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Sep 10, 2015

John Dunno of Wichita Falls --- This is heaven --- teaser (3)

Tee time for Teaser 3 of This Is Heaven, the sequel to the GREEN EYES. It's short and sweet, this teaser, true balm for our challenged attention spans.

(The Happy Ending Is over now, is the title of the second (ie. the first) chapter, and John will know it. He's picking himself up, dusting himself off after yet another morning triangle in the gay dunes, and the plot thickens already. John is with Alex of course---so much is still left of the happy ending (go here for the previous teaser)---but in the meantime Ben has called, the other guy John met last week, and Alex was all-ear. "What was Ben's last name?" Alex has just asked:) 
“Ben is his pet name,” I say.
“He has a real name?”
“Ben is John. Cool. John and John. Could be a bit confusing, though. Glad his real name isn’t Alex. You sure?”
“How do you mean?”
“Alex. He’s not another Alex. You sure?”
“And his last name?”
“Dunno,” I lie.
“John Dunno, funny.”
“It’s not Dunno. It’s ‘I-don’t-know’.”
“How do you know it’s not ‘Dunno’ if you don’t know?”
“I mean,” I say.
“John Dunno of Witchita Falls, Texas. Not likely I would know the guy.”
“Not likely you would know the guy.”

John Dunno of Wichita Falls, Texas

Is he playing with me? Will he be always like this? It’s not too late to explain. I could have met Ben a few weeks ago, days, eons before I met Alex. Met him a few weeks ago, introduced him to Luke, Luke needs a hand for the festival. Ben has my number, of course he calls. Explain, John, explain.

“John Dunno. Strange name for a black guy,” Alex says.
“How do you know he’s black?”
“His voice. He has a black voice. You sure I don’t know him?”

This is the moment to come clean. “Listen,” I say, “Alex, listen.” My voice is tense.

“It’s okay, John,” he says. “There are many people I don’t know anyhow.  Like Peggy Noonan, for example.”
“Peggy Noonan?”
“Yes,” he says, raising his chin. “Look!”

Right. We’ve almost arrived at the head of Georgia Avenue, and something has happened to the statue of Peggy Noonan, the talking head of Wall Street Journal fame. Perhaps I should explain. Years ago the Republican Club had donated this statue to its hometown. It was the only statue worldwide of a living talking-head then, Georgia Beach’s only world record, attracting a lot of traffic of course. But the thing, a Disneyesque contraption in bright colors sixty feet high with a built-in voice loop about George W. Bush, the thing had somehow fallen in disrepair in recent years, and other places had erected competing likenesses of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and so on, contraptions even brighter and larger than our Peggy. The world record had been lost and tourism had begun to suffer. There had been talk of the private sector & initiative & fund raisers, and the last few days the statue had disappeared behind a construction scaffold wrapped in sponsor banners. And now what? The scaffold was gone, Noonan was back, brighter than ever, and something else had happened. Noonan has become busy, somehow. Now she shows her left cheek, now she shows her right cheek. Now she shows her face, now she doesn’t.  She is turning, ever so gently, on her own axis. The first revolving statue of a living talking head. A new world record. The Festival Week has begun.

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Michael Ampersant

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