top of page

A Modern Ego

 Cary Kemp 

Cary Kemp
47 years old
Born and resides in Seattle, WA
Owner of Pizzeria 22 in Seattle, WA
Worked for Neil Young as a tour manager for 10 years
Played the gong for Neil Young as The Sultan (Google it!)
Father of Plum and Carys Kemp
Vitamin D deficient
Paint, Sculpture, life drawing, metal fabrication

A blue banner from his computer caused his eyes to squint in the dark afternoon. Social media,  his refuge from the hidden sun, a circus of color amid the gloom of the Northwest, a voyeuristic journey with faces from the past, healing light to stare at empty of thought and expression, oftentimes with guarded inspiration. His digital persona, a modern ego, and a hope for better while outside walls of rain and shadow.


There in the bottom corner, doom suddenly turned delight, deficiency to ecstasy as an icon blinked in red, pulsing opportunity, voice in color, a shout from the unknown, a MESSAGE.


Mike wanted to click the icon but decided to savor the pleasure. Wait a tic.  Move around. Think elsewhere. He felt strong. Able. Muscles rigid. He then settled back into his black fake leather throne. DOUBLE CLICK.  A crescendo of sound from silence filled his emptiness with a song of beauty, a ballad of brightness, symphony of color weaving x’s and o’s into a face, a lover from years gone by, a beautiful woman. Anna Marie. Staring at her face, distant eyes, flowing brown hair, Mike was overcome, longing for when he last kissed her face. He could see words underneath but couldn’t make them out, not yet, waiting until the feeling melted. He enlarged the photo and stared until the magnetic pull of words was too much.


“Dearest Mike” it began. Too long it had been, a woman’s voice, her words. The greeting alone left him unable to focus. Heart racing he inhaled, continuing. Her prose entered him as the sun spreads over a garden, warming his soul.  Simple pleasantries like fertilizer growing him stronger, feeling every vowel, wanting it to last. The back of his mind forcing into this dialogue the thought of reconnection, interaction, foreplay, sex…Passing the introduction her prose twisted.  The sun of her warm voice moved behind a cloud. Continuing he fought pleas and callings from deep inside an area within he had abandoned. He stopped and started over, scanning her sentences. He fell despondent. Diminished. A Technicolor wave of nausea fell over him as he realized the message was just an invitation to his 30th High School Reunion. The song in his heart faded. He closed the message, wanting to delete it.


He could see her face miniaturized on his desktop, dragging it to the trash.  He turned away from the screen to watch the rain continue to pour outside and the shadows. LOG OUT.


bottom of page