No Cognitive Defect - Part V

No Cognitive Defect - Part V

By James M. O'Meara, © 2008

Wilson's Tux...

"I need some help."

The record store cashier, a skinny, bearded fellow with ragged, shoulder-length hair, was immersed in the latest copy of Billboard. He ignored his customer, flicking up his forefinger sharply as he finished a paragraph. When he finally glanced up to see Wilson waiting in a soiled, rumpled tuxedo, his eyes widened.

"I want to buy a record," Wilson continued.

"Then welcome to The Ear," the cashier replied. "…but I'm not sure you're in the right place. I don't carry classical. No easy listening. No bubblegum. No cheese of any kind. If you're not looking for serious rock, you're in the wrong store because rock is almost exclusively what I carry. I have some Johnny Cash because I think he has the heart of a rock and roller, but if you're looking for Rachmaninoff…well, rock on out of here."

"I don't have all day," Wilson shot back. "Do you want sell me a record or not?"

The cashier slowly stood up, and said: "Look, I'm sorry, man. I had a bad night. Looks like maybe we both did…but I think yours was worse. Your tux is shot. Were you hiking in it?"

"Something like that," he replied. In fact, he'd walked all the way into Amesbury and had breakfast in a small diner. He'd intended to use the pay phone to call someone to rescue him, but he'd struck up a conversation with an antiques dealer and his wife who were on their way to Boston. He caught a ride back with them. They had a small child, so Wilson made the trip sitting in the back of their pickup truck. The man seemed a calm, easy-going type of guy, but he drove like an absolute maniac. Given a choice, he'd rather take his chances again with Erica and her Jaguar. She drove very, very fast but she knew her car and handled it expertly. The fellow in the pickup truck was simply reckless and aggressive. Wilson spent most of the trip convinced he would die. He'd been dropped off just down the street from The Ear and walked in on a whim.

"My name is Wilson," he said, extending his hand. "I want a Beatle album."

"Well, I'm Clive," the cashier replied, taking his hand and giving a surprisingly strong shake for such a small, wiry fellow. "Which one do you want?"

"I don't know. Something quintessential."

"Which means…"

"Their best work."

"From what period?"

Wilson frowned. This was a pop group. Why was this getting complicated?

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