Originally appeared in the Boston Book Review.
A tape recorder, with microphone in hand, on the table or the arm of the chair or on the grass, can transform both the visitor and the host. On one occasion, using the play-back, my companion murmured in wonder; "I never realized I felt that way." And I was filled with wonder, too.
ST: I'm not gonna puff this cigar.
HB: Go ahead. I like secondary smoke.
ST: Nah, nah.
HB: I really don't mind.
ST: You sure? Because I shouldn't do it.
HB: Do it if you want to.