M. Legare (adequatemagic) wrote in vignettes,
M. Legare

Our Story So Far

My phone rings - do I have a phone? Yes. Right here in my pocket. One of these days I have to remember to plug it in to charge , although the battery's been at three dots (four max) for months now.



"That'd be me? Who's this?" I look at the phone - BLOCKED CALLER. Oh yeah. I'm spending good money for this useful indication of who it is.

"It's me, Bob.. this line isn't secure. Meet me at Quack's." Quacks? Oh yes, the mighty Captain Quackenbush's. Coffeehouse to the young, artsy and angsty.

"Ok, me I'll me you there. I'll be the one who looks like hell." Pause. "Well, the one who's not entirely in black."

A chuckle on the other end, "Gotcha. But I'd recognize you anywhere. And you'll do the same." Click. Thank you for using Big Mighty Cellular. Fine.

Captain Quackenbush's has been around for as long as anyone can remember, a sole pinnacle of independence against the increasingly large clump of Franchise Hells along west campus. I score a table, and as an afterthought, order an Italian soda - lime. They get it right. That's one of the reasons I'll tolerate coming in here.

After about 2 lime sodas and a pass through the 'personals' section of the Independent (you know, that 'free' paper that's 60 percent ads - all metros have one) I see him. Bookish. Real bookish. Tweedy. Pudgy. Little round glasses, close-cropped hair. Neat moustache. I know him from somewhere - must be that 'me' from the phone. He spots me and makes his way over like a junkie scoring a fix - a straight line through the wavy cluster of chairs and tables - no idea how he manages it.

He thumps into the chair next to me without making a sound. "Bob."

"That'd be me." Pause. "Going to tell me who you are?"

He grins. No teeth, just lips pulled up under that moustache. "Ever get the feeling that something's going on that you don't know about?"

"Aside from my apartment blowing up, you mean?

He look surprised for all of a second. "Wow. He's moving quick."


"Yes. Bob, let me ask you how's your memory? How long have you lived around here?"

Blink. Funny to be asking after my memory when he's so certain I know who he is. "Six years? Seven? Came here in '85 to go to college and - "

"Right." He looks like he's doing math in his head. "So, if I told you that you're not entirely here right now?"

"I'd say that this would be because I had a bloody grenade go off in my home this morning. Now your name?" I try and say it calmly, but it comes out in that slow, deliberate manner one uses with lunatics and DMV workers.

He grins again, irritating bastard. "Me? My name is Robert Theopolis. And I'm you."
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