6/25/2004 – Robert
I take a sip of my coffee... today's slightly burnt blend is some
sort of african brew. I wince, wishing I had put an extra spoonful of sugar in the
mix to drown out the awful flavor. Unfortunately,
I have sat down and started to write in my trusty journal, and at this
point, I'm not to be interrupted, save for the need for a refill on the
coffee. Coffee and whiskey
are all a writer really needs to keep going, right?
Well, unfortunately, coffee will have to do.
The words are coming so easily tonight, the ink is still wet and
shiny on the page. This is too odd, this is the first time I've been able to
really write anything in ages. The
sun has gone down and the patio to the coffee shop feels perfect, a slight
breeze blows through the trees and tables.
*ahem* "It's a little crowded here tonight, do you mind if I
sit at the other end of your table and have a smoke?"
Without looking up, I respond, a tad startled actually: go ahead, I
have no use for it. I put my pen back on the page, desperately trying to recover
my last thought.
saved my life."
I'm sure... I stare at
the pen and the smooth acid-free paper.
Where the hell was I?
"You know, you look like you're in need of a good conversation
and a little company."
It's no use, the words aren't coming back.
My pen has stopped. I
look up to see who this guest is. I'm
not surprised, I've never met this person before.
The voice didn't quite click in my mind.
It was a man in his mid-thirties, perhaps.
His hair is about eye-length, looks like it hasn't been washed for
days. The man's face looks
rough, it has been a little while since it has even seen a razor of some
sort. I can't quite make out
the color of his eyes, as the patio is pretty dimly-lit this time of
night. I struggle for
something to say to this man...
"You know, I bet you're trying to find a polite way of asking
why I've interrupted you. From
the look on your face, I'm basically confirming that assumption."
He pulls a black box of cigarettes out of his shirt pocket and
pulls one out. The word
Djarum is written around ring on the cigarette.
He brings out a match, strikes it on the table, and lights the
clove and inhales. He
breathes in, I hear the familiar crackle of cloves laced with tobacco
being consumed, and he exhales. I
smell the oily, intoxicating aroma of the smoke just slightly, and it
That smells good. It
has been a while since I've smoked one of those.
"I'm sorry, do you want one?
You carry these things around here and you're suddenly everyone's
best friend, right?"
Thanks, but no. I
promised myself I would try to stay away from those.
"heh... crystallizes the lungs, right?"
No, I don't believe that horseshit.
If it was true, we'd be dead after smoking a couple of those.
I just tend to feel like shit after smoking those... maybe it's my
body trying to tell me something.
The stranger frowns, looks down for a moment and takes a drag.
"You're probably right, but I don't want to live forever. The last thing I'd want is to be 80 years old, with some
tired nurse changing my bed pan and rolling me over once a day.
Yes, my friend, that'd be a terrible way to waste away... it's not
really living, is it?"
Doesn't sound like it, I know I certainly wouldn't want to go
"Don't worry, that's not going to happen to you."
I'm taking a sip of my coffee right as he says this.
I cough, and a little bit of it goes down the wrong pipe.
I gasp... right...
He stares into my eyes. "No,
you're going to die long before that."
A chill runs down my spine. I
know not to listen to this kind of kooky talk, but I haven't picked up the
creepy street-bum vibe from this person at all.
He hasn't asked for anything at all, and he's dispensing free
predictions of doom here.
Okay, humor me. What
on earth are you talking about?
"You, my friend, are going to die relatively soon.
2 years, three months, five days to be exact.
No, you don't need to fear me.
I really have no desire to see you dead.
I really don't have much desire to see you alive either."
You've got to be kidding...