My name is Jem Masters. Here’s some things you should know about me before you decide upon my reliability as a narrator or as a hero or as witness or life saver.
I’m Caucasian but my skin tone is more like a paper bag than a peeled potato. I take my glasses off with one hand rather than two. As a result, my glasses are either tilted or down too far on my nose. I’ve recently learned that long time spectacle wearers, who use both hands to remove their glasses, regard both the tilt and the nose drop with rage and judgment.
I have a large head according to my last visit to the optometrist who after taking one look at me suggested that “larger” men often need a special kind of frame to fit the special frame of their body. My glasses were “way” too small.
I took his advice and went to the larger size. This remedy only further accentuated both the tilt and the nose drop but lessened the likelihood of having to purchase new frames every year as the larger size would naturally relieve the pressure that my gigantic head was putting on the vulnerable hinging.
Like everybody my age, I have cataracts but unlike everybody my age, I have scar tissue from a childhood operation to correct my lazy eye which according to my eye surgeon wasn’t lazy at all. The muscle in my strong eye was so freakishly strong that it kept trying to draw my normal eye closer to it. All of this pulling and crossing has led me to be an optimist which I mentioned to the optometrist when she was asking me those questions about which lens I saw better through as she methodically changed lenses and made me read letters.
I told her that we had something almost in common that she was an opmetrist and I was an optimist. She might have heard that before because she immediately replied “Yeah, as close as now and won”.
I got her joke. I started thinking about the relationship between now and won. The person who was more into the “now” at the time of the competition was the person who usually “won”.
But I digress....
Another thing that you should know about me is that I have achieved perfect buoyancy in a swimming pool. I can lie on my back and just float all afternoon without moving a muscle. I love that especially down here in North Carolina where between tropical storms and hurricanes, it’s usually around 100 degrees. I spend a lot of time in my pool, looking up at the famous Carolina blue sky and the surreal clouding......perfect for optimism. Also if anybody's drwoning and I'm floating by, I make a great inner tube...all ya gotta do is grab and hold on until help arrives.
I’ve come to understand that almost everyman who is buoyant is also portly. I’ve recently become portly which is great because it makes it that much easier to buy a suit.
I haven’t bought a suit in 10 years. Last time I bought one, it was a struggle to stay afloat. Now, I float. I’m portly.
And just in case you confront a man versus nature situation, remember; any portly in a storm.
Portly, big head, tilted glasses on my nose, optimistic and wearing the polyester suit that I recently bought on line from Kohl’s to go along with the xxx sweater vest and Escher tie that I decided to put on in order to introduce myself.
Yeah, that’s me now.
Four days ago, it was the 4th of July. Stars and Stripes and humidity and lizards on the porch.
I had just come out of Slice of Life, our neighborhood pizza shop. The Slice of Life had survived a fire and had just reopened. The damage was relatively minor. Next door to the Slice at the Laughing Brook Spell Casting and Ancestral Arts, where the witch was always "in", the damage was far more extensive. Laughing Brook was on the move anyways.The PERFECT location had presented itself the very same week the shop burnt the roof off the building that caged it, very large forces were acting directly upon the street corner.
I had always felt good that we had a Spell Casting shop in the middle of our downtown. God knows we had a speed trap. Approaching that corner the speed limit dipped from 35 to 20 in about 100 yards and a cop was always sitting right there. This produced a lot of revenue for our town attorneys.
After vacuuming two SLICE of Life slices, I was looking forward to a float in the pool when I saw this old guy approaching the corner. He was tall. He was tan. He was not from here nor from Impanema. He was pre-occupied. He didn't look right almost as if he were under a self induced trance.
I was gonna say hello but I was pretty sure he wasn't gonna hear me unless I said it too loud which it was too hot to do and which I wouldn't have done anyways as we portly, paper bag guys don't usually start up conversations with tall, tan, trance driven older guys.
He started to enter the crosswalk and then he was on the ground.
It was happening right NOW, right in front of me.
I called 911 a split second after tall, tan guy hit the ground.
911 called the speed trap cop who showed up immediately from a few yards away and started with the CPR.
The ambulance was there in a flash and the EMT's took over from the cop. After a bit of shirt tearing and chestpounding and pincushioning, the ambulance took off with the tall guy inside and the cop alongside and the sirens blasting.
Before he left, the cop took my name.
"If this guy survives, you saved his life", the cop, Officer Wilson, told me before he tore off to the hospital.
I took off my glasses from my giant head and wiped them with my Panthers tee shirt.
I still haven't heard anything from the cop or the guy.
If I had her number, I'd call the witch,