Telders came back with a broom and started sweeping up the glass from the broken lamp.
I took a seat on the chaise lounge and supervised.
He made a small pile next to the trash can, then leaned the broom against the wall. Frowning, he stared at the smashed reel-to-reel machine on the floor. “Shit. That was a nice deck.” He nudged it into the corner and wrapped the cord around the bent reels. “Oh, well,” he said, then went to the cupboard and pulled out another one.
“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.”
“Always have a spare,” he smirked, setting it on top of the receiver. After hooking up the power and the audio cables, Michael picked up one of the boxes on the floor and turned it over. “You like the Beatles?”
“I’m more of a Stones fan, but I’ve been known to stray.”
“Blasphemy.” Telders removed the reel from its box and tacked it onto the spindle. He wound the tape under the tension arm, then under the heads, and fed it up through the take-up reel. He turned it slowly, until the tape caught, then flipped a lever, and the reels started spinning.
A fifty year old harmony echoed on the hi-fi:
He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Doesn’t have a point of view
knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
“I swear this song was written for me,” Telders said, pouring a Japanese scotch into a used wine glass. “You want some?”
“I’ll take the bottle,” I said.
I laid back on the chaise and upended it.
Nowhere Man please listen,
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command!
“I never understood that part,” I said.
“It just means you won’t change the world until you get off your ass.” Telders paused for a drink then shrugged. “At least that’s the way I take it.”
“Lennon wracked his brain trying to write this song. Sat there for hours and hours trying to come up with something. Finally he just gave up.”
“Doesn’t sound like it.”
“Well, yeah. But the song didn’t come to him until the very moment that he said fuck it and went and laid on the couch or something. Then the whole damn thing just popped in his head.”
“Strange how that works.”
“Yeah. I guess sometimes you just gotta stop thinking and let the universe figure it out for you.”
I set the bottle down and stared up at the ceiling. I closed my eyes and cleared my mind as “Nowhere Man” played out….
During the brief pause before “Dr. Robert” I lifted my head. “Telders?”
“I’m going back to Antarctica.”