How best to do that? Off to an abduction conference!
This was Howard's first trip to the yearly event, but according to his abducting friend Chip Lo, there was sooo much to look forward to:
Check-ins in which Howard could stand in line with other abductors having last names beginning with the letters D through G; name tags (HELLO My Name Is Howard Desseray Medford); meet'n'greets featuring melon bites, carrot sticks, cauliflower florets, hardened seed-covered tasteless high-fiber crackers, toothpick-speared cheese cubes with subtle undertones of sour laundry; an all-you-can-dip bowl of ranch dressing; and Carlo Rossi Vin Rose in plastic cups.
|Abducted or kidnapped?|
|Tally's version of Jedidiah|
Also: very bad coffee breaks with petit fours and fives; group work; prison-prep confabs; circle jerks (i.e., round-table Jamaican snack buffets); an after-lunch Mind and Body Awareness Assembly, featuring yoga, stretching, koans, haiku, and two duct-tape related activities: Binding Presence (akedah, about which more later)* and a playfully competitive duct-tape tug of war.
Each morning would begin with "Wake-Up-and-Abduct" sessions in which participants listened to guest speakers, watched PowerPoints and abduction-themed TED talks, and munched on cold Lender's bagels and instant oatmeal.
Howard's anticipation and anxiety had him tossing and turning the night before, sending Tally, a welder, art student, former abductee and now his current life partner, off to the den where she fell asleep while watching the Blu-Ray version of Ted 2.
He was certain he would return to Medford an abductor who could walk the streets and the yard with his head held high, a man whose fame would survive the flux and flotsam of life, whose stories would be told around campfires, bridge circles, bar stools and . . .
* Or "which there will be more about later."