That’s the Guy (Day 58)

Thom put a hand on my forearm. “Hey, isn’t that the guy over there?”

I looked up from my five-year-old coverless copy of The New Yorker. “Where? And what guy?”

Thom pointed without raising his arm from the table, keeping his gesture low for my benefit only. I followed his sightline and saw the fellow he was talking about. “Oh, that guy.” I closed the magazine automatically and rolled it into a tight tube.

“Don’t get up, man,” Thom murmured. “I just wanted you to see him. Let’s not do anything hasty.”

“What, like pull out a piece and put a round through each of his kneecaps?”

Thom nodded. “Yeah, yeah: that would be the sort of unpleasantness I was hoping to avoid.” I could see him studying my face nervously. “You want another mojito, man?”

I crushed the rolled magazine in my hands. “No, man,” I replied, my teeth clenched, “I don’t want a damn mojito.” I stood up and dropped the magazine on my chair. “I want to go over there and have a word.”

Thom started to get up, too, but I put my hand on his shoulder. “It’s okay, little man. I’m cool. I just have a few questions I’d like to ask the man who took my girlfriend to an Arcade Fire concert and then didn’t bring her back. And listen; I’m not wearing today, so you don’t need to worry so much.” Nevermind I could probably take the jerk apart with my bare hands, I added silently to myself.

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