I went to the Reporter this Sunday. He was as direct as ever with that unchanging expression. But then again, it really wouldn’t be right if it were anything else.
There were at least 42 people in line that day, or at least the people in front of me, I didn’t pay heed to those behind me. It was a nice day, the birds were chirping, the turbines were spinning, and cars quietly zipped by. That sunday was a normal day and I had nothing special to ask; with nothing pressing on my mind, I turned my attention to other things.
I was vaguely paying attention to the announcement over the loudspeaker, “-protest group are planning to start their monthly “surprise” protest at 1 P.M. to 3 P.M. So customers without silver level tickets should be prepared to be inconvenienced at this time. Thank you.”
I heard some of the questions that were asked of him while waiting in line. Typical drabble like, “Will I have a son or a daughter?” or “Who will win the world cup this year?” There were a couple new kids asking more questions than what is appropriate.Things asked like, “What happens after we die?” or “Is the Easter Bunny real?” or “Why does my uncle touch me so much?” You know, typical new-to-them questions, questions that seem unique to them but to no one else.
Once the line got to me I walked in with my prepared 4 questions. I sat down in the foldable chair and looked at the reporter sitting across from me in his dusty purple card table. I asked, “When is the best time for me to get the groceries?”
He responded, “This Thursday at 2:30 P.M.”
“Who will be the next person I fall in love with?”
“Alice Turbanski, a woman you will meet in three weeks through an online dating service.”
I wrote down to myself, “Set up online dating account.”
“When will I develop the alcoholism you mentioned last week?”
“It will become diagnosable March 16 2061.”
“And finally how do I get over it?”
“Through the support of your soon to be recovering alcoholic friend, your wife, and your twin daughters.”
I wrote down, “Become friends with people showing signs of alcoholism.”
I stood up and nodded my head to him, “Thanks.” He nodded his dead eyes back to me. As I left I heard the next person ask an expected question. Something along the lines of, “What the point of it all is?” And I didn’t have to be around to hear the silence after that question. I also didn’t have to be there to hear the gunshot sound afterwards.
After the gunshot I wondered, “Who is it that cleans up the body? Is there a specific job for that? Maybe I’ll ask him next week.”