Ph. picked up a lawn-cutting gig yesterday morning. I dropped him off and proceeded to Starbucks, where I grabbed a venti Joya, doctored it up with sugar and cream, and then wandered out to a table in the sun along University Ave. Wasn’t any chair at the table, so I interrupted somebody reading a newspaper–“Mind if I take that chair?”–carried the chair to the table, and sat alone with Signs Taken for Wonders, awaiting Ph.’s call for a ride home again in, say, an hour or so.

I sat next to the table where four people were meeting about forming a band. The luck! And then I tried to read, swooping in on the text momentarily only to be seduced back into unintended eaves-dropping.

The meeting involved two established members of the band–a manager (mother) and musician (daughter), and two new prospects. They were interviewing or recruiting (Concentrating on the reading: “Rather, it will be treated as a legitimate act only if it contributes towards improving the total knowledge of the text…”), engaging in cross-talk about who makes decisions, how the gigs work, how the future is wide open. Something fascinating about the pre-band, the probing and speculation, will we be famous?

I’ve never been in a band.

Elliptical conversation: around and around it went, and then it tightened. One of the prospects said he wanted to be on the road a year from now, whether with this band or another, didn’t matter. Tension. After that, the manager asked, “If God wants you to move to Binghamton, will you?”

Spiritual rock, I guess. I didn’t hear the prospects’ answers. Ph. called to say that mower was leaking oil. After just 20 minutes of mowing, a moat of dark oil encircled the mower engine. And then I left with the sweet coffee, having only read a few lines, gone to pick him up again from where he’d cut half of a lawn.