Max LeMonk, the monkey puppet, and I wandered out of the locally-owned, fair trade coffeehouse and down the main street, engaged in caffeine-jazzed banter. My standard breve' and Max's triple-shot latte skinny with a shot of vanilla and chocolate sprinkles (he is so really high maintenance) played tricks with our eyes, giving the street lights a gaslight aura.
We turned down an alley to take a short cut, and came across a sock abandoned on the ground. The sock had two buttons sewn on it, and a line of yarn making a rudimentary mouth. The caffeine-induced heightened state of awareness sent Max and I racing to pick it up. It evoked a sadness in my hands. (That's right. MY hands. Beat ya again, Max-o!)
We were startled by a tap on the shoulder. It was don Rey Ortega. On his head was a dew rag with a coyote and a Harley Davidson motorcycle which magically chased each other around his head.
"Don Rey," I said, holding out the tattered sock puppet, trying not to be distracted by the dew rag (the coyote seemed to be winning), "What are we to make of this? I mean, besides making it into a sock puppet?" Don Rey took it in his hands.
Learn to read animal tracks in the desert, you find where it eats, where it sleeps. Even a rock will teach you things if you sit with it long enough.Max and I looked at each other. Max mouthed the words, "trick question." I elbowed Max, and asked don Rey to enlighten us.
This old sock puppet belonged to a beginning ventriloquist. Notice the haphazard way the buttons that suggest eyes are been sewn on, each a different color, size and looking in opposite directions. What does this tell you?
The thick green and fuzzy yarn sewn onto it to resemble a mouth in an uneven zigzag pattern tells this puppet was not allowed to speak. It's only way to communicate was to nod yes or no. It was forced to listen to a one way conversation.Max rolled his eyes and mumbled out of the side of his mouth, "like this one." I covered Max's mouth with my hand (Max, no biting!). Then I asked, "Was he lost or left here on purpose?" Don Rey inexplicably threw dirt on my shoes, and said:
I do not know for sure. To find out, put your hand inside then remove the green zigzag yarn and tuck the material into the palm of your hand to form the mouth and it will tell you it's story.I did as he instructed and held it to my ear but heard nothing. Max watched me, exasperated, and said, "Or look for a ventriloquist with the naked puppet hand."
Max gloated at his own glibness. Don Rey just smiled, inexplicably tossed dirt on Max's shoes, and said to Max:
Go find a rock and sit on it.And before Max could reply, don Rey waved his arms, and a sudden wind swept the puppet from my and and onto Max's face. We heard don Rey's voice fade, saying:
And put a sock in it.Then don Rey disappeared in a puff of hazy white smoke that smelled like the generic talcium in my bathroom. In his place was a single red and blue argyle sock, two buttons, and the book Sock Puppets for Dummies.
And his dew rag, but only the coyote remained.
***Homework assignment: Write a parody of this Mystic Moment. Take actual passages and make them farcical. For full credit, show your work.
***When not donning a significant amount of "don-ness", Rey Ortega's adventures in entertainment can be found at reyortegaentertainment.com. Thanks, Rey - you put the mist in mystic. Or is it myst that you put in mystic?