When I spent a summer in Asbury Park, Jessica and I developed an entire mythology around the out of time Howard Johnson’s on the beach. It was totally decrepit and rarely open. When we finally got a chance to go in, there were thick layers of dust and various bits of broken furniture. We sat at the bar, which had several cans of clams and various liqeurs on offer. It felt a lot like those Star Trek episodes when they go back in time—Spock has to wear a hat to hide his ears and everyone is very careful not to indicate the future exists, for fear the space-time continuum will shatter. I didn’t think it was a great idea to order anything, because then we might never be able to leave. Jessica, operating under the theory that the guy serving us had broken in and therefore was not a part of the spell, got a cheese sandwich.
We chatted with the guy who told us at length about his love for the New York Giants. “I have season tickets,” he boasted. “And I am allowed to go in the locker room.” He didn’t quite seem the type who would roll like that. “I think his wife stages the whole thing,” said Jessica, later. “She makes the crowd noises and waves around the shower curtain.” I want it to be true, if only to think that such devotion exists.
Hell, I want it to be true about Paris, too. In my head it is, from now on. We are probably all double agents in some way or another, right?