Joakim brought the small box to the table, dropped it and looked at his hand. It was red in the places that made contact with the box. At least, it looked red. The same color was emitting from the overhead lighting. Looking back at the box, he saw the white table cloth appeared to be turning red around the edges of the wooden container.
Joakim grabbed a neatly folded napkin on the table and wiped the red – or whatever it was – onto to it from his hands. He then reached his left hand down into his seersucker suit jacket and felt the familiarity of a nomadic metal key. He grabbed the key and jiggled it into the keyhole on the box without directly touching the box with his hands. The accompanying click was followed by the top slowly opening. A piece of paper was snuggled inside. Joakim pulled out the paper and unfolded it. It was white with red writing. It read, “Do not wave at Mike Jimmy,” and nothing else. Joakim’s brow furrowed. He looked up and spotted Mike Jimmy sitting at a table across the room. The billy goat could have sworn that he was not present moments ago. Mike Jimmy was seated next to tall, lanky, goofy-looking man. Mike Jimmy met Joakim’s gaze – as if he were waiting for it – flashed a wide smile and waved like a little kid spotting his mother.
Joakim gave Mike Jimmy a nod and a friendly wave. In response to the wave, Mike Jimmy motioned Joakim to come over to the table. Joakim rose, buttoned his suit jacket, moved in his chair, and looked down on the note. Underneath the first line, it now read, “Do not go over to Mike Jimmy’s table.” This irked him. Joakim folded up the note, slid it in the breast pocket of his shirt, and headed over to Mike Jimmy’s table.
Upon arriving at the table, he looked down at his old buddy. Mike Jimmy looked back with large, intense eyes and the wide smile. He then looked over to Mike Jimmy’s table mate. He was a large Swedish-looking man with hair groomed like a pirate with a private stylist. He looked fierce. Joakim took a seat across from the Swedish pirate and to the right of his friend. He realized he forgot his drink back at his table.
“Sheep milk white russian,” said the same cute waitress who produced his first drink, seeming materializing from nothing. She set down a newly filled beverage. Joakim promptly took a sip, too confused to question the drink.
“Mike Jimmy, say man, where have you been?” Joakim asked.
Mike Jimmy was looking straight forward when Joakim asked the question. After the query, he turned his head to Joakim. His smile morphed into an open mouth. Then static and feedback spewed forth, as if he were the Emergency Broadcast System. After ten seconds of this, or so, Mike Jimmy shifted his head back to a forward position. The Swedish pirate let out a sinister rupture of laughter.
Joakim did not have a grasp on much of anything at this point, but he was sure he was not going to get anything from whatever it was who resembled Mike Jimmy. He addressed the pirate, instead. “What is the game here? What’s the angle?”
The Swedish pirate still had a receding grin leftover from his outburst. He wiped that up and reverted to his menacing face. He stretched out his right arm, which culminated in a very long and pointed index finger. He took that finger and, bending at the elbow, methodically moved his finger to his eyes – as if to reference them. He took a beat there, then pointed straight at Joakim. He took another beat. Then he slowly brought his pointing digit to his breast pocket, which had a ridiculous, multi-colored, gaudy handkerchief erupting from it. Then he folded his hands on the table and tilted his head slightly to left – indicating he was finished.
It took Joakim a second, before he put it together. He reached into his breast pocket, reluctantly pulled out the letter, and unfolded it again. Under the last line – which was previously the last line on the letter – he read, “I told you not not to come to this table.”
Before Joakim could react, Mike Jimmy turned his head back toward him and delivered another address of the Emergency Broadcast System. The Swedish pirate bellowed in laughter again. Joakim was not amused. “What is this?” he said to the present company. “Who are you?” he directed to the Swedish pirate in particular.
With that, the Swedish pirate killed the laughter. Then with all of the production that was the pointing act, he produced a card and handed it to Joakim. The card had a few familiar features on it: a blue background and a red zero. Yet, there was a name written on this one. On the bottom right corner, in elegant script, was scrawled, “Zlatan.”
Joakim looked up from the card and Zlatan was wearing the same wide grin Mike Jimmy was sporting. Joakim stared him down, then inquired, “What is it you want… Zlatan?”
Zlatan’s smile faded into a slightly open mouth. He began to tremble. He grew intense. Then, with tight lips, he angrily uttered, “What the fuck are you looking at?” Joakim gave him a sideways look. Zlatan repeated, “What the fuck are you looking at?!” This time it was more powerful. And with each repetition, he grew even more powerful in his delivery. Until the Swedish pirate was screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT?!”