*at this point in the memoir our narrator, much like his two companions, has grown quite large. His hair is long and greasy: he is a creature of tremendous appetite, though he is unemployed.
Though it was an unseasonably hot spring afternoon in Victoria, Sigmund, Jeff, and I decided to get a cup of coffee at Café Fantastico, which was just down the hill from Kelly and I’s new basement suite. I’d been going to the coffee shop long before we moved into the neighborhood. The inside of the shop, though tiny, was abundant in fragrance: Café Fantastico shared the space with a Mexican Restaurant, a Sushi Bar and a Ethiopian Diner: the smell inside was decidedly multicultural, especially in the context of Victoria’s homogenous culture.
The three of us sat down around a table in the courtyard at the rear of the building after getting our coffee. The courtyard contained parking, and seating for patrons of the village, waste disposal for the businesses, and a beautiful fountain for the many birds that flocked there. By the time we got to Fantastico, I’d already had five cups of coffee: sweat ran down the bridge of my nose and into the creamy coffee. I lit another cigarette.
“So, Sigmund, when are ya moving here? Isn’t it great?”
“It’s pretty nice, Nick. I will give you that, but we can’t all live in the “Promised Land” just because you live here.”
“Ha. Promised land.” Jeffrey spoke up. “I can’t wait to get out of University and get the fuck out of here. It is a nice place, but all the fucking spoiled, neo-liberal hippies who live here ruin it. It’s too small; there’s nothing interesting going on here culturally. Fuck this place”
“Bah! You’re just taking it forgranted, Jeff. How long have you been out here, three years? If it was really that bad, you would have left by now—you could have easily transferred to UofA or UBC by now. I bet you’ll be here ‘til your dying day; you secretly love here, man. Trust me. What do you guys want to do today, anyway? Wanna get some Beagle pints after this?”
Sigmund couldn’t believe it.
“Dude, are you nuts? Didn’t you have enough last night? You drank all of your beer and half of mine. Let’s do something else for a change. Let’s go to the beach or something.”
“Hahaha. Walter, are you still upset about that? Here’s my last five bucks to cover for your beer. Sorry about drinking your last few, but we had fun, hey? And you got to meet Laura!”
“It’s not about the money, dude.”
“Calmer than you are, dude. Hahahahaha.”
Suddenly, a blue BMW drove through the courtyard’s narrow archway. There were no remaining parking spots, but the driver proceeded across the paving stone undeterred. His car came to a halt behind a beat up Toyota, cutting the ignition before casually getting out and walking into the coffee shop.
“Did you guys just see that? That fucker! He is blocking in two cars with his stupid BMW! This is insane!”
“Nick, calm down. He’s on the other side of the door: he can probably hear you, ya ding-dong.”
“I hope he can!”
The door Sigmund referred to opened suddenly. At first, I thought it was BMW dude coming out to punch me out, but instead, a twenty something woman came out with some Mexican food to go. She walked towards her Toyota before realizing she was blocked in.
“Look! That poor woman can’t even get out because that fucking asshole is too lazy to park on the street. Fuck this. I am gonna do something.”
I grabbed a pen from my front pocket, and looked around desperately for a piece of paper. I grabbed a napkin instead, and began scribbling furiously.
“Nick. What are you doing?”
“I am writing that fucker a note.”
“No you’re not.”
“Oh, yes I am.”
Sweet car: you must be a very important man indeed! I too would love to own such a beautiful piece of machinery. Perhaps one day, I can be as great a man as you! I would like to relay to you, a small problem, however. You have double parked not one, but TWO vehicles in the courtyard, one of which belongs to a woman who tried to get out while you slowly ordered your extra hot Cappuccino. You sir, are indeed an ASSHOLE! I hope you wrap your stupid car around a telephone pole later this afternoon.
A Concerned Citizen
I took the note over to the BMW, looking over my shoulder to make sure its owner wasn’t on his way out. I then lifted the driver’s side windshield wiper, and placed the note underneath before walking back to the table triumphantly. Jeffrey and Sigmund scowled at me.
“What did the note say, Nick?”
“I just told him about…”
The door behind us flew open and the BMW-Man came out with his coffee, walking hurriedly to his car. I started shaking with adrenaline and hid behind the coffee shop’s door, peering outside through its small stained glass window. Everything was blurry and red, however I was able to see the man get into his car, and close the door. He then re-opened it immediately.
BMW-man took his time reading my hasty scrawl, feigned a laugh, and started walking quickly toward Jeffrey and Sigmund. I took this as my queue to run into the bathroom, lock the door, and giggle nervously. I could hear the man’s quaking voice through the bathroom’s open window.
“Ok, who is the funny-guy? Which one of you wrote this?”
“Neither of us wrote that, our friend did.” Sigmund stood his ground.
“Where is your friend, then?”
“He ran away.”
“Hahaha. Well, doesn’t that just say it ALL! Fucking pussy writes a little note on a napkin and then runs away like a fucking COWARD! I am going to wait for him right here– fucking piece of shit!”
“Excuse me, sir. Would you mind moving your car just a little bit so I can get out?”
Assuming the BMW man now was getting back into his car, I ran out of the bathroom and out the coffee shop’s front door to the Mocha House. I was breathing hard by the time I got there, and I was shaking. I smoked a cigarette, and waited to catch my breath before I phoned Sigmund from my cell. He didn’t answer; I wasn’t surprised.
I phoned again, and on the fifth ring he picked up: “What?!”
“Is he still there?”
“Ok. Well, I am at Moka House—the place we went yesterday after breakfast. Meet up with me here, and make sure you grab my skateboard. I must have left it at our table.”
Sigmund hung up. It wasn’t until about twenty minutes later that he and Jeffrey joined me at Moka House. I laughed out loud at the look of disgust on both of their faces.
“Hahahahahahahaha. Oh man! That idiot totally lost it! Is he still there?”
Sigmund shook his head.
“Nick, that was fucking stupid. Thanks a lot. He yelled at us, and now he is yelling at the poor kid working at the coffee shop. He says he is gonna call the cops.”
“Oh, and what are they gonna do? Hopefully they give him a ticket for double parking! Hahahaha. Hey, where is my skateboard.”
“Neither of us wanted to carry it.” Jeffrey smiled.
“What? I just bought that board! Can you go back and grab it for me? I will buy you a beer! C’mon, Sigmund: that guy is obviously crazy.”
“You are the crazy one, Nick. What you did back there was stupid. I am not going back there: I will probably never go back there at all.”
“Fine. I’ll do it. Just wait here, ok? And if I am not back in twenty minutes, call the cops! Hahahahaha.”
My last reserves of adrenaline swelled my veins as I walked back to Fantastico. I snuck up to the window, and saw the BMW man sitting at a table inside drinking his coffee and violently tapping his dress shoe on the floor. I snuck around to the courtyard on my tippy toes. The BMW was now parked where the Toyota had been. I spotted my skateboard under his car.
I ran to the far side of the car so I wouldn’t be seen, and dropped to my belly like a trained soldier. Reaching under the car, I grabbed my board by its rear truck and pulled it violently from underneath the car’s undercarriage, banging my knuckles. I fought a yelp, and pushed myself up, grabbed my board and ran, looking over my shoulder, sure that I was going to see the BMW man in hot pursuit: he wasn’t.
Sigmund and Jeffrey were still at the Moka House when I rode up on my skateboard. I was happy to see them laughing again, though it was obviously at my expense. Sweat dripped off my nose.
“You guys are a couple of assholes. Let’s go get a beer.”