The constant noise of fingertips drumming on the plastic armrest was really starting to annoy me. Despite how busy the waiting room was, I could hear it as loud as if it was happening right beside me.
Yet he sat the other side of the room from where I was.
The noise had started a few minutes after I had arrived. Despite the apparent chaos around me, I heard it. Looking around, despite how busy the waiting room was, I eventually managed to pinpoint the culprit. As the room swam in a sea of grey, he stood out as shining black. I saw his hand on the chairs armrest and every time he drummed his fingers on it, the sound echoed around my head. If it had not been for the sunlight that was streaming through the partially damaged blinds of the waiting room, I would have been able to make out his face.
I could not take the sound for too long. I would like to think that it was a good ten minutes before I cracked but to be honest, I am not sure that it was. Standing up, I made my way towards him, bumping into strangers and apologising every step of the way.
This place was never as busy as this. Why today of all days?
As I neared him, the sunlight went behind a cloud and I could see his face for the first time. The brim of his top hat had been pulled down just enough to hide his eyes in shadow. A glint of light from his walking cane flashed once, drawing my attention to it. If he had noticed my approach, he did not register it. The seat beside him was vacated as the occupant was called forward and I sat down with purpose.
The drumming stopped.
He was smiling.
With my argument now defused, I searched desperately for something to say. It may not have been the most original way to start a conversation but it was all I had.
“So what are you waiting for?”
Without turning his head, he lifted his cane up with his left hand and pointed at the numbers on the wall.
“When that reaches 888, I can go.”
I looked at the ticket I had been handed. It was 887.
I showed him my ticket. “Look I’m just before you”. I even laughed a little at the coincidence.
He did not reply vocally. Instead he lowered his cane and turned to face me. I took this as a sign to continue.
“The last time I was here, they recommended a full reboot. To be honest I was a little bit sceptical but they assured me that it was for the best.”
His eyes glinted slightly in the rooms ambient light. Was that anger I saw? Fear? I pressed on regardless. Cannot stand gaps in conversations. I always feel I have to fill that empty space.
“I am struggling with modern life. Too much goes on that I cannot understand, no matter how much I try. So here I am. They have the reboot ready and I am looking forward to not worrying about the past anymore.”
“You’ve had reboots before?” His voice was calm and measured. The tone seemed trustworthy.
“Yet they do not sort the problems?” It was another strange way to word a question but at least he was talking to me.
“Well they have always been soft reboots. Just clearing the cache as they say.”
He nodded and then looked straight ahead. Putting both hands on the top of his cane with purpose.
“So has your life been better after the soft reboots?”
“Well for a little while they are but I keep coming back to the same problems. That is why I am here. The Doctors think only a full reboot will solve everything.”
He nodded, took a deep breath and then leaned towards me, his head swivelling round to bring his eyes straight into contact with mine. Little sparks in the night, they blazed with emotion.
Those eyes. I felt so small in his presence, lost in the sparkling sight. His voice was stronger now.
“Do you ever think that maybe your own subconscious is trying to teach you something? You keep coming up against the same things again and again and yet you never try to deal with them. I wonder why that is?”
I was lost for words. The gaze had not broken and I was powerless to look away. He was surely looking at my soul, such was the intensity of his stare.
“Do you remember your first cat? Your first holiday? What about your favourite toy?”
My voice was answering but I was not sure I was in control of it.
“I find myself looking back at photos of my life and wondering who the person in the pictures is, as I cannot honestly say that it is me”
The man nodded and tilted his Top Hat back slightly. The shadow had mostly fled from his face and I could see him properly for the first time.
“You need to wake up.”
I don’t remember anything after that. Next thing I knew I was sitting on a bus as it was pulling into my stop.
Had I dreamed it all?
Not sure what I am trying to say with the story. This is what happens when you watch David Icke on dvd first thing in the morning!