Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jonathan Clove & the Great Percolator

One summer day several years ago, while waiting at the bus stop, I spotted an eccentric figure approaching.  He held in his hand a small silver percolator, which he carelessly swung about while whistling an old Louis Armstrong tune.  I immediately recognized this man as an author, a poet, a recipient of numerous awards for masterful literature, who, through no shortage of misfortune, became a raving and disheveled hobo.  As tragedies bombarded him year after year, his incremental surrender to mental illness rendered him an outcast in his own city.  I greeted him, and mentioned that I was fond of his work.  He was noticeably impressed that I had identified him so easily, and I went on to inform him that I consider myself a writer as well.  He asked if he could hear a few of my poems, and I recited three that I had memorized.  The man remained enthusiastic, but his demeanor became calm and pleasant.  He told me I reminded him a bit of a young W.B. Yeats, and that I had great potential, and the spirit of a true visionary.  There was a brief pause, so I asked him about the coffee maker he so casually carried.  His eyes widened, and he began to chronicle this wondrous object.  The pot was allegedly an original ‪Alfonso Bialetti‬ from 1933, made in ‪Piedmont‬, Italy.  I had no way of verifying this, but his passion for this glistening item subdued my skepticism. He claimed that brewing coffee with this percolator gave him profound creativity, and lit his mind ablaze when writer's block had stifled him.  He said it brought him the words he sought - like a whirlwind of eloquent diction transported though a supernatural vessel.  The man likened this prized possession to Aladdin's magic oil lamp.  Calling it his good luck charm (as I regretfully did) would have been an understatement.  His hand jittered lightly and steadily as he held the percolator out in from of him.
    "Here," he said boldly. "It is your turn to take the torch, good sir."
    That was the last time I saw Dr. Jonathan Clove.

No comments:

Post a Comment