Sunday, January 15, 2012

something different

Just a little change of paste this time around. Let me know what you think.

Yesterday morning I woke up early. Real early. I'm talking "some people are just getting to bed early". Why don't I just specify a time? Good Question. It was 4:10. I decided I'd go for a ride through town and just see what makes this town tick. It was cold out so I grabbed a jacket and gloves, and then revved up the motorcycle for an evening stroll. And this my friends, was the beginning of a very strange night.

The road, as expected, was empty. Fast food wrappers drifted about on the sidewalks as a brisk wind had taken hold. And yet it struck me as odd how an empty road in the cold suburbs of Kansas City could be so nostalgic. There was no good reason for this nostalgia, and today I have tried to make sense of the feeling but to no avail. Looking back, it was as if I knew something was going to happen. Something amazing I wouldn't soon forget. I pulled up to a park I once frequented and dismounted the hopefully-soon-to-be-sold bike (any takers?). The park has lights along the fringes illuminating a walkway through the grass. I was severely unprepared for the cold, and was shivering intensely, yet decided to keep walking (the temperature drops at night? who knew!). About a quarter way down the walkway toward the other end of the park, I saw a man by one of the far lampposts. He was also cold. Rubbing his hands together furiously, tapping his right foot, the man was more prepared than me, with a winter hat and neck warmer to show for it, yet as I came closer to him, it was clear he was waiting for somebody. And when I could see the whites of his eyes, it was clear that somebody was me.

"Luke?" he asked. He knew I was Luke, but asked anyway, maybe he's not great with names.

"Yes? Do I know you?"

He pulled his neck warmer down from his mouth, as if expecting me to say "Oh, of course, the aerobics instructor!", but instead I just waited for further, preferable verbal, explanation.

"Nothing? You don't recognize me at all?"

"I'm usually so good with faces too, I'm really sorry."

"Well, I'm not gonna bail you out so easy, you're gonnna have to figure it out. Follow me."

We walked down the rest of the walkway, quiet. And as you might expect I was pretty nervous. How did he know who I was? How did he know I would be here? Could this guy be dangerous? I began to assume I was mixed up in some North by Northwest scenario.

"You know Luke, I didn't think you were gonna show up there for a second. And I didn't know how many more nights I would wait for you."

"Excuse me". (I tried to say this as composed as possible, but inside I was saying, "Who would win a fight, me or this old guy" He looked to be about 50).

"Well Kansas City winters aren't the easiest, and at my age the joints act up after a while in the cold"

At first I smiled because I began to think I was caught in some sort of Aleve commercial, but then I thought "I wonder if I could beat him back to my motorcycle".

"Well you probably could Luke, I'm not that fast a guy, and these shoes offer anything but traction." For the first time I noticed he was wearing slippers.

"Excuse Me?"

"You wondered if you were faster than me, I was just saying you probably are".

At this point there was no turning back, because as my Aunt Sally once told me "Once they start reading your mind, you're pretty much roped in'.

"Well, here we go Luke"

The man then unlocked the door to a business of some sort, and said, "After you".

I entered, because at this point, I figured I was dead no matter what happened, might as well have fun with it.

There were two cups of coffee on a table waiting for us, one had a note that said, 'Just how Luke Likes it". And it was. (If you want to know how to prepare coffee "Just how Luke likes it" call me).

"Luke, have you figured it out yet?"

"No sir, I haven't"

'Well, I guess some people were just born dumb."


He looked up from his coffee for a second then said, "That joke sure didn't land. You know, sometimes I think it'd be better if I just didn't joke at all, but heck, i wouldn't get to see that look on your face would I?"
I did indeed have a peculiar look on my face, and I think its because it had just hit me that I had just followed a stranger into a building at 4:45 AM and was now drinking a mysterious cup of coffee he had provided. If this wasn't a picture perfect kidnapping scheme then I don't know what is. And to think I had finally made it out of the possible-kindapping-vicitim age. I guessed all I could do now was wait for the drugs to kick in.

He let out a low melodious chuckle, "Luke, its not spiked. If we were going to spike your coffee, don't you think we wouldn't have gone through the trouble of using a fresh Colombian roast?'

I was now wondering who the "we" was, but then remembered that he could indeed read my thoughts so I quickly tried to think of nothing.

"It's just the guys and me Luke, and of course I can see your thoughts. What are thoughts anyway, but words were to afraid to utter".

He stood up and started to put on his coat.

"Well I guess I shouldn't expect you to remember after all these years. But man did we hang out a lot back then Luke. And me, you, and the guys did whatever we wanted. We had all the time in the world to hang out, well, nearly."

He started to make for the door.

"Wait, was the point of this? What's going on? And most importantly, who the heck are you?"

A nice combination of confused and offended, the man said, "What? A couple of old friends can't have cup of coffee together?" He smiled and opened the door. "Don't let it be this long before I see you again Luke." Then he winked and walked out, whistling as he walked down the road.

And as for me, my motorcycle was right outside the door on the curb. I got on and rode home, dazed but content, confused but at peace.

Merry (late) Christmas Everyone.


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