“Patience,” I say. “It’s a dowager.”
No one listens. I don’t know what I mean, but it doesn’t matter. No one remembers.
In thirty years, an elderly woman taps me on the shoulder. “Have you known a dowager?” she asks.
“A dowager?” Maybe someone has been listening. A cheese steak is in order. My order has been shipped. “A dowager,” she repeats. “Yes, I remember you.” A trembling pause, crystalline and unfortunate. “The spoiled Fanny who never thought anyone heard him talking. The truth is, it was you who never listened. To anyone.” I look out into the harbor. My pet dog, Boullierreé, floats there, dead. Drowned. I was too busy “communicating” with this elderly woman, hoping she remembered something I’d said to her and a large group of seated people some thirty years ago. I didn’t even notice when Boullierreé’s brown neck got tangled in a wild seaweed salad.
A noncommittal tear plashed down onto her elderly bosom. “Ah, shit,” I said. Maybe she said it.
FRED SAVAGE TURNS THE PAGE
TELEVISION: Come work for me
CARTOON PENIS: I didn’t get enough sleep, I don’t think I’m up to it
TV: No one got enough sleep. Just do a rail and go to the “writers’ room”
CP: Nah, that stuff’s evil. I’m just going to eat a tube of cheesesnakes and watch more TV, maybe read a poem
TV: Suit yourself. [The television turns to the CP’s companion, Charity Elderbounces.] How about you, Charity? Would you like to give working for TV a try?
CHARITY ELDERBOUNCES: I would, but quitting my job is too much of a risk slash hassle.
TV: Jeepers, you people are the worst. Have I mentioned how well-catered the “writers’ room” is?
CP: [Stands up from his swiveling office chair] Scratch it: This sounds fun. I love “caters.” “Cater-berries.” [Smiles to himself. Smiles at TV. Smiles at Charity.] I’ll take the job, if you’ll have me.
TV: Too late. You lost your chance.