Life in progress

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329. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Thursday, July 26th, 6:00pm
Jewel and Finola


Jewel: I saw this couple on the bus earlier?

Finola: Uh huh?

Jewel: And they were, like, making out?

Finola: Uh huh?

Jewel: And they’re, like, “I love you.” “No, I love you more.” “No, I love you more.”

Finola: Ugh. Doesn’t that make you, like, sick?

Jewel: So totally. (sighs) I seriously need to get laid or something.

Finola: Tell me about it.

Jewel: Hey, do you get a creepy weird-assed feeling sitting here?

Finola: Like someone, like, died here or something?

Jewel: Yeah. Let’s change seats.


Next stop: Friday, July 27th, 8:00pm

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Friday the 13th – I Met the Grin Reaper at Starbucks

The Grin Reaper (typo intentional) stopped by my table at Starbucks tonight and introduced himself. Seriously – he reminded me of the childhood image I have of Beelzebub.

I was sitting at a table working on my laptop, minding my own business and drinking a grande Mocha. Channing Tatum sat two tables away, alone, (yeah, unlikely, right? Okay, so it wasn’t him, but the guy I sat beside was the spitting image) facing the same way I was, doing something on a tablet. Our backs were to the wall. Here’s how it went:

Grin Reaper: (approaches my table and smiles, saying nothing)

Me: (looks up at him and tries not to shrink back)

Grin Reaper: (finally) Hello. I think we’ve met before.

Me: I don’t think so.

Grin Reaper: (holding out his liver-spotted hand) I’m Leo. Nice to meet you.





Me: (shaking his hand and deciding not to give my name) Nice to meet you too.

Grin Reaper: (smile slips) Do you come in here often? (smiles again)

Me: No, maybe once every six months.

Grin Reaper: Hmm. I sit in the mall every day and read four newspapers. And I play the piano at nursing homes so I keep busy.

Me: (staring at his crooked yellow teeth as he grins creepily) That’s nice.

Grin Reaper: (looks down at my laptop) What are you studying?

Me: Oh, I’m just writing.

Grin Reaper: You’re a writer? I’m a writer too. I write about psychology, sociology, neurology, philosophy, religion… (and he named off about four more things)

Me: Well that’s interesting.

Grin Reaper: (stares and smiles)






Me: Maybe I’ve seen you in the mall…

Grin Reaper: Yes, that’s probably it. (stares and smiles)

Me: Yyyeah…

Grin Reaper: (stares and smiles)




Me: (probably 20 seconds have passed but it feels like he’s been sucking on my soul for an hour) Well, it was very nice meeting you.

Grin Reaper: Yes, nice meeting you too. (smiles and retreats)

Beside me, Channing turns to look at me, smiles and shakes his head. I look back, eyes wide, one eyebrow raised, with a frightened look on my face. Channing laughs.

I swear to God, Leo looked EXACTLY like Reverend Kane (Julian Beck) from Poltergeist 2. About 90 years old, thin, and well over six feet tall, he walked with the stoop of a man above average height. He wore a three piece suit and a hat, and had the most God-awful creepy look about him, as though he wanted to tell me how my life is going to end in grisly yet accurate detail.

Had I had my wits about me, I’d have asked Channing if that really happened. In fact, I’d have asked for his number as well – you know, just because he’s my only witness – so I could get another reality check at 2am, after the nightmare I’m sure to have tonight.

I may never go to the mall again.