My meeting at the cafe

So it’s Sunday. I just got back from the cafe and I want to write it all down while it’s still fresh.

The meeting was so weird.

There was actually a guy waiting for me. When I walked in at 1:15, I looked around and saw this guy sitting in a booth. He grinned at me. Something in his face told me he knew who I was. I figured he was the guy I was here to meet.

Once I’d sat down and ordered a coffee, I looked at the man across from me. He was tall and lanky. He was like a traffic light pole, especially in the long gray coat he was wearing. I asked his name and he simply grinned at me.

“I have a gift for you, Raymond,” he said in a hushed, raspy voice.

He slid a paper-wrapped box across the table. The package could have had a book or a pair of shoes in it. I didn’t take it.

“What’s this all about?” I asked, “Who are you? How do you know me? How do you know the title for my story?”

The man grinned, “You want to know who we are. This package is the first puzzle piece to answering your question.”

“Huh? What the hell are you talking about? Did you even hear me? I asked you how you knew about ‘Doom Truth’”

He said nothing, only grinned.

“Actually, I do have a question: what’s to stop me from calling the cops on you for stalking me?”

With a grin, the man said, “Do as you wish. But then you will never hear the answer. Never know what it is you are seeking. Never know what is behind the door, at the end of the corridor.”

That got me. How did he know about that? The door in the corridor was a dream I’d been having off and on for months now. Always I’d get a little closer, but never reach the door. I grabbed the package. Damn it, even if there was nothing inside, my curiosity had been roused.

“Fine! I’ll take a look,” I glanced down at the package. “How will I contact you if I have questions?”

But when I looked up, the man was gone. He’d left a calling card on the table. I grabbed it, tucked the package under my arm, and hurried home.

I thought—though maybe I am imagining it—a man had stared fixedly at me while I was on the T. There was something I didn’t like about his face. Fortunately, he didn’t get off at my stop.

So now here I am, back in the safety of my apartment. I’ve been staring at the package for an hour, while it sits on my coffee table. A glass of whiskey hasn’t helped me work up the courage to open it yet. The man’s card had nothing but a phone number on it.

This is all just so weird. I don’t even know what to think about this damn package, the lanky man, or the email.

I need sleep. But before that, another shot of Jameson.

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