(Nobody left but us these days)

You upstage the mundane with grace, my dear, he said, typed Montgomery Peer, quoting himself in staccato bursts from the keyboard, stopping once in a while for one allegedly-last sip from the coffee mug on his desk, and back again.
Peer then bit his lower lip, just slightly, before clicking the mouse to send Cybill the e-mail: In Peer’s private little world, he would know he liked people when he’d start to behave like a hyperactive fifteen year-old next to them.

This happened of course in the ensuing morning after all had been said and done and the entire Wednesday had been put to waste and quite properly so: It was something of a dog-day for everyone that reached its climax halfway across a bridge en route to the stadium, walking by the thronged traffic across the river, Peer looking over his shoulder to see Cybill as she actually leaped a stray dog in the way and he smiled first to laugh later.

Peer’d told her, more like an epigram than a joke, really, that if he’d had a time-machine then & there, he would end up mailing himself a letter, to two or say, three years before, and it’d begin with, Dear Peer, and this is how it ends.
The rest of the letter he kept to himself in the back of his head: Not his future to foretell but wishful figments to crash headfirst into— Either way, she did do it with grace as she’d been doing everything else ever since he first met her.

That Wednesday peaked with the ersatz Captain Crash and his stand-in for the Beauty-Queen from Mars shouting from the top of their lungs as the last of the great Arena Rock kings, hailing straight from Jersey (where else?) blasted onstage for close to three hours—There are all those things you’ll go through in life without being able to tell people because of the rules, the laws, the mores, the golden bands and binding ties— yet Peer couldn’t help, avoid, detain himself from falling in love with the girl— well maybe not love-love, not really, be honest, but lightly, more like having each heartbeat of his skipped to match each word from her lips, above the din, the chanting of the crowd, Cybill’s voice risen over all those as she sang along and followed the chorus— so ladylike, like some blueblood royal family or something, but also so girlish too— in jeans and a sweatshirt— plus those ubiquitous cool, sexy, catlike Bette Davis eyes— Singing on, playfully, whimsically, sure to have a sore throat the next day— a singalong catharsis from the drudgeries of everyday and all the confessions she’d thought best to never tell him but maybe hint at, at best, whatever— Whatta pal! thought Peer with a sincere smile to himself.

“These days are fast...” she sang on until her voice maxed out and ultimately gave in.
GOGOGO, he never stopped.

—Then bumming a ride home afterwards with a chapter of the secret society of the super-villains, more by chance than anything else: There in the car, if you heard it carefully enough and really paid attention, you’d end up plucking a few stray truths instead of simply leaping over them too, like with a stray dog on a bridge.