Sunday, August 28, 2022

Literary services

I've been assigned to escort a famous poet to a public reading in Princeton, New Jersey. We are to meet in Grand Central Station before transferring across town to catch a southbound train, but I've neglected to arrange an exact rendezvous with Famous Poet, whose number isn't in my phone. I wander about looking for him, but the terminal is an enormous bazaar covering acres and acres, and it's hopeless to try to locate one person in such an intricate and crowded space. Parts of the bulding have been torn down or have fallen into ruins; on the levelled ground earth-moving machines are preparing the foundation for new structures to come. I select a name from my list of contacts, a colleague who would be likely to have Famous Poet's number, but the person who answers is a stranger who knows nothing about it. I call my boss but he can't help; he is alarmed that we aren't already on the way.

Finally I spy Famous Poet near the ticket booth. He is distraught and tears of rage are streaming down his face. There's no question of continuing; the reading will have to be rescheduled.

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