I am calling you

Alene handing back to Mark.

I am calling you

Alene had another earworm recently. But neither one of us could place it. And then it went away. But it resurfaced last night — when we watched the movie Bagdad Cafe. Alene put a request on it at the library several weeks ago and she got to the front of the queue on Saturday. We can’t remember what made us think of it — but perhaps the unidentified ear worm was what subconsciously prompted us to think of the movie.

This movie was particularly wonderful to revisit — because the last (and only time) we saw it was in the spring of 1999 — shortly before our lives got turned upside down. What’s more, I do believe that we watched it at the exact same time.

I was in New York for business, staying over the weekend, and a Saturday night dinner engagement fell through. I wasn’t really disappointed. I am wealthy enough and worldly enough to give myself permission to spend a Saturday night alone in New York, ordering room service at the hotel and drinking my way through the mini-bar — without feeling like the world’s biggest loser. I rather enjoy ordering something rather mundane from the room service menu — such as a grilled cheese sandwich — but washing it down with a rather expensive bottle of wine — which was what I did that night.

I searched for something to watch on the tube and found Bagdad Cafe very near the start — where the German lady tourist pulls her trunk from the car and begins the long, hot, dusty trek down the road. Alene must have turned to the channel at the same time — and we watched the movie together — me in my New York hotel room and she in her little house in the woods — enjoying each other’s company without realizing.

I suppose Bagdad Cafe qualifies as a “chick flick” — but there’s plenty to enjoy if you’re a breast man, which I am not, although I consider Marianne Saegebrecht to be one of the hottest plus-size ladies to every grace a movie screen. And anything with Jack Palance is worth watching, for my money.

I had met Alene a few months earlier. It was a rather superficial meeting — but I felt that we had connected somehow. And all the way through the movie, I found myself thinking about her — and wishing she could be with me to watch the movie. Little did I know that she was also thinking of me,

Alene has had an earworm ever since — not a song going around in her head — but an idea. The idea of losing everything and starting over with almost nothing — but discovering a magic talent you never knew you had — and brightening the lives of some complete strangers who never knew how much they needed you — until the day you showed up.

I need to help her nurture that idea. Perhaps that’s why I’m allowed to keep her company on my own strange way. I’m the person who could bring out the magic in her — if she would just let me.


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