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The man was standing on the corner. I was sitting in a restaurant where I drank a coffee. I was waiting for my new girlfriend...well, new...what the hell...I can't even tell you how many girlfriends I had before. I didn't count them, and, frankly, I didn't care about it. I was a handsome guy, at least that's what I thought. I had a quick wit, always a spare buck to get a girl, and my German accent was kind of attractive to them. I mean, they didn't expect to command me to exercise certain practices, but if that was the case, I didn't notice. She was late.


So I went outside, and it was raining. I lit a cigarette, stood ouside and waited. It was cold, and smoking wasn't permitted in the resto, if it would have been, I'd surely stayed inside. So I stood there, freezing, mind you, in January, when there's no Chinook, it can get 20 below °C easily. Then the guy comes up to me, stiff as a plank and says:


"Have you seen the light ?"

"Huh ?"

"The light !"

"I see the street light, man, I'm not blind. WTF you talk about ?"

"The light of the lord."

"Nope, sorry, I wait for my girlfriend. Need help ? Seems you don't sweat."

"No. my friend, I don't feel the cold. Don't you see that you haven't found the way ? I see it."

"Sorry, mate, I know where I am and where I'm heading. Told ya. Problem ?"

"No. YOU have a problem."

"Which one ?"

"I see that you're hot happy."

"Shit man, listen, I don't care for that crap. I've had it."


I went back in.


On the way back I heard him say:


"I understand brother. But do you have a dollar for me ? I'll pray for you".


1981, outside Spaghetti Factory, Calgary, Canada.