The 13th of August 1952 – Dallas, Texas

(found toppled over in a gutter by the sidewalk, smelling of lime and garlic and cilantro)

Mopsey!

Let me know you’re alright, Mopsey. Let me know you’re all okay, and then we have to do it all again, Mopsey!

I’m sorry you left early. I understand the urgency and the delicacy of the matter at hand, but I’m sorry you left – and you should be too. You will be by the end of this letter. Mopsey, it was some kind of night.

We just stayed in that restaurant you left us in, sitting at that table, sipping not-so-delicately on our tonic-laced cups of alcohol, laughing and telling stories.

You should remember where we were sitting because it was right where you left us. We were right under this odd little balcony that went to who knows where, right in front of a big, glass window looking into the place’s wine cellar.

Well, right when you left, Mopsey, one of those families came in and got seated right next to us. It was almost a disaster, and Tammy and I eyed each other quite nervously, expecting the two little kids to start bawling and mewling around. It was almost a disaster because we had had quite a few of those tonic-laced cups of alcohol. It was almost a disaster until we noticed that the two parents, poor and wonderful souls that they are, were just about as drunk as we were.

Well, see, the waiter, one of those Alfonso types wearing a tuxedo and carrying around a little hand towel, comes over to our table and takes our order. Tammy and I chat a bit more, then the food comes out.

Tammy had this big bowl of gazpacho, and it smelled purely tremendous. I had a nice steak, perfectly bloody, buttery and smooth.

Suddenly the mom sitting next door to us starts squawking about Elvis and Charles.

“Where’s Elvis? Where’s Charles?” That’s all she keeps saying. “Where’s Elvis? Where’s Charles?”

And I looked up. Up there on the balcony is a little kid – not sure if it’s Elvis or Charles – teetering between the spokes of the banister.

And he falls. And he plops right on our table. And he plops – actually – right in Tammy’s tomato gazpacho.

Tammy and I are laughing, and everything is everywhere – tomatoes, waiters cleaning up everything, squawking parents and crying kids – and everybody’s running around, and the parents next door have Elvis and Charles by the shirt collars, and they’re leaving, and I decide somebody needs to calm the place down. I decide that somebody’s me.

“Waiter,” I said, raising my hand into the air.

“Waiter,” I repeated when the man in the tuxedo appeared over my shoulder, his hands twitching nervously around a tomato-soaked towel.

“Waiter,” I said. “I believe my dinner companion specifically asked for a gazpacho with a black-haired child in it, and here you’ve given us one with a blonde child in it.”

And then we went on with our meal, drenched in tomato sauce. You should have stayed for the filet, Mopsey. Go back for it. It was tremendous.

-Kilnsey

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