19 August 2006

Dream of the City Gates (Pt. 1.2)

"How can you be 'new everywhere', " she asked me.

"Have you ever made a decision you regretted later," I say, changing the subject, raising the coffee to my lips.

"Every day," she turns away. "But its the always same decision."

She puts my order in front of the short order cook. He starts cracking eggs and pouring pancake batter. The fluorescent lights hum along with him.

"You still haven't answered my question," she points her pencil at me.

"Let's put it this way, " I say, setting my coffee down and leaning forward a little bit. "Something changes about you every day, but you never know what it will be or how it will affect your life. Being new is not a choice. Only the dead get old."

She wipes the counter just down from me, picking up a small tip of the change from a five on the morning special. She keeps me in the corner of her eye. "I don't suppose you're going to explain the silver chain dangling from your ear to your pocket," she says.

"That's one of those decisions I asked you about," feeling the smoothness of the silver with my fingers. "But I think regrets are meaningless when you are new everywhere every day. The thing you regret no longer exists. Really never did."

"Then why do people apologize to each other," she says as she picks up my order.

Moving my coffee so she can set my plate down, I look up at her: "An apology is a way of acknowledging, of letting go of the regret for the thing that doesn't exist."

"You make no damn sense," she smiles.

"Some days I'm better than others," I shrug, getting up and laying down a five. "Time to go."

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