Doseone


When I first met the rapper Doseone, it was a wrong number that started it, the phone vibrating in my lap, a voice I didn’t recognise asking for someone I wasn’t.  

I have no fucking idea who Paul Auster is, I said.

I was lying.  Paul Auster is a close, personal friend, but I’m not going to say that to an anonymous voice that calls me at three in the afternoon when I’m watching The Postman Always Rings Twice with Neal Cassady.  

I think I have his mail, the voice said, I found your number written on one of the envelopes.  

My number?  

Shhhh, said Neil Cassady, trying to watch the film.  

What? said the voice on the phone.  

I’ll come pick up the mail, where are you?  He gave the address.  I’ll be right there. Pause it for me, I said to Neil.  

I think you’ll be a long time, said Neil. It sounds like the start of something.

Does that mean you won’t pause it?  

Probably not, he said.  

You’re a bastard, I said as I left, slamming the door behind me.  

On the street, I hailed a cab and gave the address.  

It’s your funeral, said the driver, and set off.  The rain on the windows blurred the world beyond, reducing all we passed to blooms of colour that bled down the glass.  I found my head nodding and my feet tapping.  What’s this on the radio? I asked.  

It isn’t the radio,the driver replied.  

What’s this that’s playing, then? I asked.

You wouldn’t like it, said the driver.  

I’ll be the judge of that, I said, my patience wearing thin.

I thought so, he said.

What’s that supposed to mean? I asked.  

You just look the type, he said.  

The type?  

The judgemental type.  

I gave up.  There goes his tip, I thought to myself.  

I don’t need a tip, said the driver.  

What? I asked.  

You think too loud, he said.  

Just let me out here, I said, exacerbated by his attitude.  

I was going to, he said, we’re here.  

I looked out of the window and all I could see was a blank space, an empty lot holding the remains of the foundations of whatever building had once stood there.  

This is the address I gave you? I asked.  

Why would I take you anywhere else? he asked.  

I felt the last edge of my politeness crumble.  Look, what the fuck is your problem?  

I keep getting your mail, he said, flinging unopened letters at me.  

I read the address.  These are for Paul Auster, I said.  

You aren’t Paul Auster?  he asked.  

Do I look like Paul Auster? I said.  

No need to shout, he said, and yeah, yeah you do, especially around the ears.  

I have Paul Auster’s ears?  I couldn’t help laughing.  This whole trip has been an absurd waste of time, I said.  

At least you got to listen to some of my music, he said.  

Yeah, I said. Great songs, what was that second one?  

That was I Heart L.A. from the album A New White(2004) I made with my band, Subtle.  

Pretty good, I said.  I flipped through the envelopes in my hand.  I noticed that my phone number wasn’t on any of them.  How did you call me?  I asked.  There was no reply, the driver’s seat was empty.  Not again, I said to myself.

I climbed into the front and started the engine.  As I did, Paul Auster got into the back of the cab.  

You got my mail, he asked?  

There’s got to be an easier way to deal with fan letters, I said.  

Hey, aren’t you the rapper Doseone? He asked.  

I am, said Doseone, and we’ve been friends ever since.




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