So, let me get to that.
And it starts with last night’s dream….