Patiently he sits in the shade outside on the café’s patio, watching as the world moves slowly by, ugly men with beautiful women, obnoxious kids chattering about white noise. 

He imagines the smoke of his cigar holds his future, like the reading of tealeaves or entrails, bloody and steaming in a golden chalice.  A curve that seems to be a hip, feminine, shifts down on the currents, and he can only think that he’ll be in the ether before long.

A man at a neighboring table discusses the failing strength of his erections of late.

One moment, the protagonist’s mind is calm, smooth, and then there’s a turbulence and all he wants is a proper fucking drink, something more alcohol than water, and then there is a scratching behind his eyes, the call to a spot of mindless violence and he wants to smash the waiter’s face with a brick.  He can’t help but wonder what the man’s guts would prophesize, if they would have foreseen the fall of Rome or a need to increase his insurance premiums.

He stubs out the smoke and leaves a decent tip for the coffee that he didn’t even finish.  Twenty five steps from his table is a bar, and he hopes to God the bartender knows how to pour a decent bourbon.The ether would have to wait.