I sipped gently on my coffee as I contemplated Max's succulent question. 'Yes' I would answer in time, 'yes I have'. But for now, the possibility of giving forth such an answer seemed slim. The coffee was hot, my tongue was burning, and my thoughts were far away.
My house was still burned down. That's a recap, for those of you who are new here. If you are new here, I'd stop reading now. Go away, play in the sun or something. Eat some grapes. I don't really care. But don't lose your house in a fire. See, we've gone full circle. You're happy now? Good, let's continue.
"Yes." I answered Max. "Yes he is."
"Well, I know how you feel. I've got this guy following me, you see. He's very cunning, he's everywhere I go. Well, everywhere with a reflective surface."
I nodded wisely. Surely, I thought to myself, the joke here wouldn't be that Max had mistaken his reflection for a stalker of some sorts. Surely the readers of this illustrious blog deserve humour more sophisticated than a man being scared of reflection, refraction and reduction. You deserve the works of Sartre, distilled with the finest champagne, served on the back of a moose. Or something of that ilk.
"Max, are you sure you're not just thinking of your reflection? Because that's not a stalker; it's just science. Which, in general, is actually far scarier." I replied, the memory of failing Higher Physics still ingrained in my psyche.
|Herbert Otto Gille. He looks a|
bit like Max's new reflection.
"No." Replied Max. "I thought that at first. But I remember my reflection, and it looks just like me. I've never worn an SS uniform, for one thing."
I nodded. A few moments passed, then I looked up in the comedic stylings of the man who has just thought about what he's heard.
"An SS uniform? Like the Waffen-SS? You have a Nazi reflection?"
"Yea. Now you mention it, that is really weird, isn't it? Look!"
Max, in a fit of excitement, was pointing at his coffee. For a moment, I caught a glimpse of a uniformed figure making rude hand gestures, then in our excitement, we shook the table and the reflection wobbled away.
"That's pretty unusual Max, even for you." I offered cautiously.
"Yea, I mea... Wait, wait! He's back!"
Max had grabbed a spoon in a further fit of excitement, turning this way and that while yelling.
"Look, the crafty bugger's upsides-down now!"
"Ya!" yelled the figure from the spoon, in a particularly reflective German accent. "ve have occupied your spoon!"
Nearby, a waiter was cleaning up tables diligently. Overhearing Max's spoon, he approached the table with a stern look on his face.
"We'll have none of that talk here, sir!" He snapped.
"It isn't my fault!" Max yelled out. "Nazis have occupied my reflection."
"Look," replied the waiter, "this is a neutral café. We're like Switzerland, except without the Alps. I hate the Alps. Take your little conflict elsewhere."
"Look," replied Max unoriginally, "We've paid for these coffees, we'll damn well finish them!"
"And I'll have none of that language! This used to be such a peaceful café, before you came and ruined it! Get out, before I fetch the teapot!"
"NO!" Yelled a voice from the café. A young woman, dressed in an apron, ran from the establishment. "You promised we would leave the violence behind. You said there would be no more teapots!"
"I know my love," the waiter replied. "But I cannot stand by. I cannot allow this to go on, not in my own home!"
For some time now, I had been sidling away. To be more exact, I'd been gently rocking my chair backwards across the terrace and onto the sidewalk. Now, I shuffled backwards into a taxi and set off for home. I didn't know how Nazis had taken over Max's reflection, and I didn't understand what had gone on in that café. All I knew was that I'd sacrificed a perfectly good scone, a brave fighter left behind, a tribute to the Gods of Old, to allow me to escape. And I wouldn't let that sacrifice go unremembered.