Matthew Lachowski
My parents met on some spring night in 1977. Each one reluctantly dragged out by friends for a night of sweat tossing at the alcohol ball, Thumpers, a disco out in the boonies. My father wasn’t the most confident man when it came to approaching women, but when he saw my mother sitting like a pretty duck on bar-lake he must have mustered up some kind of miracle juice and drank it, because he danced himself sideways and frontways and probably backways over to her and asked her for the numbers to her telephone.

She said no.

Glasses emptied and feet shuffled and my father must have got his hands on some more of that miracle juice, because he danced himself sideways and frontways and probably backways over to her and asked her for the numbers to her telephone again.

She said alright.

My mother grabbed a napkin from the bar and took out a pen so she could write down the numbers to her telephone, but even miracle juice couldn't have done anything about my mother's pen running out of ink. She told my father to forget about it the whole thing. But before my father could walk away the bartender turned around and offered my mother a spare pen from his apron. My mother accepted the pen and with it wrote on that napkin: Two, eight, three, four, one, five, and three; Cyndy. My father and my mother were married two years from then and if not for a pen I would not have been.

The pen made myself be here. When I use the pen, it makes myself be "there".