[a chapter story/Reedited 2-2008]
For some odd reason Günter’s mind started shifting into a different mode, he was at an old friend’s work place, at a party [dreaming, daydreaming]; he always liked a good cigar, now and then, on special occasions that is—and Molly, the secretary, asked him if he wanted one. He looked at her, said “yes,” in an inquisitive way, and to his misfortune, it was quite small—a stub. Bewildered somewhat, if not disturbed, for he had an odd expression on his face, he gave little response, if any, a shallow: “Thanks…!” and went about and lit it.
Then the old friend the one that mysteriously appeared, appeared one might say out of nowhere, just like that, without a warning, was sitting by him, he wanted to try the cigar, check it out: smoke it that is. But there wasn’t much, especially for both of them, and only nearly enough for him. Plus, there didn’t seem to be enough air in the room (this was an unconscious thought perhaps): and of course, you cannot share what you do not possess (he confessed to himself). And if there is a want or need, it is on the beholders side. Nonetheless, he hesitated, and looked stern into his face, his youthful face, a face that didn’t age like his,
“I have an idea,” he says to the old friend (still feeling a bit odd, as if he didn’t know something, something he should know, but couldn’t put a finger on it),
“put the end of this cigar into the chimney of your pipe, and then you’ll have enough to enjoy.”
The mystic friend looked at him pleased, and just happened to have a pipe on hand (another oddity that struck Gunter as being strange, made Gunter think twice, think that something was peculiar, not right, very wrong, something he should know, but doesn’t, and would like to know; in essence, his intuition told him: something was very, very incorrect), thus, his friend pulled it, the pipe, where it came from was, or is also a mystery, at which time Günter put the cigar—what was left of it anyhow—into the barrel of the pipe, and gave it to his stranger-friend, a friend he had known, but again I must add, he could not put his finger on exactly who he was, his name that is, where they had met, and when (we of course are thinking of his past, before this moment, or at least Gunter is, he is searching for that moment when they had previously met, but does not put too much though into it, he has a crisis on hand).
At that moment, as the friend started to smoke from the pipe, he started to choke, as if he was spitting up tobacco, pieces of the cigar, or blood, something: in addition, his throat was burning, a fatal burning sensation (actually, Gunter was feeling the same as his friend, another oddity he tells himself). The best he could come up with, in helping his friend was to tell him, what he did tell him:
“Ah...here, here take some water, swallow it quickly—hold up your head, higher, higher, quickly, to cool the throat, it’ll put out the flame,” and the friend did as he asked; moreover all was well for the moment.
Now, Günter walked away from the table, and its festivities, finding himself by the store next to the office party. He noticed cigars for sale in the window, big cigars, and a selection —, now he thinks: ‘…why didn’t Molly tell me they had big cigars here—and a choice, instead of the little one, the stub?” thinking of course, it would have possibly solved the difficulty with him sharing the tail end of his cigar and not causing the coughing of his friend. ‘Peculiar,’ he tells himself, very odd indeed, yet it is left at that. Then the old man shook his head, told himself to stop day dreaming, rescue Jean-Lee, his daughter in the Great Food that was in progress at this very moment, down along the levee, of the Mississippi River.
As he found himself opening up his eyes, he was also spitting out water.
He had been drowning, sinking, in the Mississippi River to its mud and rocky bottom (in St. Paul, Minnesota, it was the spring of 1951); and he had mentally let go for a moment; now above water, his mind reactivated, he had fallen into the water off the roof of a house that was sinking underneath itself.
Originally written 11-10-2003; revised, 8-6-2005, reedited 5/2007 and again in 2/208; a chapter story from the writings out of the manuscript of: “Look at Me!” about 275-words were added to the chapter story, theme and plot unchanged, just more discriptive.