I was visiting Joe at his house, waiting for our friend Terry to join us. The three of us usually hung out together, and Joe’s place was our normal hangout. The thing today was that Joe was now four-legged.
I wasn’t used to it. A lot of the guys were trying it. It was interesting in its own way, but I didn’t seem to be able to get the hang of how they did it.
You had to be athletic, you had to have good looking legs, and it seemed you had to have someone as a kind of sponsor or mentor, even if that person didn’t know anything about how it worked either.
Somehow there was a karmic force involved that you could either muster or not.
Anyway, Joe had tried to help me become four-legged, taking me through the exercises and the thought process. And while it was great to see him working his four beautiful legs, I was not able to get there. He tried not to make me feel bad, because he wasn’t really sure how he’d done it.
“You’re kind of leaning forward with your legs crossed ahead of you,” he patiently explained as we spread out on the floor side-by-side, me trying to emulate his graceful and long legged poses, “and you picture yourself reaching your legs out behind you at the same time.”
Well, they were crossed in front of me and I was reaching forward towards them and trying to imagine what it could possibly like be like to have two more legs simultaneously reaching behind me, but despite my sincerity and physical effort, I remained strictly a biped.
Joe smiled at me sympathetically, trying to cheer me up, glorious on his own forward- and aft-splaying legs. The slight fatigue in his smile lifted as a knock came at the front door, and in walked Terry, handsome on four new Michelangelo legs.
“Nice,” said Joe. “Who is your mentor?”
“Bennett,” said Terry. “He wasn’t sure how he did it. He couldn’t get it.” He bit his tongue, noticing me. “Sorry.”
“No worries,” I said. I felt a pang of sympathy for poor Bennett, having to be a good sport about succeeding in making his friend four-legged while he couldn’t make it happen for himself.
How on earth this worked was anyone’s guess, except that it didn’t seem to take any particular genius or talent. It was so aggravating, but you couldn’t feel anything but awe for the guys who somehow managed to sprout four really impressive legs.
You’d see them here and there, running track with two fast pairs of handsome, synchronized legs, shooting hoops with graceful, gazelle-like four-legged leaps, climbing out of the pool with four sleek, dripping wet legs, or just hanging out with each other or with their staring, dumbfounded biped friends who tried to be cool and nonchalant amid the provocative redundance of legs.
So we hung out as usual, me having a little bit of a hard time feeling like things were the same as always but Joe and Terry relaxed and comfortable, talking about nothing in particular, with foursomes of legs casually splayed or folded beneath them.
It was warm enough that I thought root beer floats might be a good idea, to give me something to do while Joe and Terry looked at each other’s foursomes of legs more and more, and I offered to do the honors, because we had done floats before and I knew there was still enough ice cream in the freezer and root beer in the fridge.
In the kitchen, I found the root beer float glasses and the special long-stemmed spoons, and fetched the root beer and ice cream from the fridge. I could hear Joe and Terry wrestling and guffawing in the den.
The root beer fizzed wonderfully over the ice cream as I carefully poured it into the three glasses, carefully inserting a long-stemmed spoon into each.
Wrapping a paper napkin around each of the glasses, I carried two of the floats into the den to give to Joe and Terry, who pulled away from each other as I rounded the corner.
“Thanks!” each of them said as I passed them their floats. “Man, these are good!”
I went and got mine, and returned to see Joe and Terry seated on the floor at right angles to each other, scarfing their root beer floats, their statuesque foursomes of legs interlaced with each other’s.
“We’re making a ‘leg cabin,’ smiled Terry with a wink, as Joe flushed and smiled at him, while I sat down to eat my root beer float.
“That’s hilarious,” I said.