Sunday Afternoon

“There are two types of people in the world. People who make vast generalizations and those who don’t.”

It was late May 1999 and Danny Weisman was holding a Henry Weinhard’s cream soda by the neck, sitting in the Danforth leather chair in Hart’s dorm room. Remaining true to a style he called inimitable and others contended was actually closer to annoying, Danny had showed up unannounced while Hart was in the middle of something. After letting himself in he’d commenced his usual ritual of relieving the smoke detector of its battery before going to work on a Camel Light.

Hart barked a forced laugh and shook his head without turning around. He was re-arranging his records by genre. He wanted to be doing this alone.

“Beyond that,” Danny continued, blissfully oblivious, “there are people who get music and those who don’t. And if you’re one of the people who don’t, I think that’s just kind of sad.” Three jabs of the cigarette emphasized this last point, emphatic gestures lost on the back of his unwilling host’s head. The dorm leech settled back contentedly into the creaking leather and took a long drag before making a request.

“Put on something good man. I need to chill the hell out. I’ll be expelled when I get this semester’s grades. Rome is burning.” He made a violin motion with his arm and laughed with incongruous delight.

Biting his lower lip and pausing for a moment to compose himself, Hart debated whether the potential discomfort of having to explain why he didn’t actually want Danny there at the moment would outweigh the annoyance of his assured presence there for the next hour should he fail to state what should have been obvious. He hadn’t even turned around when Danny came in. He’d heard his voice in the hallway at thirty yards greeting Joel Claes. This was followed quickly by the sound of Joel’s door closing in what Hart imagined to be Danny’s mystified yet indefatigable face.

What had Christ said, “You read the weather but you cannot read the times?” Danny Weisman had no aptitude for social cues. But then he’s Jewish, Hart mused sardonically. Maybe he’s never read the gospels.

While thinking, Hart was looking absently through the records he had spread out in front of him at the moment, the innards of the classic rock section. He sighed heavily and selected The Eagles: Greatest Hits Volume I. As the intro to ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ kicked in, Danny smiled.

“Good call.” He closed his eyes. “Yeah man. Good, good call.” The cherry from his cigarette had fallen onto the freshly-vacuumed carpet where it lay like dirty snow.

Hart smiled wryly, turned around, spoke at last.

“Get your boots off my end table, asshole.”

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2 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon

    • This is another excerpt from a chapter of my novel: The Magical, Neverending Journey of Shenandoah Stardust & her Hammerstein Chariots.

      Working title.

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