I’ve Met The Following People

31 Jul, 2014

by Anja Notanja Sieger

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I am walking outside along the outdoor customers of the Mason Street Grill when I witness a woman in her thirties fly up from her seat to stand before her friends and wildly gesture with her whole body. Her four friends shriek and howl with laughter so I stop to watch too, but it the story stops. I ask the woman if she will continue to tell the story and she says that she will have to tell me a different story.   None of us wants to hear a different story, so I continue down the sidewalk.

 

A girl and her doll wear matching outfits and are about to eat a cookie.

A girl and her doll wear matching outfits and are about to eat a cookie.

 

“It had to be you, it had to be youuu…” is being played on the lobby piano when Jennifer and Joe, a long married couple announce that they have been on vacation for a full week just to see if they can put up with each other for that long. They drove all the way around the lake, passing Keweenah (the tippest toppest point of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) to get here from their home in Michigan. They did not have cell phone reception for a large portion of their journey. Just Joe and Jennifer together without distractions. They got into the Pfister an hour ago, have never been to Wisconsin before today, but they tell me that they don’t ever want to leave. The piano is playing, the lighting is warm and they both have a glass of wine.

 

A soccer team from Wales.

A soccer team from Wales.

Mary Kay worked in government for eighteen years. She wanted a change. She wanted to do something that would involve “Having people be in love, stay in love and fall in love.” So she opened a bed and breakfast in Plano, Illinois. By day she still works in social services, connecting jobs to people who have been in jail and helping underserved youth in the juvenile system.

 

Two women with similar faces sit on the couch wearing sunglasses.

Two women with similar faces sit on the couch wearing sunglasses.

Two women with similar faces sit on the couch wearing sunglasses. Yes, they are sisters. Judy and Jean. They grew up in Minnesota but now they are residents of Baltimore and Denver, respectively. They see each other once a year. This year they decided to meet halfway between their cities, and selected Milwaukee. They are sharing a room in the hotel for six days. The first place they plan to visit this week is St. Josaphat’s Basilica.

 

I ask two men with similar faces at the bar if they are brothers. “We are not related but both broth-uhs of Omaha.” The brothuhs of Omaha are here interviewing people for open Milwaukee-based positions in their small medical company. The brothuhs tell me I look like an artsy type and ask me if I ever do nude paintings of middle aged men. I deflect the question by asking them how often they dissect cadavers. The brothuhs say they get to dissect cadavers about six times a year.

 

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  • JABMI

    Enjoy reading the Pfister blog, Anja. So nice to meet you and chat. It was one of the highlights of our visit. We shall return! Best of luck in your adventures.

    • Ànjà Notànjà

      Thanks! Twas lovely to meet you too!

About the author

Anja Notanja Sieger

Anja is pronounced (ON-JUH) and 'Notanja' (not-ON-JUH). Anja is the person-conduit and Notanja is the spirit writing the letters. Both currently hang out in the Pfister Hotel and would like to meet you. "I am a performing typist who interprets other people's thoughts in the form of “prosettes.” Prosettes (poetry-letter hybrids) are typed for the customer on-the-spot, usually on a typewriter. For me the typewriter offers the pre-computer era tradition of translating ideas into clacking physicality. Customers can choose from the following options: Poetry, Love Letter, Insult Letter, Letter of Recommendation, Short Story, Letter from a Pet, Other. Writing letters requires me to pretend for the duration of the composition that I am the client.”

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