A write-up by TPC Editor Emeritus & Contributing Writer Ellis Millsaps
~ special to The Chronicles ~
This is not a common occurrence.
"Wassup?" I say.
"Wassup?" he responds.
I can't help but notice he's drinking something out of a paper bag. I'm rolling hand-rolled cigarettes and having my morning coffee. So I invite him to join me.
"Wanna sit for a spell?" I ask, channeling Granny Clampett.
"Well yeah," he says. "Doesn't seem like there's a whole lot happening on E. Palmetto St this morning."
"It's early," I reply, and pull up one of my three chairs. Turns out Bruce has a pint of Crown Royal, so I slide the tobacco and papers over.
I've never been crazy about Crown Royal, or Canadian whiskey in general. Seems like a watered down version of the real thing, but this already no ordinary day and all I had before was coffee.
Now I've got coffee and Bruce. Things could be awkward, we never having met before, but we seem symaptico and pretty soon we're chilling, talking about baseball with an occasional reference to Lou Reed when Bob Dylan appears and takes the third seat.
Our pleasant conversation turns sour as Dylan and I start taking turns seeing who can be the biggest asshole, but at least the conversation is spirited as it ceases to be once Leonard Cohen appears on the porch. He doesn't walk up; he just appears. This is somewhat awkward because there are only three chairs.
Also there's the fact that Leonard is dead.
An uncomfortable silence ensues which is broken by the appearance of David Bowie and Elvis.
Of course they haven't brought any chairs either.
I've had about enough of this.
"Look," I say, "the three of us are sitting here having a pleasant, then spirited, conversation about what an A-hole Bobby is when you three show up. We're discussing baseball and Lou Reed and we're damn sure not having no "Love Me Tender" and we're sure as hell not having any "Suffragette City."
"And what the hell is that song even about anyway, Mr. Jones? And yes - I know your name is really David Jones, and I have no idea what you're doing here, but I don't think you do either, do you, Mr. Jones?"
"Yeah, something is happening here and you don't know what it is," Bob chimes in.
I glare at him.
"I know you think you're a duke and your buddy is a King, but my friend here is the Boss and he says all you dead people should leave. Zimmerman, you can stay if you behave yourself."
Bruce nods and the dead slowly fade from view.
"What was that all about," I ask Bruce.
"I thought you knew. I just got here."
To be continued. Perhaps...
Ellis was an attorney by trade (now recovering) but has worn many hats over the years: father, bus boy, stand-up comedian, novelist, wiffle ball player, rock'n'roll band manager, and at one time wrote a popular and funny column for The Covington News. A Fannin Co. mountain boy originally, Mr. Millsaps now stays at the mill village of Porterdale by way of 20 years in Mansfield. Usually funny and at times irreverent and subversive, he leans left in his political philosophy but can always be counted on for a pretty darn good write-up. The Chronicles are proud to have him involved. You can read his past works at TPC by visiting his Contributing Writer page.