Gone

We called it the Dorsey Double-Take. Technically, it could only be called a double-take if it had been recorded and played back on some seriously warped film. You’d be talking to him about the weather or last night’s baseball game or whether you should marry the guy you’d been dating for a year. But before a full sentence was out, his focus was gone, floating away. Until it wasn’t, and it snapped back as though you’d just announced an affair with the President. Of Mars.

It was silence that would break whatever tether had arrested his attention, and his head would slam into its socially accepted place before you could begin to think of calling him back. His eyes, set under one cocked brow, sent the unmistakable message: “I’m listening, I swear. I’ve even got an opinion.”

But the uninitiated would invariably stop talking long before they were through, because when his head had begun to turn – drift – like a balloon pulled on an invisible string, to stare intently at the table, the newspaper across the room, out the nearest window or at some phantom, you could only believe he’d found a tale more intriguing than yours.

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