by Pat A Physics
“There is very little time,” she entoned. “Yeah,” I half laughed half said. “These are what you need to take, and the more you experience, the less questions you’ll have.” She gave me my medicine, touched her face, and made a pout. “Is there a bathroom nearby?” I looked at my shoe. I wished I looked for the sign, but now she would have to show me. “Follow me, Mr. Vincent.” Her expression did not change. Nothing seemed to be happening in the building, but I heard someone with a hammer and probably nails. She had stopped short of the door. “Did you need me to help you with it?” I swallowed and felt sweat suddenly on my forehead. “Can you tell me something? I promise this will just be between us. The other day, I made a series of phone calls to random strangers. I asked them-” She pulled out a small tape recorder and stopped a tape. “Continue.” On the wall opposite the door, a framed photograph was hanging. It was a famous print of a man posing in his bathrobe looking into the lens. I think the person who took the picture showed up at this guy’s house and asked to snap a candid photo. How the man was convinced is a mystery. “I asked them if I could interest them in a chance to have dinner with me at a nice restaurant. Most people hung up on me, but one old lady said ‘sure.’ So I met her at a bus stop and took her to Olive Garden.” The man’s gaze was fixed on mine as I retold my dinner story. He was looking like a shaman, or worldly foreign ambassador with a benevolent twinkle in his eyes. “She and I had a great time. Do you think there is any chance-” She chuckled in disbelief. I watched her turn toward the picture of the domestic saint. “Mr. Vincent, you know that meeting up like that can be dangerous. If we were seen by the agency, we could lose the contract, all of our hard work, and maybe our jobs!” I took off my glasses and watched her turn back toward me. “Are you ready to help me with this?” She was smiling with similar distance as the man in the picture. The worldly ambassadors looked at me with a clinical, detached blur.