The Man in the Hoodie: The Return Home

Part IV

The Man in the Hoodie: The Return Home

I met him at JoZ’s coffee shop and he wore a blue hoodie. Drinkin kold brew espresso, he wore a smile on his face. He had a laptop but appeared not to be using it — aloof but friendly, none the less. He was one of my friends, after all . . .

“Hey, I just met you . . . but here’s my email, so . . . write me, maybe.”

“Yeah, sure.” That’s the way we left it that first day.

He shot me an email, told me to meet me at JoZ’s at 6 pm. I got there at five. I came correct with well thought out small-talk, dressed to impress. Topics included: space-time, string theory, Presidential politics, the Olympics, etc. But he never showed. What da kup? So I decided to chase some tail instead. No such luck. I used to be good at flirting with women, but since I quit drinking, I’ve kinda lost my touch. Whatever.

I got an apologetic email around eight. You get that dirt off your shoulders. Brush ya shoulders off. Night. No Moon or Stars. Cold. Damn cold. Windy, too. Walking down the middle of the street lined with Abandoned Homes. Snow muffled all sounds, except for the shuffling of my boots. Are you with me so far?

Ole Man Winter and the Hawk: a deadly combination, my friends. More than any other emotion, I was terrified, with no Hope of Consolation. I had been Lost for so long — in the Maze of my own Mind, so Lost in the Labyrinth that any hope of my Way was gone. Or maybe, I was only ten feet from the Exit, but what’s the difference? They wouldn’t let me Out anyways. Totally Starbuxed.

Reminds me of a recurring Nightmare I’ve had. I saw a glimpse of my future: I saw myself in my late 50s with a mangy, half grey beard. I hadn’t showered in a month of Sundays. I was obviously lost. And above all I was scared shiteless. I did not know where I was or where I was going, but looked like the West Side of Chicago. Bux me, bitch.


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