It is dark and it is raining. The artificial lights serve their role. These lights are created to hide things… so many things.
Reflections that they make conspire to fool the senses, moving over the water, dancing as cars and motorcycles move carefully. The vast river is the entire downtown area, here where magic is cheap, and Jesus might be just another guy walking on water.
He navigates his scooter, wasn’t really sure whether he remembers the border between the water and the trenches. The dim light from his scooter doesn’t help a lot, or at all. He isn’t sure whether he doesn’t want a new scooter or he can’t afford one.
He isn’t sure of why he is out at the moment, he isn’t sure whether the shivering feeling is caused by the cold rain, or is it because he sees that nothing is certain in his life.
In front of a coffee shop he pulls over. Crowded as coffee shops should be around this part. These useless, good for nothing flocks of bi-pedals sitting around tables, sitting for hours over a cup of coffee and overflowing stocks of cigarettes. Talking over nothing, talking over businesses, talking over corruptions done by others and done by themselves, playing dominoes, laughing, singing.
Somebody is screaming angrily on the phone, threatening. It is something about land, palm trees, overtaking. The others who are with him are smiling, laughing. The screaming man hangs up… and laughs along.
And then he becomes aware of the rest of the crowd, the one he hates. Among the multitudes of sneering and jeering and empty faces, between the cover of the sound of the vehicles and the rain, dripping wet, he stands in front of them all. Looking, searching amid the smoky atmosphere and the dim lights.
A hand protruded, waving.
He approaches, and begin to walk among the crowd, careful not to make any contact with any of the dogs, he doesn’t want to make any scene. Besides, he is rather annoyed by his own condition. The damned rain, and the damned rain coat left hanging behind the malfunctioning garage door.
The man who waves is a Caucasian, funny that he is rather hidden among other consumers of small stature and darker complexion. He certainly has acquired certain finesse to mingle and disappear. He wears a shirt that makes him look like a poor blue collared labor from the 90’s, a pair of blue jeans, a worn out bag pack that would have been used by any not so successful local insurance salesperson. Clean hands with nothing to decorate the wrist nor the fingers but a plain old silver wristwatch.
The man crosses his hands over the table, where a small glass stands. Black liquid halfway down.
“Didn’t see you here, sorry I’m late.” He sits down and begins to look for the waitress, and sees four young chicks barely out of junior high school with tight thin t-shirts and hot pants with lines inches away from their pussies assembled behind the cookies case, gossiping and giggling while the old Chinese man is busy with his calculator.
The steam from the big kettle, the noise from the human. A glass of hot tea would be nice. But never mind.
“No, no, I’m sorry to call you so suddenly. You’re not ordering anything?”
Such courtesy, this man needs help, and he isn’t in any position to bargain. He doesn’t know how to respond to the question, he didn’t pay attention. “Ah, it’s cold.” Rubbing his hands, he looks back towards the girls, when one stares blankly towards his position, he raises his hand. The girl, nudges the shoulder of the younger one and pointing his way. The younger one approaches. Short and rather skinny, with black straight hair ponytailed with bright pink rubber band. T-shirt so small that it might have been made for a 6 year old is pressing her body, denim hot pants with colorful embroideries on the pockets.
The girl stops slightly behind him, he has to twist his body to look at her to make sure that the simple message consisted of two simple points of tea and a small pack of Sampoerna Mild could go through the blank stare of the child whose outfit is a bit skimpier than some hookers he hung out with when he was in Java.
Comparatively though, those hookers had elegance to them. Experienced. Calculative vipers with the wisdom that should turn any men of power into babies.
When he had no home, when everything went and tangled among the chaotic mixes of life and assumptions, they understood. Those necessary banshees, where would the world be without them?
This child? She smells like a huge armpit.
“Hot tea and small Sampoerna mild, please.” He chokes a bit, then adds a courtesy for the sake of decency, she’s a human being, she deserves to be treated as one, or so he thought.
She turns and leave without a word.
“Thank you…” he says, with a tone of mockery this time.
“So…” he turns to the white guy.
The white guy looks at him, rather unsure about something.
“I interviewed a man about a week ago…” The white guy began. “and two days ago, he fell from a helicopter.”
He didn’t know how to respond, unsure if it’s a joke “he died?”
He looks around towards the crowd, noisy bastards minding their own business. He feels uneasy.
“So?” he doesn’t know what to expect or what to say.
The white guy presses his body towards the table, while his hands are still crossed before his chest “I think I know why…”
“white guys always know” he ponders.
And he thinks about his choice of words and the seemingly racist connotation before his thought shifts to whether that waiter had listened to what he had said. He looks over at the young sluts busy giggling over their cellphones, no one is making any tea.