Food & Drink

Whispering, 1925

My term as Pfister narrator is almost up, so yesterday I finally booked a room.  My best friend Jessie drove in from Ann Arbor for the occasion.   Jessie promptly plopped on the plush puff bed as soon as we had entered and perused our room, #332.

She then jumped to…

16 Mar 11:32 PM 1 Read More...

If he don’t love me, how could he love you?

“My name is Charles Bentley.

I’m Native American,

Cherokee.

My grandmother was Cherokee.

I worked for American Motors

at the corner of Capitol and Richards,

where Wal-Mart is now

from 1958-1966.

I was a spray painter,

I was “The Door Jam Man.”

The Rambler was the first…

10 Mar 9:32 PM 2 Read More...

About Life, About Mystery

The shop window on Wisconsin Avenue is empty.  Inside the glass room is a door that leads to the darkness.  The combination of this darkness door, the street lights reflected in the glass and the promise that the blank space will be filled up one day again, instills in me…

04 Mar 6:20 PM 0 Read More...

A Psychometric Questionairre

Yeah, humans are social creatures

you know, we see faces

inside clouds, fungus and tea stains.

Children conduct full-length conversations

with “pet” rocks and plush dinosaurs,

then as adults, they still try to assign meaning

to their frighteningly mysterious days

through science, philosophy, religion,

art, astrology or psychology.

Pfister…

28 Feb 11:58 PM 0 Read More...

When you look at some modern art it can stump you.

Barbara has been giving tours for the Milwaukee Art Museum over a half century.

“When I first came to the museum, there were eight employees.”

This January I started my fifty-second year.

I retired when I was 50,

but I’m still going in,

teaching and working

‘cause I…

24 Feb 11:46 AM 0 Read More...

A Mom Letter and a Dad Letter

I was taking a picture of the roses in the lobby when Val, the bartender summoned me over to see something. I took a stool at the bar and waited for a moment as Val rustled around in her bag, elbow deep.  At last she exclaimed “Ah!” and pulled out…

19 Feb 12:26 PM 0 Read More...

Butter on a Plate & Hat Swapping in the Bathroom

The whole hotel is my beat so I’ve got to drift.
I’ve got to find the swirled butter on the plate.

Regard this spiraled stack of paper napkins. This miniscule, considered bit of hospitality intrigues me.

 I like to chase the shadows of bicyclists with my camera from…

10 Feb 4:53 PM 0 Read More...

We Ate Our Last Meal Together At The Pfister

We ate our last lunch together at the Pfister,

my Grandma and I

and family,

I wrote a story about it the other week,

except then I did not know it would be our last meal

when I sat next to Grandma

and we both ordered the salmon salad

from…

17 Jan 12:30 PM 0 Read More...

The Backside of Everything You Will Never Think About

Roving the lounge

I roll up to a family

with one of those dual seat strollers

and make my introduction,

“Are those two ‘youngins’ twins?”

“They are almost Irish twins,” says the mama.

Irish twins?

I’ve never heard

of that one

what does that mean?

 

Says mother:

“In…

12 Jan 9:29 AM 0 Read More...

To Properly Crash A Wedding You Just...

In the lounge by the fire I meet a clump of kids and their parents. There are six empty mugs of hot cocoas and the dad tells me they all came here to enjoy the holiday décor. The nearest décor (that I suddenly notice with fresh décor…

03 Jan 9:53 PM 0 Read More...

Wasn’t One of Our Ancestors a French Bishop Or Something?

Two of my second cousins are in town

so my Grandma and Mom take us all out

to a Monday noon lunch at the Pfister café.

My cousin Courtney, lifelong Texas resident

introduces us to her new husband, Michael

who, to our collective delight is as Wisconsin as

Green Bay…

01 Jan 5:36 PM 1 Read More...

“could you please send me a boyfriend who does yoga?”

 

Katherine has been coming here for years

she was married for three decades

to a man who came to the Pfister to just to jog.

He died ten years ago

so, recently she asked the divine,

“could you please send me a boyfriend who does yoga?”

After she asked…

23 Dec 10:29 PM 0 Read More...

Santa and His Retired Friends From The C.I.A.

On a Friday night in December, there is man in a Santa hat having a drink with a bunch of his friends in the lounge. To make conversation I ask him why he’s got that hat on (though the reason is obvious) and one of his many friends says…

20 Dec 8:58 PM 0 Read More...

The Gifts In Life Have Nothing To Do With Money

Jennifer is here. She just quit her job as the director of a troupe of tribal belly dancers. I learn that tribal belly dancing is more athletic than traditional. Apparently traditional belly dancing much more wiggly.   I believe it, having taken belly dancing in college and finding it fairly impossible…

15 Dec 11:07 PM 1 Read More...

The Short Man

A guest in the lobby told the following story that took place over thirty years ago. He told me four other stories similar to this in the period of an hour.

 

I get a phone call from Short Man, he wants to see me. We were best friends in…

13 Dec 12:06 PM 0 Read More...

The Woman Who Eats Cake Every Day

Debbie was working as a pastry chef when a customer came in wanting a cake like the one they saw in Martha Stewart Magazine. The customer said they’d been to every bakery in town, but no one would do it. Debbie was shocked to hear that, but the bakery…

09 Dec 6:52 PM 2 Read More...

The Rock of the Day

There is a couple from Madison that comes here every year. They spend the week after thanksgiving sitting quietly side by side in the Pfister café, the wife with an unidentified electronic contraption, the husband with a book of games to solve. It is a docile, wintry afternoon, one in…

05 Dec 12:28 PM 0 Read More...

Too Old For Santa's Knee

The day after Thanksgiving, Santa makes an appearance at the Pfister Hotel the same evening as the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.  That’s great, kids love the opportunity to tell the man direct what it is they wish for.  But what about everyone else?  Once you grow up you still…

29 Nov 6:43 PM 0 Read More...

"What Are You Doing For Thanksgiving?"

 

The following people shared their Thanksgiving Plans:

 

Name: Ariana

Location: Artist studio

Context: One Pfister Artist Niki’s interns, Arianna spent her day crocheting condoms into upholstery for Niki’s fainting couch.

“I’m going to my fake aunt’s house. I actually met her on the bus…

26 Nov 9:38 PM 0 Read More...

Employee Benefit Implementors Ruminate While Sipping Glog

The following monologue was created from a conversation I had with two women as they waited for Val to serve them some hot glog. Note: multiple voices and perspectives speak as one.

 

We’re not down here too often

we work in Brookfield and have clients here

so we…

23 Nov 11:28 PM 0 Read More...

Sevens And Apples

 

Right now in the Mystery that is the Pfistery,
there is a basket out in the lobby
a tisket, a tasket of apples,
all sized small
enough
to keep inside my blazer pocket

my pocket’s apple is named King David

cause I’m told these are King David…

20 Nov 2:08 PM 0 Read More...

Eavesdropping in the Pfister

I am sitting in Blu by myself so that no one will distract me as I eavesdrop in on the conversations. Some old ladies are giggling about martinis. An old man is taking all the plush chairs away from my table to build a nest for all his companions. One…

12 Nov 1:17 PM 0 Read More...

A Love Letter From the Man With a Kind Smile

One day I’m typing in the lobby when a man approaches me. He has a kind face, one that appears illuminated from within by what I’d guess to be a gentle, prolonged love relationship. He just looks easeful and friendly. He inquires as to what I’m doing…

08 Nov 8:02 PM 0 Read More...

The Men Still Sit With Their Songbirds

Mauriah has asymmetrical green bangs,

but you can’t see them too well

in the shady nighttime of Blu.

She orders a moscow mule and tells me

that she felt really safe when she lived in Taiwan.

Sure, scooters and bicycles got stolen

but even then the thieves were only…

05 Nov 8:45 AM 0 Read More...

The Newest American Citizen of All

Ilda became an American Citizen today in the courthouse across the street from the Pfister. She had to pledge her allegiance to the flag, swear an oath and then was given an envelope that contained her official paperwork along with a letter signed by the President. It is 6:30…

25 Oct 12:30 PM 1 Read More...
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