Entry #6 - Dead Man's Pockets
After an incredibly long and uncomfortable stretch of time, consisting of the hat guy and myself silently eating chicken strips… Okay, I ate silently; he ate louder than a freight train crashing into a room full of geese… What I’m trying to say is that neither of us said a word while we ate our poorly cooked, dry chicken strips. After that aforementioned long and uncomfortable stretch of time, the guy finally said something.
“So, where do you think we should look first?” he asked through the chicken.
“Look for what?” I asked in what I could only hope was a frustrated tone. Occasionally, you need to make your frustration known through a tone of voice instead of simply a swift kick to the face.
Violence only occasionally solves everything.
I felt like today would end up being one of those days.
“The lost city of Tawlanok!” he exclaimed at the top of his lungs and the bottom of his glass of water. “What have we been talking about?!”
I had no idea.
“I have no idea,” I replied softly. Suddenly, it dawned on me. I knew where to go with this. After eating another chicken strip, I decided to tell him. “But I do have some idea of where to look.”
I built up all of my confidence in an attempt to sound as confident as I could. If I could sound confident, he just might be willing to give me a ride to the shopping mall. If this man wasn’t going to drive me to violence, he could at least drive me to the shopping mall.
“Perhaps we should start by looking at the shopping mall.”
His eyes lit up with excitement in a way that looked very bright in this incredibly dimly lit bar. It was almost frightening, and he almost had pretty eyes under all that hat, except not quite.
“I never thought about looking at the mall,” he said as he slapped the table a few times. Of course he had never thought about it. I had only just now come up with the idea, and if he had thought of it before I did, he very likely would have said so. He said all sorts of things, and I don’t see this as something he would have held back. I couldn’t get the guy to stop talking. “Do you think it’ll be there?”
I didn’t want to discourage him. After all, he was the one with the car. At least I hope he had a car. Maybe he didn’t have a car. I don’t think I ever asked if he had a car or not. I decided to continue assuming that he had a car. “We can only hope.”
That was basically the truth. We couldn’t do much else but to hope. Hope and shop. I needed new shoes. I left mine at the bowling alley, and I had no desire to go back there. Also, I was no longer allowed to go back there. And as my father or some other person once possibly said, there is no sense in going backwards, when you have the lack of sense to go forwards.
I think that’s how the phrase went. It had something to do with backwards and forwards at least. Maybe I read it somewhere.
Eventually, we paid for our meal… I paid for our meal… and we left to try to find a mall. I had forgotten to find out if the town we were in even had a mall, but I would think every town would have a mall or at the very least an open-air shopping plaza and/or pavilion. Most towns I’ve been in have something like that, and let me tell you I’ve been to a lot of towns.
I’ve been to a lot of towns.
This particular town, or perhaps it was a city, this particular city was made up of rather large ornate buildings, scattered amongst a few smaller buildings that looked like nobody cared so much about them anymore. Perhaps no one did. I could understand why not, what with all these larger, more ornate buildings lying around all over the place.
We walked up and down a few streets, hoping to find a mall beside one of them, but we had no luck. Not good luck. Not bad luck. Simply no luck whatsoever.
Eventually, we stumbled onto something that I mistook for luck, but instead it was a body. A dead body. I’m pretty sure it was dead, because it didn’t move when I stumbled over it and fell face first onto its face. My face fell against the face of this body so firmly and forcefully, we might as well have been kissing. I think that’s what the man in the hat thought as well, because he took it upon himself to snap a picture for his photo album.
People don’t refer to alive bodies as bodies often enough. They only call it a body when it’s dead. I pondered this for a moment or two before eventually pushing myself up off of the person body and dusting myself off. I checked for a pulse, and once I was sure I still had one or two, I kicked the person body a couple times to verify its life status.
It was dead. Hat man and I agreed upon this thought, and at once we began to rummage through the person body’s dead pockets.
It was a man, in case you were wondering about the gender, although I’m not sure why that would make any real difference at this point. A dead person body is a dead person body, or so the saying goes.
We didn’t find much in the pockets of the dead man’s person body, so I then went through the pockets of the annoying man with the hat, and he in turn went through my pockets. Coming up empty all the way, we both had a very profound sense of dissatisfaction. Someone had to have something in their pockets, but this just didn’t seem to be our day.
I heaved a heaving heavy sigh of heave, and the man with the hat did the same. We both looked over to the dead man’s person body to see if he also would heave a heavy heaving heave of a sigh, but to no avail. Dead person bodies don’t heave nor do they sigh, although I think I heard once somewhere about air being released at the moment of death.
That was not this moment.
What was this moment however was just then at that moment, when I suddenly had a thought. I typically have quite a few thoughts, but this one thought in particular caught my thinking attention and made me go “Hmm.”
“Hmm,” I said aloud, and the man in the hat said “What?”
“I said ‘Hmm’,” I replied, and the man in the hat said “Oh, okay. I thought that’s what you said.”
“Yes, very much so,” I said back to him, and we went on like this for some time, which I am sure is of no concern to you, as you are likely as bored with this conversation as I was at the moment.
The moment I had the thought that made me go “Hmm.”
I had thought to look in the dead man person body’s shoes, in case he had something in them aside from just his feet and socks.
I found a letter stuffed under his left foot in his right shoe. A letter addressed to me.
TO BE CONTINUED...