A long May summer sky has become a companion that overstayed its welcome. It made matters worse when it brought along drought that led to many indecisions to do anything productive. I guess I was waging war against climate change by drinking at the bar every night. It was definitely never a good idea but I did it anyway. I guess I was afraid it was making me rather quite compelled to do absolutely nothing and at the same time feel accomplished under the false pretenses that I was a philosopher when I had a little too much to drink.
Everything is peachy on the right side of alcohol, they say.
I drove up to the mountainside where it was cooler. There I was to be greeted by my friends. And by friends, I mean is those made up. I think.
At the rest stop, there was a bench waiting for me. It was sitting under the sun next to an enormous fig tree along with the others that lined up quite evenly.
There I talked to the devil. He wasn’t as bad as everybody thought. He’s just misunderstood like most people I know. He was going to stick around until the end of summer, he declared. After that it would be cool again, this he promised.
We ended up talking about a lot of things. I even invited him over to my place for more drinks but he said that he doesn’t want to impose and give my parents a heart attack.
I asked him if he regretted anything that he did. It took me a while to find the right words and the right timing to ask him.
At first, he hesitated. But after a slug of whiskey, he answered anyway.
“We make bad decisions all the time. This happens to everybody. And if you’re in it for the long haul, believe me on this, I really think that you’d see through the end of it. But this is not the only consolation, you see. You’d find out eventually and I hope that it will appease you to know, that there are the little things worth staying for.”
The devil was consoling me. It couldn’t be more ironic than that.
“I know what you’re trying to tell me. I know I should be glad, grateful even, but truthfully, I’m not.” I shared ruefully.
“There’s a festival coming up.” He pointed to the summit. “Right there between the two peaks. I think you should definitely come. It’s for St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things.
“Sure, I’ll check my calendar” I gave a friendly scoff.
“And also, if you can be so kind as to loan me a book. I couldn’t find the time to buy one. And even if I did, I don’t think they’d ever let me in.”
He confessed that he was a slow reader. I told him that I never find the guts to smoke in front of my mom, in return.
“You’ve always been a slow reader, so what? You literally made world domination popular.”
I was peeling an orange and handed him over a slice. He told me it was the most refreshing thing he had in a long while. We sat there exchanging thoughts until twilight.