It's hot. Very hot. It's summer in the city.
I'm here early. There's some gorgeous pieces of art which capture
my attention. I remove my jacket for the heat, hook my finger
through the collar loop, and sling it over my shoulder as I walk
around, scrutinizing each piece, paying attention to the carefully
displayed artist's notes. Eventually even the jacket on my shoulder
adds too much warmth, so I lay it down carefully on an empty
pedestal, most likely the home of a temporarily absent sculpture. I
wait. But there's no impatience. I'm here. You'll come soon.
I turn around, away from "Winter In Oils" or something
like that ... and here you are! You throw open your arms and greet
me with "Hello Laurence!" in the rich, deep, Philadelphian accent,
a blazing smile flickering across your face. We embrace.
It always seems this moment will never come. My eyes
mist over but I'm not embarrassed. I'm careful, very
careful about your
so I don't greet you by name. I say "Hello Chief! It's
great to see you again.". I mean it. No kidding!
The cab driver's having a hard time keeping his eyes on the road.
He's stealing furtive glances at you in his rear view mirror.
Finally he can't contain himself anymore. He bursts out
"'scuse me, Sir: does anyone ever tell you you look
like Werner Erhard?". I
your answer. You could say (and still be telling the truth) "Yes, I
get that a lot.". That would be a good response.
stay paramount. Instead you say "I'm Werner Erhard.". The cabbie's
eyes open wider. He's delighted. "Damn! I knew it!".
He's all smiles now, but his eyes are on the road ahead. The
thought "Wow!" crosses my mind ... but I remain silent.
It's a short, easy walk to the restaurant you've chosen. We talk
along the way. But I'm still a bit giddy. Ground control to
Major Tom: come in, please. My concern for your
snaps to attention again with what happens next. You greet the
Maitre D' who, sure enough, asks for the name on the reservation. I
assume it'll be the aide's who made the reservation.
Wrong again! Without pause you reply "Erhard", again
in the rich, deep, Philadelphian accent, the same megawatt smile
blazing for her as it did for me. No hiding. No holding back. Heads
turn. Now there's a whole new frame of reference in place for me.
Something of which I've been totally
sure has just been vanquished, blown away.
But then again, isn't this what always happens around