Monday, February 18, 2008

"it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah."
- Leonard Cohen


Finally the sun dipped behind the buildings, leaving his world in shadow. He debated taking off the sunglasses now that they were no longer absolutely necessary, but decided against it. A fashion statement is a fashion statement. And nobody ever knocked the Blues Brothers; they were on a mission from god. Maybe he was too. She should be calling soon. It was just about that time. She had promised to call when she was close. she said it would be soon. He wasn't certain how soon. he didn't wear a watch and didn't want to take his cell out again to check the time; it would only highlight his impatience.

And then he would start getting anxious. And desperate. He would assume that something more important came up and that she wouldn't be able to make it. He would assume that something more important came up and that she wouldn't be able to make it. he would assume that something bad happened. He would assume that she left him for one of her ex-boyfriends, or her secretary, of Danny, the man she worked with on nearly all of her projects and had nothing but good words for. Or a woman. Besides, it was too early to be concerned. He had a fairly good time sense and there was no need to go to all that trouble just to be sure. When the time was right, fate would stem in and the phone would ring. All else was meaningless.

The wind was picking up. He ducked inside Pangloss Coffee and relented, taking off his aviators. Wearing sunglasses inside isn't a fashion statement. It just makes you an ass. He slipped them into the breast pocket of his micro suede blazer and surveyed the room. Not bad. The talent was out in force. The wall clock read 7:19. His estimation had been fairly accurate.

Despite wanting something a little stiffer than caffeine, he knew that he had to be on point when she called; more so when she showed up. There was no margin for error anymore. Whatever chances he might have had in the beginning were likely gone by now. He was far too old to get away with being a party boy lush on any regular basis. He ordered a medium coffee and a double espresso. He still had minutes to kill and it wouldn't hurt to wait for her here. It would make the rendezvous more convenient. They had enjoyed coffee here together on several previous occasions. it would save the difficulty of wandering around strange corners playing Marco cell phone Polo. He drowned his espresso in a raw sugar and then downed the whole cocktail at once. The definition of bittersweet. The coffee he left black and to cool. The clock read 7:24.

He needed something to do. Sitting at the window watching the strange faces drift past in the streets wasn't enough. He kept seeing strange visions. She kept walking past in the arms of other men. He was just about to call out when he realized that the woman was blonde. He slid his cell out of his pocket, put it away without glancing. She told him that she would call. He could not break protocol. She would think that something was the matter. And then he would have to tell her and that would be embarrassing. Or he would lie. And drive the wedge just a little deeper. He sipped his coffee. The clock read 8:06. He picked up a newspaper that had been left behind but couldn't focus on the inane gossip and hackneyed writing. The woman next to him was twittering on her cell; doe-eyed and oblivious. The baby talk was insufferable. No, you hang up. His coffee had gone gold and bitter. He finished it off with a gulp and a grimace.

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