Three Theories on the Whereabouts of Feldenstein Calypso
By Grape Areeww
Where is the Clerk of The Clerk Manifesto? Do you think you know? What hints has he left of his whereabouts? What does he do when he is on vacation? Why doesn’t he just tell us?
I would like to suggest three possibilities. It is up to him, of course, to divulge his location—or if he remains in the library after all, letting his fingers and mind rest a bit from the demands and stardom of blogging.
Alas, I think not. I believe Feldenstein Calypso is somewhere.
And now, I will, like all great logical thinkers, drink seven glasses of chocolate milk and sit still until memories of Feldenstein Calypso rise, memories that might give us some clues as to his whereabouts.
I have known Feldenstein Calypso since junior high—a bit peripherally then, but we were aware of shared thoughts only available that year, 1976, the Bicentennial, when we set our balloons free, notes tied to their tails.
Our friendship blossomed in high school, when we opened a jazz club deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. That year, he let his hair grown out, but mine remained short. We collected turtle cars and lived on wheatgrass mangoes. And so…
Feldenstein Calypso is tented against a lightening storm at Thousand Islands Lake in the Sierra Nevadas. A lovely stream flows by. Paul Bley is there, playing piano.
Another story you might want to tell your children: Feldenstein Calypso is an excellent bowler, and his minigolf skills are legendary (Wiki it!). For years, after serving as vice president of Chevron, he toured the minigolf circuit, dominating the competition, but always, of his own free will, losing on the final hole. “It teaches me something,” is all he said in his many postgame interviews. With his second place winnings, he got on, buying a Winnebago and a herd of sheep he called his Watchdog Crew.
Feldenstein Calypso sits cross legged on a bench at hole six of the Sherman Oaks Castle Park miniature golf course. He writes on a scorecard with a vintage minigolf pencil. Although a club rests by his side, he does not play, and the families and couples take no real notice of him. He is like a light post, a part of the place, as natural as a beach toy on the sand.
As noted on an earlier post, when Feldenstein Calypso and Grape Areeww were 16 years-old, Grape Areeww drove them to the top of Stunt Canyon Road, a saddle atop the San Fernando Valley. From there they saw the Topanga Mall and, in the other direction, the wide Pacific. After various UFO sightings, the boys decided it was time to drive down the winding road to have dinner with their new rabbi, but not before picking up a hitchhiker, Gabriela Quilavonovitch, who asked if she could drive.
She took the wheel and sang us lovely songs about mirrors and doves that put the boys to sleep despite the screeching turns and increasing speeds. Three hours later they woke. The car was on its side, resting against the hill. In the road, a GIANT rock shaped like an elephant.
“Are we alive?” asked Feldenstein Calypso.
“I think so,” Grape Areeww answered. “Does the boom box still work?”
Feldenstein Calypso pressed play. Melanie Safka’s bicycle roller skating song came on.
“Cool,” said Grape Areeww. “But that rock in the road sucks.”
“Yup,” agreed Feldenstein Calypso. “What will your parents say?”
“We’ll tell them about Gabriela Quilavonovitch and show them the rock. They’ll have to buy us both a new car!”
“But Grape Areeww…”
“The rock’s gone! And so is Gabriela Quilavonovitch!”
* * *
Two weeks ago, a woman stood in the checkout line at Feldenstein Calypso’s library, a copy of Jack the Bear in her hand. Feldenstein Calypso happened to be carting some books by.
“I love that book!” he said to her.
“I know,” she said, and stepped forward to the desk.
“What a strange thing to say,” thought Feldenstein Calypso.
He went on with his day, busily encouraging his colleagues to invest in a sushi bar for the break room, tying cherry stems in knots, fantasizing about a macchiato, when, all of a sudden, he stopped in his tracks.
“Oh my God!” he shouted.
“What’s wrong, Feldenstein Calypso?” his colleagues asked. “What’s wrong?”
“That woman, the one with the Jack the Bear book, that was Gabriela Quilavonovitch! I would recognize those shoes anywhere!”
In a storage unit made of cinder blocks, Feldenstein Calypso sits before his laptop, reviewing the security camera tapes of Gabriela Quilavonovitch, scouring each frame for clues. Feldenstein Calypso has not eaten for days. He falls asleep fitfully, drinking from the melting ice atop the unit. He stops the tape only long enough to read the annotated edition of Jack the Bear, searching for some clues, some numerology, something to help!
Now, Dear Readers, it’s your turn. In the comments section, please let me know which of the three theories you believe is most likely. You can also, of course, posit your own theories. When Feldenstein Calypso returns, it will be up to him what he divulges!