Once upon a time I thought my name was unique.
I was playing bass in a few bands and thought I’d see if anyone had ever posted anything about me online. Googled my name and “bass” and lo and behold, there’s some guy named Joel Canfield, a bass player somewhere in Michigan.
That’s the day I started using my middle initial D. (It’s for David, and no, I have no idea why my parents gave me two Hebrew Bible names, especially considering my siblings each have two Celtic names.) My introduction at business mixers was “If it doesn’t have the D it isn’t really me.” So, it’s Joel D Canfield, because I need the D but didn’t want the period because I’m an artist and I have my affectations and it’s my name fer cryin’ out loud.
But only with the D in it.
… more … “The Other Joel Canfield”
He pulled out the soiled handkerchief again and smeared germs across his forehead. Then he sat.
“I should say, that is, I meant to say, I removed something and I would like you to put it back.”
He hadn’t added up from minute one. It was only getting worse.
“And the reason you can’t return it yourself is what? They don’t know you took it and you’d like to keep it that way?”
He blushed. Actual pink-in-the-face blushing.
“While it’s more, well, complicated, yes, complicated than that, you could put it that way.”
His predilection for circuitous expression was annoying. And apparently catching.
It pushed him back against the chair.
“What do you mean, why?”
“I get the broad strokes. Give me the details. You said there were details. Share them.”
The sweating and blushing continued. The predilection didn’t.
This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look.
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You’d think I’d know what to expect considering who I was meeting in the cheap dive downtown.
One at a time, sure.
I’d never sat down with the three of them, not all at once.
It’s enough to drive you to drink.
Or for those with other proclivities, to write.
Or maybe both.
Once in a while when I look in the mirror, I barely recognize the face.
You know how sometimes an actor can’t finish a role in a series, but they continue anyway, with someone else, and everyone just pretends that it’s still them?
It looks like me, physically. Not exactly, but a lot.
It’s not the wrong face.
It’s what’s behind the eyes.