Café, September 22, 2012

The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

«archive page



Listen (MP3)

GK: I like to sit in a coffee shop and write because that's what Ernest Hemingway did which he writes about in his memoir A Moveable Feast, and so I do on the odd chance that I might write something great title but instead I go online and check email and browse Facebook and check up on my old girlfriend who is in a relationship but it's complicated, which doesn't surprise me at all, knowing her, and she has posted a weird yoga video which I watch and that leads to some other videos which I watch, videos about a variety of things......(HE FADES)

LM: I was in my coffee shop and the sun was hitting my computer screen so I switched to a table in the corner but it was too close to this old guy talking about his gall bladder so I moved across the room and it was perfect until this couple sat down who were super in love and they're touching each other and touching and touching ---- two feet away ---- I mean: get a hotel room ---- but they were oblivious so I got up and moved back to where I was at the beginning and then I had to use the bathroom so I asked this guy at the next table if he'd watch my laptop for me and he said sure.

GK: She asked me to watch her laptop and that was no problem because I'd been watching her for the past half-hour as she moved from table to table. She's been coming to this coffee shop for, I donno, six months I think, and I always see her in there, and I've never walked over and said Hi because---- I donno ---- I don't want her to think I'm hitting on her but it's strange to be in the same place with someone week after week and you don't even know who they are-----and that was why I read what was on her screen ---- to get to know her.

LM: Hi. I'm back. Thanks for watching my stuff.

GK: You're welcome.

LM: Is something wrong?

GK: No. Why?

LM: You're looking at my screen.

GK: Oh. Right. I've been thinking of getting a laptop just like that ----- how is the screen for readability?

LM: It's fine. Obviously. You're reading it. Right?

GK: Oh. Right. Sorry.

LM: Okay? That take care of it

GK: Yeah.


LM: I was going to say something to him that what he read on my screen was fiction, it wasn't real, and then I noticed that my screen was frozen. Wouldn't move. (CLICKING) Frozen.

GK: Something wrong?

LM: My computer froze.

GK: Oh. Maybe it'll come back.

LM: You know about computers?

GK: No, but sometimes they come back.

LM: Did somebody mess with it when I was gone?

GK: No, not that I saw.

LM: You were sitting right here, right?

GK: Right.

LM: So nobody touched it?

GK: No. ------I sensed an accusatory tone and I suppose I should've been honest and said that, no, I hadn't touched it but I had spilled one splash of coffee on it when I bent down to read what she'd written about a guy named Jose dancing with her in a bar in El Paso and how it changed her life and when the coffee spilled, the computer blinked a couple times and froze and if I'd known her better, I could've told her that but I knew that if I did tell her, I'd never get to know her better, so I didn't. ---So you didn't save your document, huh?

LM: No, I didn't.

GK: You'll remember it, I'll bet.

LM: I won't. It was one of those flashes of brilliance, never to be recreated.

GK: Oh.

LM: This guy Jose ---- I met him in a bar in San Antonio and we danced and----

GK: You mean, El Paso.

LM: So you did read it.

GK: I glanced at it. I saw the name El Paso. I didn't read it. I just -----

LM: Glanced at it.

GK: Right.

LM: And------?

GK: And what?

LM: What did you think?

GK: Well, I just felt that it was way too easy, this guy walking into a bar and asking you to dance and you needed to have something to creat tension, some antagonism, some obstacle in the way, not just two people falling into each other's arms.

LM: Well, that's exactly how it happened.

GK: So it's not fiction. I thought it was fiction.

LM: No.

GK: Really?

LM: Really. And if you want to turn this into a writing workshop, I think that what I saw on your laptop was absolutely unrealistic –-- I mean, where was the tension there? Huh?

GK: You were reading off my screen?

LM: Of course. I read the whole thing.

GK: The story I was writing.

LM: It was so pathetic. The man and the woman in the coffeeshop. The two laptops. She goes into the ladies room and asks him to watch her computer. So he reads it and he spills coffee on it and it freezes up her story about the Latin guy in the bar----- it's so childlike. Where does it go from there?

GK: I don't know.

LM: You don't know----

GK: I don't.

LM: You started a story with no idea where it's going?

GK: I don't know what happens.

LM: Well, let me show you. (ROMANTIC MUSIC COMES UP) Kiss me. Take me in your arms. Touch me.

GK: Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.

LM: It's you. You.

GK: Alice.

LM: Alison.

GK: Alison. Sorry.

LM: It's okay. Let's get out of here.

GK: Where?

LM: My place.

GK: You live near here?

LM: Around the corner.

GK: I'll get my car.

LM: Forget it. Leave it.

GK: It's in a one-hour parking zone.

LM: Who cares? I'm crazy about you. I love you.

GK: I'll be there in two minutes.

LM: Come. Come.

GK: What's your address?

LM: I'll lead you there.

GK: I have to move my car.

LM: Come. Come with me. (BIG MUSIC COMES UP)

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy