As Cool As I Could

As Cool As I Could
by pat a physics
Both pans were precariously leaning toward the edge of the counter
when I noticed the phone ringing.  My dead wife would tell you
that I always answer the phone, even if it is inappropriate or a
hazardous situation in which distraction would cause some sort of
problem.  “Hello,” I whispered as cool as I could.  Then there was
the clatter of both pans onto the floor.  No one was there and my
breakfast was ruined.  My only recourse was to leave the apartment
at once for a stroll over to my favorite Mexican restaurant.  It
didn’t seem like I had forgotten anything, but I felt a feeling
when I was crossing my street.  A lizard twitched on the top of a
piece of quartz in front of the bank, a motorcycle came to a stop
at the convenience store, a flock of birds perched atop the power
lines, and a wind blew through my thinning hair.  When I got back to
my apartment, I trusted that everything would be different.  Maybe
it was the strong drink I had gotten so early in the morning, but
I convinced myself that something that I had done or not done had
changed my life forever.  However, there were the overturned pans
on the ground, and life was the same.  Checking the mail was the
next thing on my list, but instead I called up a friend.  He was
the one who had called me over an hour ago to tell me he wanted to
go to breakfast.  He had hung up because he had changed his mind.
When pressed on why he had changed his mind, the friend sputtered
and clapped his hands.  “That’s fine,” I said as cool as I could.
Then there was an unnecessary apology that not only was unnecessary,
but yelled at the top of his lungs.  Was the friend misunderstanding
my tone of voice?  I explained the pans, the trip to the restaurant,
and the feeling that I had during my breakfast.  My friend explained
away his outburst with a description of his mood swings.  I listened
to my friend for a while and then stopped listening.  He kept going
and I was long gone.  When he asked for some verification of what
he was talking about, I would answer, “Ah.”  And I would say it
as cool as I could. Now the cheese from my breakfast had hardened,
so it wouldn’t come off when I mopped up the mess in the kitchen.
I had to get something to scrape the melted cheese off of the hard
wood floor.  There was this ice-scraper that I used and it was made
of transparent blue plastic.  The scraper worked well, and I even
killed a cockroach with it while I was down there.  Some one was
knocking at the door, and if you asked my dead wife, she would concur
that I would even answer the door if I had no pants on.  I opened
the door with a cheesy hand to talk to a salesman about an incredible
new cleaner for hard to clean up messes.  “No thanks,” I said as cool
as I could, several times.  At least it wasn’t a bible salesman.  The
bible is terrible.  Just thinking about the bible made me wince with
anger.  I had to sit down on my disgusting couch and try to think of
something else.  I started thinking about my friend’s dog and how I
would love to go visit.  I called him up to ask myself over.  He did
not want me over because, newsflash, I was a big jerk.  “But, I’ll
bring some beer over.  It will be fun.  We can listen to records and
try and grill this lambchop that I got from Tony.”  All of this was
delivered in an unerring coolness that my friend could not deny.
I had said it as cool as I could.

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