Forgotten Art: Norman – Newt 3

A reply to: A letter from Newt


Newt! Hey, man. I hope you like this letter. I’m sending it snail-mail. Throw-back to the past, geek-moment.

Do you think paper letters are geeky? More like retro. I use them all the time for work. We do business with a bunch of old-school folks. Kinda weird, since we’re a new technology. But the investors like paper. How weird is that? We’re a green business.

Ever notice how sometimes values-one-says and values-one-does don’t line up? We see that all the time with our investors.

I digress.

Your letter got me thinking.

Do you want to get back with your wife and kids? Do you want to patch up a marriage you weren’t happy in? I know it’s none of my business, and you’ll do what works for you. But, dang, man. You sound so happy as a single guy, getting to be with anyone you want, anytime you want. No strings. No fuss. No muss.

I just don’t really see you as a family guy.


Like I say, none of my dang business. I’m just thinking: if you’re happy as you are, and your wife and the kids are off starting a fresh life somewhere, why not just make it official, send them alimony, and be done with it?

Not my business, though.

What is my business is trying out your advice. Dang! You give some good advice!

I went back to the café, alone this time.


Turns out my uncle Jasper was there, anyway, but he was back in the reading room.

Something crazy happened. Really weird.

This guy, one of the baristas, sort of caught on fire. Spontaneous combustion.


He expired, man. It’s that tragic.


See what I’m saying? Life is short. We were all pretty shook up about the expired barrista.


Especially Uncle Jasper. He was horrified. One guy who’d rode the train from San Myshuno with my uncle thought it was radical, as in cool. Weird and twisted is what it was.


I’d had enough. I mean, it was really unsettling.

I rode the RapidTran to another café out on the waterfront. I tried to get my mind off what I’d seen with reading.


I was still shook up. I didn’t notice who was there, who’d come in, who was working, nothing.


Then I heard somebody humming a song. It was the theme song from Llamacorn Lollicorn–you remember that show?

I turned, and there she was. My barrista. Looking right at me.


Quick as I could, I tried to remember all your advice.

OK. I had it memorized. Yes. That much of a geek.

“Take your laptop or tablet and pretend to work.”

Dang! I’d forgotten my laptop. I hoped the romance novel would do.

“But watch her enough that she knows you are interested.”

It was kinda hard to watch her because she was watching me.


“Make sure she sees you checking her out and smile at her when she makes eye contact – maybe act embarrassed that she caught you.”

I was about to smile, when she started cracking up.


Instead, I went over there to see if I could read her name tag, like you suggested. She didn’t have a name tag.

“Hi, I’m Ira,” she said. “You’re Meadow’s brother, aren’t you? You’re Norm?”

“That would be right,” I said, “Norman Mccumber of Windenburg Wind and Sun.”

Right. Casual, I’m not.


She giggled. Ira. She’s got the cutest giggle.

We started talking. I guess she knew a lot about me already from my sister.

Man, we talked about everything. Wind power. Photovoltaic cells. Star Trek TNG. Kadinsky. Antique toy collecting.

I told her about my latest acquisition, a vintage Lollicorn edition purple and pink llamacorn.

She actually squealed. “That’s Ramoo! I’ve been looking for him forever!”


Before we realized any time had passed, her shift was over. It was past midnight, we’d talked all night, and now it was time to go home.

Here’s where you’ll think I’ve got the moves down: I asked her if she wanted to come over the next morning to check out my new vintage Lollicorn. Didn’t even mention I had it in my pocket the whole time!


She showed up early the next morning. Dude, she wears black even when she’s not in her black barista uniform! Very classy.


We talked some more. I asked her how she was. She said she was good. We talked about our favorite breakfast foods–she’s a steel-cut-oats-with-chopped-apples-walnuts-raisins-and-cinnamon girl. I like popcorn for breakfast.


She said she looked on e-Bay, and there were currently no Lollicorns available, anywhere. She said I could get maybe four figures for mine. If I wanted to sell. But we both agreed I’d be crazy to sell.


Then I remembered to open the door.

Yeah. We’d been talking through the front door for about fifteen minutes. Smooth it wasn’t. We sat on the porch and talked some more.


I could listen to her forever. I could talk to her for longer.

I told her things I’d never told a soul, not even my sister, and she took it all in, and she didn’t look at me like I was weird. Even when I was weird, she looked at me like I was her friend.


And then it was time for her to head off for her shift.

“I didn’t even get to see the Lollicorn,” she said, as she was leaving. She had a little pout.

“We can easily remedy that,” I replied.

So guess who came back over after work?

I showed her the llamacorn. “It really is purple and pink!” She said. And she laughed. But she wasn’t laughing at me. She was laughing because she liked it. And I started thinking, wondering, if maybe, she might like me, too.


So, thanks, Newt. I seem to have a friend. Not a girlfriend. But a friend who is a girl. We’ve got a lot in common, and I think she’s cute. And that’s a start.

How can I pay you back, buddy?

Take care,


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