tonight we sat in a resturant. just the three of us, our time tested few. i stared away, today had been a step behind for me. jokes flew over and around me. i sipped my drink and smiled absently as they went about their usual talk. i saw him first as he walked through the room. i know that time stopped for me, although it probably continued for everyone else. he was dressed head to toe in black with a leather jacket around his shoulders. his black hair standing straight up as though he had ran his fingers through it and then forgotten. he seemed to walk in slow motion, striding as though he really had no reason for walking. i blinked when i saw him, wondering if maybe i was the only one who could. possibly he was not real. maybe he was a ghostly apparition that only i could see. maybe he was some sort of sign that i should recognize but could not. i wondered if i should have known something. i wondered if anyone else had saw him but did not ask.

when we left the resturant and stood beside the car, i half expected to feel a hand on my shoulder. turning to face him, we would be off before our eyes could even meet. we would run to some car or truck and jump inside without saying a word. i would speed off as the others stood staring, wondering what had become of my good sense. i don't know what i expected after that, i had only 50 cents in quarters and half a pack of cigarettes in my pocket.

even now, that i am alone at home, i keep expecting a hand on my shoulder, and i wonder if he was some sign that i just could not read.