Wednesday, January 3, 2007


Ray is lanky, gaunt, white and has greasy, dirty brown hair that sweeps in shreds around his eyes down to his chin. I recently saw him at Lestat's. While talking to my old friend Jesse, he leaned close to my ear and whispered, "Are you still a stoner?" Awkwardly, I shook my head. He walked off.

One night, in the summer of 2005, he was pitching baseballs by himself on a baseball field near my house. He did it often, during the day, late at night, whenever, with the same ball. That night, he saw me through the chain link gate the divided the field from the street. I waved at him. I was with my mom and brother. They asked me who he was. I don't remember how I answered.

I used see him almost every night at Lestat's, when I was in high school. We smoked pot together, smoked cigarettes, played chess. Sometimes, he would mutter to himself and brighten his eyes and ask a friend of mine whether it was self-centered or egotistical to wonder if he, somehow, for some reason, was Jesus. He seemed shaken by the thought. He had a job, working in a law office somewhere. The way he described it to me sounded authentic. One day, i noticed Ray didn't come around to Lestat's anymore. Four months later, he reappeared. I didn't know what his new job was.

When I saw him recently, he was sitting outside at Lestat's. He stared into the street, inquisitively, his hands on his knees. He caught a glimpse of me. I smiled. "Hey, man. How's it going." He offered out his hand, smiling. "What's been goin' on, man?"

Then I saw Jesse, sitting at a table nearby. "Actually, I just came over to meet up with my old friend over here," I replied, motioning to her. "I'll see you around, man."

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