Yet another day in town to do errands, I walk into the bar for a cold cerveza. Two guys are already there; one old, one young, involved in a conversation about fishing.
I order myself a beer. “Good afternoon gentlemen.”
“Good day to you sir.” Says the older fellow.
“Welcome to our island. Why are you here?” asks the younger one. “To drink a beer.” I reply.
“No, no. I mean, what are you doing here?” “Writing, mostly; thinking some.” I reply.
“Are you sure that you are asking the right questions?” I ask.
The old guys eyes start to twinkle. The young guy looks lost.
“Are you a diver?” asks the younger, taking a new tack. “Yes, I sure am.” I reply.
“Had some good diving?” “Yes, excellent, thanks.”
“When is your last dive?” asks my inquisitor.
“I have not planned that far ahead yet.” I reply.
“Can I buy you a beer?” interrupts the older guy, obviously wanting to prolong this bi-directional chat. “Certainly. That’s very kind of you. Thank you.” I respond.
“Ok then, how long are you here for?”
“Unknowable at this point.” I say,
“You don’t know how long you are going to be here?” almost incredulous.
“Well, do you,” I say, “actually know how long you will be here?”
“What? What are you talking about? I have been here my whole life.”
“Not yet.” Interjects the older guy.
“What? What are you guys talking about?”
“Let me help you out a bit. Your questions are all based upon the supposition that I am visiting, but I actually live here.” I tell the poor guy.
“Well,” interjects the old guy, “we are all really just visitors.”
“Christ,” mutters the youngster, obviously frustrated. “Him too,” says the old guy, “speaking of fishing, where were we?”
“I think I’ll head home,” say I. “Good,” says my young friend. “Good day” says my old friend.