It was Sandy. Sandy, to whom he had not talked in about a month or two. What was she doing calling him on his home phone, when he had only recently installed this line and hadn’t even gone about giving the number to anyone? Maybe he really had told the phone company to leave a message at the old line informing people of the new number? No, that would make too much sense – why would he do something so incredibly sensible? Nevertheless, here was Sandy on the other end of the phone, expecting him to say something, possibly something intelligible, and he was sitting there thinking about how she could have possibly gotten his phone number. That was very clever of you, Felix. Now stop thinking so much and just talk already.
“Hi Sandy!” Felix was finally able to muster up the courage to say. “What’s going on? I haven’t talked to you in so long!”
“I know, and well, that’s not entirely your fault. I mean, the phone works both ways, right? I guess I could have called you all along if I had really wanted to.”
“You really could have, you know. Nothing was stopping you.”
“Okay, mister sarcasm, that’s about enough about that now. Now tell me, what is going on, and why haven’t you left your apartment in the last few months? I’d like some real answers here.”
As it was a mobile phone that Felix was speaking on, he began to pace around the apartment as he attempted to explain what had been going on in the past couple of months. How he had been trying to find a job but had not really gone out to knock on the doors of businesses, so to speak. How he hadn’t even applied to jobs that he considered to be “beneath” him, so to speak. How incredibly desperately lonely he was, and yet how much he was isolating himself in an attempt to shield himself from the world around him. It was all becoming more obvious with each passing moment to any passer on how pathetic a life Felix was living, and yet he was doing nothing to change anything at all.
“I think I know what’s going on with you, Felix,” Sandy finally said after a few minutes of being silent.
“Really?” Felix was surprised. Sandy was usually the last one to have some kind of idea in terms of helping out, especially when it came to such dire circumstances.
“Listen, Felix. You’re freaking me out. You’re sounding like you have no drive, no determination whatsoever. What are you doing to change anything in your life? It sounds like that would be a big fat nothing. Are you in your apartment right now?”
He was. It was a rare thing for Felix to leave his apartment, other than to go out to get a cup of coffee or the newspaper from the neighbors. Perhaps it was true – he was completely lacking any ambition, drive, and determination. If it really were the case, what could he possibly do about it? He started to walk in a more thoughtful manner, walking towards the door of the apartment. Instead of turning around when he got to it, and going back to the other side of the apartment, he would open the door and walk right out.
“No. I’m leaving my apartment right now.”
“Oh, well that’s just so nice of you to tell me as you’re doing it. Good to know that there’s some hope left in your life. I’m kidding, of course.”
“Would you stop being so sarcastic? It’s not helping me at all right now, Sandy.”
“Oh, and what is helping you, Felix? Sitting around your apartment feeling sorry for yourself? I somehow doubt it.” Felix kept on walking, opened the door to his apartment, and walked towards the steps that would lead him outside. He was sick of living this solitary life, of being all by himself and never having anyone to smile with, to joke with, to share his happiness with. He was going to do something about this right now.
“You know something? I’m so sick of you and everyone else talking to me that way. I’m doing something right now.”
“Really? And what would that something be?”
“I’m leaving. I’m going somewhere where you and your little friends can’t smother me any longer. Goodbye, Sandy.” With that, he hung up the phone, confident that he had walked out of her life, that he would never speak with her again. He was completely wrong, of course, being that she was the one person in his life whom he was meant to love, but he had no idea about that at the time. Well, how many people are so hyper-aware of the person they are destined to spend the rest of their life with that they know immediately who that person is upon seeing them? It usually isn’t the case. As he continued walking, he started noticing things he never really thought about on the busy streets of Manhattan. How many people were going places. Where was he going? He had no idea, but it should be somewhere fairly important. Somewhere where he could, who knows, actually accomplish something, to be able to say that he had done something for the day.
The Coffee Shop?
This coffee shop, for example. Felix had stopped in front of a coffee shop, which seemed fairly active, with plenty of diners engaged in various eating and conversation activities. He scanned the inside of the coffee shop to try to determine if he knew anyone inside, but decided that he didn’t know anyone at all.
Sitting at another table, meanwhile, was Jean-Michel Pinot, wondering who was staring through the glass of the coffee shop. Would the person stop staring, already, and come in, or was that one of those weird sorts of people who liked to stand around places and make other people feel uncomfortable. When was his date going to get there, anyhow? Wasn’t she supposed to be there already? She said she was going to be there about fifteen minutes before…. before the time that it was at that exact time. Well, so much for another blind date. He thought that this time it would be different, that somehow it would work out. But of course, this time would be no different, and it would not necessarily work out just because he wanted it to.
After a bit of hesitation, Felix walked into the coffee shop and waited for the waitress to come around to get his order. What was he going to get today, he wondered. Why was he even here today? Who was it that was walking over to his table, anyhow? It was a tall, thin gentleman. He had the kind of stick figure thin frame that was beyond belief.
Was it the waiter? He hoped so. He was really pining for some tea in a silly manner. It was the waiter.
“Can I get you something to drink while you consider your order, sir?”
“Yes, please. I’d love a nice pot of tea, if you could. Ahm, preferably an Earl Grey, or something along those lines.” Felix had long been a fan of the Earl Grey line of teas, probably thanks to his friendship with Sandy. She had been crazy about tea for as long as he could remember.