22. Flavor Flav at the Brazilian Bar

 how paradoxical it is to seek in reality

for the pictures that are stored in one’s memory (SW, 606)

Flavor Flav was seated at the Brazilian Bar in mid-town,

late, just three of them. The mammoth clock around his neck.

This was in the late 90s. They were half-way to smashed,

a pretty white couple about to have that last argument.

David says hello. You know who I am? says Flav.

Yeah, I do, says David. I bought my daughter a Public Enemy album

when she was about twelve. Eyes as round as the clock.

Man, you cooler than you look, glancing at the shoes.

He is. She puts a hand on David’s arm, her almost blond

hair shaken loose over her eyes. He’s very cool.

You too, baby. You too. You eating? Beans and rice,

man, just water. Or you just drinking?

Got troubles, I bet, like everyone. Two of you about to break up,

am I right? Man, you can’t let this lady go. Look at her.

David is drinking a red wine. Maureen something more elaborate,

as she always was, nothing simple, speaking a faux Brazilian

Portuguese, eyes a lapis blue from contacts. Flavor grazing on her legs

and her hand on her knee. My daughter, Elena, would love your autograph.

Slide a business card over. He signs it. Twenty years later she still has it,

she says after dinner. None of my friends knew how you knew

Flavor Flav. Shrugs. I was a cooler than the usual dad.

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