Trash

Café. Outside, a young man. Molotov cocktail through the window. Fwoosh!

The bartender is outside the backdoor, putting the trash out for the garbageman. He hears the blast, and he rushes back in. If I’d been here, he thinks. He calls the police. He calls his boss. He puts out the fire, but he still calls the fire brigade. And then he calls his girlfriend. I’m alive, he says. Thank you for being alive too.

One of the patrons of the café looks out of her bedroom window. She was supposed to be there. She got late. She has tears in her eyes. She calls the police, and then she sits on her bed and weeps. She doesn’t quite know if she’s happy or sad.

The young man has long disappeared around the corner. He was walking jauntily, but as he hears the thoughts of would-be victims filtering into his head, his feet start dragging. They think this is a wake-up call. They think they need to live more fully. Take each day.

But … he thinks. But that’s not the point.