THE UNQUESTIONED MECHANIC’S EASY GUIDELINES FOR FINE-TUNING A LIFE. PART 5.
A shadow with teeth
The Mechanic shook my hand.
His hands were every bit as big as I remembered them.
He appeared to be genuinely pleased to see that some force within the universe allowed us to drift together once again.
“Maybe it’s appropriate to change my secret nickname for him at this juncture,” I thought.
The Musician asked one of the waiters to bring him a club soda.
“Did you like the band?”
“I truly did.”
And that was no lie.
This man in front of me didn’t bear a lot of resemblance to the person I last saw so many years ago.
Gone was the mullet and mustache.
He wore a close-cropped brush cut and sported some designer stubble.
I was amazed at how much weight he lost.
From certain angles, he almost looked gaunt.
But upon closer scrutiny, he came across as being sinewy and deceptively muscular.
He could’ve easily pulled off the “Careful boy, I’m old for a reason” T-Shirt caption.
“If I remember anything about you I would venture to guess you’ve not booked a return flight yet?”
“I’m wrapping up things and holding out for a cheaper red-eye flight back home.”
“Well then, do you fancy a road trip?”
Images of raising hell and pretending to be angels with just the right amount of ambiguity to remain interesting seemed like a great way of eroding some of the ennui that plagued me of late.
The man next to me always protected some deep recesses inside himself that I guess nobody has ever been privy to.
And what made this latest incarnation so much more interesting was how his erstwhile confidence had evolved— Or perhaps even mutated?
In earlier days he said he survived by having an unwavering faith in the abilities he knew he excelled in.
Now it appeared as if he drew strength from being acutely aware of how fragile he was in-between those moments that fool us into believing we can conquer a universe.
“Get your gear then!”
“You’re coming with me tomorrow, we’re going to pick up Elizabeth,” he said.
I recognized a familiar mischievous look in his eyes.
The Musician morphed back into a previous version of himself.
Tomorrow I would leave this place with The Mechanic.
(To be continued, of course…)