Good Narrative Principles

Side Car


Before today, I had no idea that Bill had a thing for banana pancakes and refused to order them at the local iHop even though they’re featured prominently on the menu. He suspects that the iHop version will never equal the perfect banana pancakes that live in his memory. Over lunch, a picnic lunch at a local park organized and catered by Bill, he revealed a few other things about himself that caught me by surprise. Maybe it was the silence, a kind of spacious silence that gave him permission to speak freely. He likes the idea of a strong militarized America. That’s an issue. He can’t get enough of reality TV and favors those shows that emphasize humiliation, the sort where people get voted off the island. I did not see that coming. I had to walk away for a few moments to compose myself. Honestly, I was trying to grab a signal to check the train schedule, though to Bill it probably looked like I was monitoring a crisis back in the office. He told me that Sunday mornings are a sacred time for him and his black Lab Pooch. And that no one not even his two kids (Kids? What Kids?) or Ex (ditto) when she was still the Mrs. could share this time with him. Then he showed me a picture of him and Pooch off on their Sunday morning outing and I felt my heart crack open a bit.

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