The rain the next morning sold me on the third night. I hung around on the laptop in the kitchen updating the blog. The ’r’ button on the keyboard had disappeared, and only a deft prod of the rubber undercushioning could trigger the appropriate response without unsettling it from its moorings. I tried to dance creatively around the letter as I wrote without extraordinary success.
In between entries, I chatted with Curtis, who appeared from his basement quarters every few hours with an index finger sized joint rolled in a transparent paper. He had lived an exotic life and shared stories generously; in the wet, plasticky haze, I listened intently, wondering which parts were true.
I asked Curtis several times if I could take his portrait before I realized that this talented chef was missing part of a digit. The following morning he agreed reluctantly just before I left, and I excitedly thrust my iPhone into his hand with the photo of the thirteen fingered man. He held it in his right hand, purposefully avoiding the connection. I asked him to switch hands, which he did for a moment before quickly handing the device back in my direction. I offered him another photograph as a parting gift, but he declined. We embraced briefly and I headed off on my way.