after a long week’s work @ the filing factory, liborio karl treated himself to a stroll thru citric beach on this surprisingly warm february weekend afternoon, only to be distracted when he saw a familiar figure wandering the tides, bent o’er, brows low, eyes surveying the sea-soaked sand like a wolf in the wilderness desperate for sustenance. liborio ran after him.
¡jokin! ¿is that you?.
jokin withburga looked up @ his ol’ friend liborio without pleasure. he stuffed his hands into his o’ersized jacket like the bitter expression o’ a schoolkid caught saying something naughty.
o, jokin, don’t tell me…, liborio began.
jokin forced himself to look liborio in the eyes & said as a challenge,
¿tell you what?.
with a nervous laugh, liborio said,
you’re not still looking for that — ¿what was it? ¿the bottled city?.
with a sneer & a shrug, jokin said,
you could call it that if you want, just as one might call coats arm houses. it’s easy to make something sound absurd with one’s choice o’ words.
but, jokin, the logistics o’ such a small city….
¿& what ’bout the logistics o’ an ant farm? correct me if i’m wrong, my ol’ friend, but last time i met you you were not a scientist; but please lecture me on the complex biology that would make a small city impossible.
liborio attempted a weak smile @ the wind, which he felt was becoming harsher & colder. seeing that there was no convincing his ol’ friend, who, if anything, seemed to have become e’en mo’ feverish in his conviction, he offered a fig leaf & requested o’ him, trying to sound as genuine as he could, that if he were to find this bottled city that liborio would be the 1st to show it.
jokin straightened his coat & said coldly,
you can be sure that i will.
& with that jokin walked on. as liborio watched his ol’ friend stooping o’er the seashells in his well-shined black shoes now scattered with sand with a hardened frown, liborio, perhaps trying to will a glass o’ bitter wine half full, that there were worse ways to spend one’s time on this earth.