The bell rang as more customers came in, the sound of the rain pouring hard outside overcame the light drum of the background music for that small instant where the door was in the process of closing. The sound of the billions of droplets crashing against the glass front, creating a sort of background music of its own for anyone actually willing to listen for it.
The doors closed and the music became dominant once more, the chattering of the few customers up so early joining the chorus of the background rain droplets. I live for the moment, and in this moment I am alive and I am among many but I am alone.
The waitress busier than one would think at such a time of the day, but like me, some people do not grasp time by hands or numbers, but by moments. At this moment there are seven people in the diner, none of which would reach sainthood anytime soon, myself included.
Those cops at the bar, eating breakfasts that could feed an entire African village, laughing hysterically at some made up cop story about how they had saved the day. The smacking of their lips was their moment; the people were nothing but a shadow to the large pile of pancakes and bacon sitting on their plates.
Then there was the three men wannabes sitting at the table against the front display window, dressed in the orange and camo with their Elmer Fudd hats, their shotguns on the back of their trucks parked in front.
The way they fidgeted in their seats, their untouched coffees that had started from steaming hot ten minutes earlier to cold as water the next, arguing quietly amongst themselves.
Anyone with real eyes in their sockets could predict what was going to happen, the only people that order a coffee and breakfast and don’t touch it are people that aren’t there for the breakfast but for something else. If a mask is needed then that something is not good, their moment is about to begin.
The waitress comes with my piping hot coffee, a plate with two eggs and five strips of bacon on the side. Yellow side up, I thank her as she walks away to see if the pretend men need a refill for their coffee although its obvious she knows they haven’t touched it.
I inhale the coffee, looking up as I lift the cup to lucky number six. The woman in the pin strip suit that might as well be wearing a sign saying women are superior. With her heels and her laptop looking like she’s doing something important, saying something menacing on the cell phone to one of her male subordinates.
She feels like she has to impose her power, like the fact that she needs to prove to us men that she is tough as nails and we have been running the show for far too long. Truth be told we never ran the show, we pretended to be in charge and we tricked the women into thinking they weren’t.
The trick was on us, they knew from the get go they were in charge and they played our game. The eggs taste awful, I catch a movement to my right as the fakers go to make their move. Noticing how the cops are too busy trying to buy their meals with their badges to notice the desert eagle tucked in the soon to be burglars’ belts.
The song fades away, the rain covering the silence as they finally make their move. Even with their guns out and the waitress at the counter screaming the cops are slow to turn and find the guns pointed in their faces, “ Give us the guns and lay on your stomachs, everyone!”
One of them walks into the kitchen, pulling out a fat man with a white apron. They approach me, pointing the gun in my face, “ That means you too stranger, we’re in charge here so you do what we say, get down now!”
Now is my moment, Sun Tzu put it best when he said if you know others and yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles. The woman’s rights woman is on the ground, looking very embarrassed that men have put her down.
I feel the cold barrel of the pistol pressed hard against my temple, “ Are you now? If you are truly in charge why am I second guessing you?” I do not look at him, I already learnt everything I need to. Grabbing my cup I take a sip, sensing the frustration building up.
As angry as he is the confusion is more dominant, the anger is throwing one into disarray. He emphasises his demands with some more colourful language, “ You never bothered to check me for a gun, you were drawn in by the prospect of reward and shall die in disarray.”
Without hesitation I pulled the pistol from his grasp, pulling the safety off I aimed at his head quickly and pulled the trigger. As he fell to the ground I turned to the next burglar to find him holding the waitress hostage.
He was going to say something when I shot over the woman’s shoulder, getting him between the eyes I can see the remaining poser aiming his gun at me. He doesn’t comprehend the moment, the moment is now and those who wait lose control of the moment and therefore lose control of their lives.
I pull the trigger again, I watch as the gun clatters to the ground and his body joins it a second later. Even as the moment is ending no one notices the new moment passing over it, they are still stuck in the moment before these impostors of men pulled out their guns.
The waitress in uncertain whether she should thank me or be scared of me, the cops haven’t even reached for their guns on the ground even if there is nothing stopping them. I see the bag full of money on the counter, walking by the police I grab the bag.
Turning it on the waitress I smiled courteously, “ Madam, I understand this ordeal is hard but I know this is the day of the week when the people come to get all the money, where is the rest of the money?”
The police are almost caught up; they’re beginning to comprehend the posers’ moment. The woman moves to the back like a zombie, she doesn’t even understand what she is doing but by the time she does I will be gone. She comes out with two more bags of money, I know there’s more but I got enough.
Money over my shoulder I search the pockets of the burglar in charge, finding a pair of keys stained with blood from the owner from which he stole it from I find it just that it should be of use to me as well. I belt the gun and walk over to the cobra; tossing the money on the passenger seat I start the engine.
I’m in no rush, driving ten over the speed limit I smile as I take in the air of the time between moments. I know myself, I use Taoism but I am not of the religion, I use violence but I am not a violent person. Just because one uses a hammer it does not mean one is a hammer, the hammer is just the means to an end.
The end is the moment when the currents of the river don’t carry me, when I can stand in the river and see where it goes but not be controlled by it. I began like all the others, and to get to the moment I had to break out of the apple pie model citizen design.
So here I am, on the run from the law because I do not conform to its parameters, I do not pretend to be innocent but rather embrace my culpalabity and expand it to my own advantage.
He always managed to stay one step ahead of us, the people of the café seemed distressed by the hold up and barely remembered Jonas even though he had killed three men and stolen most of their money.
Sitting back in the car I sighed in frustration, “ He was here but we ain’t gonna be getting information worth crap out of these people. He could be heading anywhere, the car he used to get here is still here so he’s got another ride.”
Lighting a cigarette my partner slammed her fist against the wheel, horn beeping, “ This guy’s a pro, we’re minor leaguers trying to play in the big leagues Jim. Lets just call the Feds on this one, they got shit that can find a penny from fifty miles away for crying out loud.”
That was the logical thing to do, we’re out of our jurisdiction and out of our league with this guy, “ Its personal Beth, he killed my partner and he killed many more good men and women on his path to enlightenment. I swear I’ll find this monster and when I do I will kill him.”
Its interesting how the arm of the law reaches so far and wide in this corrupted blue earth and yet they fail to grasp what is so near to them. The gas pumped in as I leaned casually against my newly possessed car, watching as the Texas police cruiser pulled into the other side.
Anger throws people into disarray, but it also drives people to unwavering determination on a certain goal. In this case I am the goal, the tall cop with his partner hot on my trail following every miniscule detail I didn’t care to cover up.
They were talking about their next plan of action to catching me, looking at the gas meter I smile, as the tank is full. I walk over and pushed the gas pump back in, glancing at my hunters to see they had not noticed me yet.
Walking past them I open the door to the small building, hearing the bell sound of the police cruiser now full as well. Calmly reaching for my wallet I pull out my stolen wallet, hearing the bell ring and heavy footsteps coming from behind.
I glance back to see the partner looking over the junk food, waiting for me to be done paying. Eighty dollars to fill her up, the price of gas is outrageous but it’s not my money so I hand over the credit card. The partner’s got a bag of Doritos and two bottles of Coca-Cola, I smile as she looks me right in the face and doesn’t recognize me.
The desk clerk hands over the credit card, I smile and thank him for his service. I turn to find the cop facing me, excusing herself I smile and nod as I walk by, stopping at the door. The real hunter is waiting impatiently in the car, whistling some sort of tune and playing out the drum pattern with his fingers.
An idea has struck me, what is life without a few risks. Turning to the police officer I see the gun in its holster, safety off I know I only got two shots left in my chamber but her gun has a whole clip full. Walking right beside her I place the gun at her temple,“ Anyone here breathes without my go ahead is dead.”
Her whole body aura changes, her stance goes to something like fear, I grab her gun with my free hand. The clip is in, the moment I fire the real hunter will be on me and I will receive my due if I am not careful.
Pulling the safety off the partner’s pistol I pull the trigger of my own, blood spraying on the wall I turn it and use the final round on the clerk. My captain Ahab is in motion, pistol raised he rushes in but I’m one step ahead of him.
We both have the barrels of our pistols between our eyes, “ Jonas, I swore I would kill you and now…” I sigh in annoyance; turning the butt of the pistol to face him I hit him hard on the skull. As he collapses unconscious I grab his handcuffs and drag him into the washroom.
Handcuffing him to the urinal pipe I grab his radio and his handcuff keys and walk out, stepping into the police cruiser I turn on the highway, joining the traffic at a leisurely speed to my final destination, to my new life where I shall have a whole new town of people to feed my impulse.
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