eating out

EATING OUT

Second time in a restaurant in one day. It has nothing to do with food. It’s how a lone wolf finishes his days in an industrial society, in the Information Age.

I’m giving away my age. My orientation. All the marbles that I won shooting across the wide circle in the dirt. Or playing potsies.

Remember potsies? Of course you don’t. You weren’t even born yet. We were red-blooded back then, already men at the age of ten.

What am I talking about? Right, the Information Age. But that’s probably over with too, just like the world of shooting marbles. Maybe this is the Disinformation Age, maybe it’s always been.

Deciphering zero, a special field for experts with benefits and good pay.

 

***

 

Time marches on. Time to get a grip. Time out while I come up with a flank maneuver. Time and the river. Think Tanks and Sherman tanks. What? What Sherman tanks? Have they gone the way of the buffalo? I’m sorry, I’m doing the best I know how. Anyway, that’s what Think Tanks do, they keep weapons dealers rolling in clover and life expectancy down in unfavorable parts of the world.

Where was I? In a restaurant. For the second time today. How did I wind up here? I’m locked down in a mental lapse. They spin it as dementia and strap me into a straitjacket. Transport me back through the Industrial Age, the Stone Age, the Ice Age. “Wait here,” they say, “the doctor will be with you in a moment.”

I realize I’m on a carousel. The sun rises and glints off the golden ring. I reach out to grab it.

 

***

Something snaps in my neck, and I feel the warm, unspinnable pain ripple through my mind like radiation. It settles behind my eyes. I look around and realize I’m still sitting in the restaurant.

“Have you decided, sir?” the waitress asks. “Take your time, sir,” she says, and wanders off.

I look out the large darkened night window and see a caged beast looking in at me.

“This is the Age of Transformation,” I think, and fade into my reflection.

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