— This guy comes up to me on the street and gives me a dollar. I look up to him and I don’t know why and I’m looking at this dollar. There is morning city noise everywhere. Traffic passing, people passing, birds ahead, good air. Usually I’m on the go, I have been assigned to go somewhere and I need to be there pronto. Today I was heading to work when this guy comes up to me and gives me this dollar. So I stopped myself and slowed down. I leaned my mind to the front again where my eyes are and I paused for him on the street, missing the crosswalk. Missing the crosswalk makes it another five minutes in order for me to get to work. But I look up. The man looks astonished. While missing the crosswalk too, he watches me peer up from the dollar and opens his mouth. He nearly caresses my face when he reaches out and embraces my shoulder. Something softer for a moment replaces the air, lighter air. The man frighteningly resembles Bill Murray with a beard, Bill Murray donning a trench coat with another smaller trench coat strapped underneath, the smaller one being a magenta color, like a dark red licorice color trench coat. Nothing about what Bill Murray wears makes sense but he feels familiar and non-threatening in his air. His look is very serious and ebbing into the slowness of the atmosphere with his blue eyes, his presence is always very serious and you can’t help but pay attention when he’s standing there patiently in front of you. Bill Murray tells me, No one will ever believe you.
— No one will ever believe you.
— That’s what he said to me.
— That’s what – Bill Murray. Bill Murray said to me.
— Right now I’m driving – right now I’m heading to work and I’m going to flirt with everyone that walks in there. I don’t care, won’t care. Show me something to knock over. I am a life to consider. I am soft eyes on command. I am a perfect body a perfect soul. I am working the graveyard shift at CVS until the sun rises. I am just going to look at everyone dead set in the eyes and pretend I can hear music. Whatever her favorite song is, that’s what music I can hear and she can see that. From everything I say these moments on, she will see that. From my mouth. Everyone is the same. I can stare at my wife and a fat man and my best friend and my girlfriend and a calm stranger and God in the same way as every customer that walks in here. The door alarm rings electronic bells. The pretty blonde. A drunken man in a suit. Teenagers in hoodies walking near the alcohol. The pretty blonde taking her time, looking at magazines. Another man in a trench coat that I thought was going to rob the store. Not Bill Murray. Everyone is the same.
— At 2 AM someone came into CVS and tipped me a dollar after buying cigarettes. I think he tipped me a dollar because I looked so miserable. That’s what really happened. I’ve heard Bill Murray does play pranks on people though. I’m not sure if that did or did not happen. But I have this dollar.
Thom’s three-way call to Richard and Ellie. His change in breath suggests he’s smoking a cigarette or many cigarettes. In the background, occasionally cars pass and once, a chime from a bicycle. Whenever Thom pauses for breath, there is a sense he is happy or he’s being more assertive in his speech. Because of the time difference, the time is 3:12 AM when Thom calls. Both Ellie and Richard listen and wait until the next morning to reply. Already the air is turning blue for early morning. The recording is stored in the satellites in the air and in their phones next to their beds while they both feel tucked away and careless. It is the same thing as pretending something will be okay without truly knowing for certain. They are never really good with this – Ellie and Richard – when there is something left cooking in the oven, when there is something left burning on the stove, or when there is someone to call back right away on the phone, someone in despair? What if there is someone lost in the void, heeding your call, urging your search?
If you stand outside and predict lightning, you will be surprised either way burn or no burn right or wrong. Consequences are certain. Everyone knows this. Thom is three hours away all the time.
Your closest friends are tall trees in a storm. Thom says this waking up sore the next morning, hungover with a headache. With a message from dreaming. A dollar in his pocket. Strangely, he has the urge to watch the movie Lost in Translation or Groundhog Day and decides to be out of touch for a few days from his friends.