The waiter brought my meal of broiled duplex lamb chops to a close and presented the components of a dessert wine as the sun’s fading embers spread across the water.
I took solace in the fact that I had not acted as unacceptably as some of the people I knew at the bar, such as stabbing someone in Orlando, selling illegitimate claims to land on the moon, or having intimate relations against a decayed balustrade with Johnny Paycheck’s ex-wife.
A mental barrier formed in my head while my dinner companion kept enumerating the positive aspects of the city that had exiled him. Two guys wearing turtlenecks who appeared to have lost their ride were perched over the terrace, observing the sea underneath.
Reducing to a still silence.
The scrutiny of my weight-loss enterprise was intensifying,
so I assumed the identity of Charlie and affixed a false beard over my true one.
Utilizing the instructions from How to Hide Your Assets and Disappear,
I arrived in this coastal village, where the sole traffic signal dangled the beach road like a slumbering watchman aloft.
People of various criminal backgrounds have taken up residence in this area, taking advantage of the lack of order to flee across the boundaries of states.
One of my neighbors made a fortune in engineering walls to protect their wealth, but their grandkids succumbed to the resulting contamination. Another was banished for creating pictures of seahorses for an unlawful purpose.
From my vantage point, I could recognize tax evaders, insider traders, plagiarists, gangsters, and embezzlers, each victim to their delusions, yet lucky enough to be given a sum of money and a loose itinerary to tour of the world in the summertime.
My offense? Being aware that attractive figures had become a form of currency? I had been desperate to support my compatriots in attaining slimmer physiques, so I thought up a plan entitled “The Diet that Amazed Europe.
” It was a success until the same papers which had praised my success started labeling me as a “Sexual Predator.”
The prosecution had several tearful individuals testify against me, seemingly directed to go on and on until my fate was sealed.
I uttered inappropriate words at the exact moment, and the heft of my customers may not have been lost as quickly as it had with the Abe Lincoln Diet or by running in a container.
Had I done a business out of selling spoiled milk to those in need
or been responsible for a series of doghouse fires?
What if I had inflicted harm on other people with solid and capricious slaps on the back
or voiced my opinion that individuals in less fortunate nations can still be seen as wild and fun-loving?
Not having done any of the things I was supposed to do, I found myself amid an overweight person, a version of the far-off, resembling a man who had just seen a Father’s Day Sale leaflet and couldn’t get rid of the awful sensation that incredible digital buffalo is chasing him down the road.
The stars’ twinkles in the night sky shone like midnight publicity while my date conversed, explaining how tennis courts could be seen as an illustration of Atheism.
Everyone in the bar was having a great time, and as I took my Scotch and navigated through the group of long-haired men and short-haired women, I reassured myself that I had enough money to live off of for seven years, and I knew I could make it work.
I had done this before, traipsing down the stairs of the marble beach to the shoreline,
just like an actor on stage, driven by forces that brought me to the brink of the planet.
I was waist-deep in the icy ocean, inhaling the aromas of jet fuel and coconuts, contemplating if I had underestimated the concept of eternity.
Then, all of a sudden, an immense swell crashed into me. And sent my drink flying away.