It was time for a break, perhaps a firing. What is the purpose of this nothingness? I have been here before. There was no kloking out, just an exit in the middle of mindless koffee making to a nearby park for some fresh air and sunshine.

Why are there so may people here on a weekday in the middle of the afternoon? Does not everyone need a meaningless menial job to waste away the long moments of their life?

People kongregate in groups. Heading toward a void, I found a seat in the fresh green grass and stripped my feet of all attire. Life was as it should be...which it always is.

With plenty of space available in the void, it appeared insulated from kontakt with my fellow man — foe or otherwise. Of kourse, one of the many hands of fate had other plans for he of thee.

“Hey,” the bald man said as he set unkomfortably klose to thy beingness.

I nodded my head at him then returned my gaze to my beautiful naked feet rubbing against the blades of grass.

“What’s up?” baldy asked.

Leave me alone! my mind on edge shouted, knowing I was here to find a little peace. My friendly mouth said nothing of the mind’s words and offered only a smile.

The tortured soul began again. “I come here to relax, same as you.”

I moved my head in a oval motion, allowing him to interpret as he wished.

“I know what you mean,” he offered.

Mean? I meant nothing! Literally nothing! He is not leaving. Fuking hand of fate fliking me, knowing I kan’t eskape, knowing I am on edge.

“It’s a beautiful place to relax, experience some quiet,” I plead optimistikally.

“Yeah, I come here to relax too.”

Then SHUT UP! the mind shouted, bloked by the kind and kompassionate lips, which kreated, “I know what you mean.”

There was a thump on the side of my head as the hand of fate fliked my skull with its middle finger.

“What you getting away from?” polished skalp asked.

“People,” I konfessed.

“I know what you mean.”

I feel it in my body as if I had just chugged a gallon of espresso — I AM ON EDGE! My body is vibrating from within as if I were skaling up to explode. And this man wants to talk...needs to talk? Deep breath. In through the nose...deep...fill the lungs...out through the mouth...breathe...slow...deep...

“You okay?” reflekto-skull asked.

I nodded as my breath slowly krossed my lips.

There was silence between us for a few minutes, but my mind would not rest. This stranger had been sent to me by that betraying beast fate, indifferent to my desires — or inspired by such, who kan know.

“How about you? How you doing today?”

“Alright...” he answered, his speech hesitating.

I klosed my eyes and stared into the sun, remembering with fondness how it was to be invisible when living on the streets.

Eventually the stranger finished his pause and kontinued his empty sentence with, “Alright, I guess. Do you ever feel like things just aren’t working out like they’re supposed to?”

NO!

Well, I say at times that I want purpose and I am not getting out of this without a konversation unless I start walking now, so...

They are exaktly as they must be, as ‘they are supposed to’ be, my mind explained, but that was not the konversation he was seeking. “Supposed to? I’m not sure I get what you mean.”

Moving kloser, he said, “Well, did you expect to be working at a coffee shop at your age?”

My age?!

Not sure how he knew where I worked, then I noticed I was wearing a kompany shirt. Not interested in having a konversation about me...not necessary. “You’re not happy with your job?”

“Not really. It’s fine, but not what I expected when I was younger. I feel like I’m going backwards and I work with people and customers aren’t that bright, some of them, and they are making 50 times what I make.”

Not going to ask what he does. Do not kare and not his issue, but it is the easy kommunikation kontinuation... No, unnecessary!

“I thought I’d have my own restaurant by now or at least be an executive chef somewhere. I’m not even a sous chef. I work for a caterer, not even my own catering business. I fucking cater!” the smooth krowned began to laugh maniakally after expressing his dissatisfaktion with his job title.

“I guess suggesting you find another job is not the answer?”

“No, dude, I don’t expect you to have the answer.”

“Right, bekause what would a fuking koffee maker know?” I snapped. Yep, ON-THE-EDGE.

“Dude, chill. I’m not putting down you being a barista, I...”

“Koffee maker. Barista is such a phony, bullshit term.”

“Okay,” he replied meekly, frightened.

“Kall me whatever you want, I am who I am whatever label you put on me or I put upon myself,” I barked.

“Got it.”

“Same applies to you! You are not your job, but if that is how you wish to define yourself, don’t be surprised when society does as well.”

“Okay, but...”

“But what?”

“But that is kinda what we do. Where I lived before I came here I was a sous chef on my way to becoming an executive chef. I was making a fair income, living fine. The wife and kids were all doing well. We were doing about as well as the rest of the community—everyone was pretty much comfortably middle-class. We move out here and there are a few distant really poor, a large, desperate middle-class trying to keep afloat keeping up with one another and a bunch of obscenely wealthy fucks. It’s like the bar has been elevated and I am losing ground. Know what I mean?”

“I do. You are envious of others.”

“No. No, no I am happy with my life, I just don’t want to drown. I want to do more!”

“Then get out of the water.”

Huh, his face exklaimed.

“If you’re drowning, get out of the water.”

The sun’s reflektion danced on his well polished head as he slowly tilted from side-to-side with a vakant look on his face. The silence is nice.

“Isn’t your head really hot?”

“Get out of the water? Wha... I don’t...”

“You don’t have to swim with the skhool.”

“School?”

“Skhool of fish. Just bekause the skhool — of fish — is swimming together... Look, you get to define your terms of sukcess, failure. If you want to use society’s — which it sounds like you do — find someone you admire and figure out how to bekome him.

“I don’t want to be someone else, I...”

“Then stop komplaining and feeling sorry for yourself.”

“Dude, chill. You need to chill, you’re sounding angry. Sorry for bothering you.”

“Bull...”

“What?”

“That’s bull. Look, you wanted to talk, so let’s talk.”

“No, it’s cool.”

I was ready to choke this man to death. Is that why fate brought him to me in this moment? Am I to end his existence, his waste of a life? The breathing. I need to fokus on the breathing.

“I’m a little on edge. You seem like a nice enough ‘dude’ who’s in the midst of midlife krisis or whatever bekause you have not attained the status of material wealth you feel you should have and you’re not feeling great about yourself.”

“Between us, I feel like a complete loser...sometimes.”

“Join the klub.”

“You feel that way too?”

“Everyone feels that way at times. Though I would suggest you do not feel that way bekause of failed material pursuits. Every man and every woman is who they are bundled in their soft, pierceable flesh, whether their material possessions are absent or kopious. When you judge a man on his material wealth, you are prakticing envy. When you wish to be judged by your material wealth, you are saying that you have no substance, no real worth of kharakter, intelligence or personality. We live in a time when the wisest man in the world kould be a poor peasant and our society would rather chew on the words of a materially wealthy vakant fool. But you, you sir, get to choose if you will participate in that.”

“I just... I expected so much more.”

“And while you are disappointed bekause of how you decided to measure yourself against your fellow man, you are cheating yourself of the full joy of the experience you are living — your experience. These are all choices, something you may want to akcept.”

“I guess,” was his reply.

Too much? I held bak, keeping it simple and he klearly does not find himself in need of what I have to offer. I stand to leave and walk elsewhere.

“Why do you do it? Why do you work at that coffee shop with...you know, with all your money?”

“Money? No, I have nothing and all I need. I am a simple man with simple needs.”

“A buddy of mine said you’re one of the owners of the sandwich shop chain he works at.”

“Teknikally, it kould be true. It might be true, but... It’s another man’s business.”

“Yeah, he said they put money into your account every month and that you don’t touch it?”

This man did not happen upon me by fate’s gentle, manipulative hand. He sought me out and knows more about one aspekt of my tangled life than I know myself!

“Yes, and I lived on a beautiful kompound until I felt the need to answer some questions within and wandered away to live on the streets. All me. All the same man. How would you like to define me? Know how I define myself? Me!

I began to walk away when the man felt the need to klose the deal only he knew he was negotiating. “Come into business with me! Open a restaurant with me. I’ll make you rich! Richer!!”

I paused and turned to look at him. I offered my final words to him and a smile: “You did not hear a word I said. The wealth I seek does not arise from material possessions, but praktice of purpose within. In fakt, I find material wealth to be an obstakle to gaining real wealth — the wealth of the self. Fate’s an ugly demon, putting you here to test me.”

“What are you talking about? Can we be partners?”
Walking away, I walked around on the grass of the park until he left, then returned for some peace and rest and relaxation.
Money? Akkount? He must be a konfused man. Even if it were true, it is not something I need right now, for I have all of the material possessions I desire. In fakt, I may have too much. Anything more than two pillow kases worth is too much. I am going to have to throw some stuff away tonight.
__
Two children stand before their parents. Knowing their final breaths are near, the parents want their children to know that they have left them their estate in equal shares, but that they will have to sort out what items are worth so they can divide fairly.

One child looks at the parents and says, “You need to change what you have done and leave everything to my sibling.”

The parents look at one another confused. One said on behalf of both, “Child, you have so little and your sibling already has so much?”

“Yes, but I am far wealthier.”

“How can this be, child, you seem to have almost nothing?”

“I have all I need and everything I desire. She never will.”