Hey, Jude

Paul, you heard of Paul McCartney? the stranger said, when I said hello to the stranger outside of the Plaid Pantry. Sure, I said, course, the living Beatle, him and Ringo. Yeah, he said. Yeah, I said, what about him? Sean just walked up. He was eating with his wife, you know his new wife. He was married to Linda before. She died. Cancer. Yeah, what about it? I told him. He was eating with his wife in a restaurant the other night. Here? I wanted to know, because I was sure that this story was going somewhere that was geographically relevant. Blank stare. No, the man said, in London or some shit. OK, then what, I wanted the story to move. He was sitting with his wife -- his new wife -- you know Linda's dead, his new wife is like 38. Yeah, I said, she's got one leg, they had a baby. So, he ignored, they're listening to some music in this restaurant, and this woman regonizes the song, the voice, and she asks Paul, Is this you? Paul says, Yeah, it's Hey Jude. Can you believe that? The man I met, with Sean now standing next to me, said. She's too young to remember 'Hey Jude'.

He went on: You know Keith Richards? Yeah, Rolling Stones, I told him, who doesn't? So the other day Keith Richards is telling me. Wait, you? I have to interject, and I'm starting to think this guy thinks that the TV/Radio is always talking to him. He goes on. The man says, now with a British accent, in his best Keith Richards voice: The Rolling Stones were like a Mom and Pop Shop. Mick was Mom. He would always wake up and make a list of things to do. He would always plan out what he was going to do. Keith, I implied, now with this story, would just wake up, make sure he was still alive, make sure the phones still worked, were off. He's the Pop.

This man goes on. He blabs about being a former hippie, from San Francisco, an astronomer, a would-be mid-school science teacher. He tells us to read Carlos Castaneda. He says he's good shit. That he wrote about Don Juan, the shaman, and peyote buttons, mushrooms, phycadelic drugs and The experience. Nice man, good recommendation. I'll check him out, I tell him. Sean agrees, we work at a bookstore. If you don't see me working tomorrow, I'll be reading Carlos Castaneda. Good.

Hey (Jude), I said to the man before parting ways with him minutes after I wish we had, what's your name? In case I see your 'round. Paul, he said. Oh, like the Beatle, I told him.

Say hello to Ringo for me, would ya Paul?

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