"Observations on the Dark Nature of the Universe:
Love can and usually will exist between two people who are "in love." This exchange is built on sand, though, because no two people are capable of loving eachother the same amount in the same way. Over enough time, the friction caused by this inequality will eventually change the nature of all loving relationships into something painful and they will end."
It was two days after I'd hypothesized Number Four that I met a new person. I don't mean in the usual sense where you're moving on from another person, or that I'd merely just added a new aquaintance to my rolodex. I mean to say that all my life I'd been meeting people who were so similar and predictable that they'd all become one giant person with billions of faces.
Four days after being dumped by the girl I'd remember as the love of my life for a couple years, out the side of an unnamed convenience store in spitting distance of the pacific ocean, I met a brand new person.
I had been in the store trying to buy cigarettes for a few minutes after being inspired by a scraggly woman whose appearance suggested she'd come as far as I had to get to the store, only she'd started out in the water.
I was checking my cell phone for text messages from the owners of the many bridges I'd burned over the last month, and silently raging about forgetting my ID, when this guy stepped out (presumably from behind the dumpster) and offered me an unopened pack of cigarettes.
"Just so long as you let me watch you smoke one. I'm quitting, but it puts me at ease just to watch."
He'd managed to catch me off-guard enough that I'd agreed to his deal before even registering his appearance. He was a tall scraggly man with a nose and throat that both seemed to be pointing at me (at my throat and shoes). I could hardly see him through his unkempt blonde hair that seemed to sag over his face in a way so unattractive that it had to be intentional, but I guessed he must've been about six or seven years older than me. His shirt bore a giant yellow stain, but the confidence with which he stood suggested that he wouldn't be wearing the shirt if it DIDN'T have the stain, and his jeans were the standard issue shredded crust of denim you see on the kind of people who offer you cigarettes after stepping out from behind a dumpster.
I had the cigarette on my lips and was trying to look like I'd lit one before, and he began talking to me.
"Just smoke and don't talk, I'll do the conversation. I want to play a guessing game, so it's ok if you nod and shit, just leave the talking to me. I'm looking at you and wondering what kind of a person you are. In my way of thinking, there's three kinds of men. Men of the present, men of the past, and men of the future. Everyone thinks in a different time frame, so I can tell a lot about a person once I figure out what kind of a thinker they are. Get me?"
I nodded, not getting him.
"You're easy enough to figure out, I think. You're a man of the present. You've got a JC parking sticker on your car, so you're in college, but not for your destiny. Man like you, in JC and all, is in there because he's putting off destiny, not paying attention to the future. You've got a sedan, but your seats are being used for storage, so you've obviously had friends at one point but not anymore. Guessing by the condition of your eyes, you've missed a lot of sleep over this, so I'm saying you're probably not that into the past right now. You're in the present, right?"
I nodded, even though I felt he was completely wrong.
"And you're a pushover, too. You'd let me tell you all sorts of made-up bullshit about yourself all the while nodding like a hostage, right?"
I wasn't sure if it was right or wrong, but I nodded.
He laughed. "Ah I'm just fuckin with you, kid. You just looked live you've been having a rough time so I thought I'd help you out. I can't give you any advice or anything, but I think I can help you out." He stopped talking suddenly and I realized that the cigarette had passed me by without registering any response from my senses. Half of it was looking up at me from the wet asphalt and I stepped on it, suddenly angry.
I looked up at the guy and said "I have to go now thanks for the cigarette I'm late for class goodbye" in one breath that was loud even for a windy day.
"I got better." He sidled up to me. "Want to go to a party? I promise I'll find you a girl there."
This next bit is still kind of a mystery to me. He'd given me no reasons to like him at all, and I was in one of the worst moods I've ever been in. Maybe it was just the end result of a week in Hell, but I shrugged at him and said "I'd like that, but I've got class in an hour."
He jerked his head, tossing his hair back a bit, and I realized he wasn't actually as ugly as I'd thought. "Yeah sure, I'll just chill in your car."
And, for some reason, I let him in.
That was the beginning of everything.