Tuesday, September 4, 2012
One day as a child C, at a steakhouse, glimpsed the future: the restaurant closed, covered in graffiti, crumbling parking lot asphalt sprouting weeds. Neighborhood overrun by crime’s chaos. Teenage boy lying in blood where C sat, another boy standing over him, firing a gun. In C’s present, it was a place for Friday evening dinners, sliding plastic trays along cafeteria-style metal rails, fountain sodas in plastic cups, plastic wrap covered pudding. Frozen by the stark images, the child said nothing to his parents, instead quietly ate his ribeye and fries, both drowned in A1 and ketchup, drank his soda.
He had no more visions. Eventually, he saw the abandoned building, read about the shooting. Years later, he found the shooter from the vision, 24 years in prison, asked him why. Money and drugs, thought I was bad, got a son I haven’t seen since he was a baby. Sitting across from him, another vision, indeterminate future: the adult son robs a coffee shop, kills the clerk, two bystanders. After some searching, he found the place, went for coffee. Cradled the warm cup in his hands when a robber fired shots. Searing heat through his chest. The coffee spilled, mixed with blood. He collapsed, thinking the visions senseless, random films of violence.