Leonard Cohen

The atten­dant held out the dis­tinc­tive yel­low and orange envelope.

Thank you Mr. Su” he said cheer­ful­ly as Kam took the enve­lope. “Have a nice day, Sir.”

Kam stepped out of the arcade into the Pacif­ic Avenue rush. He squint­ed against the low Octo­ber after­noon sun. Damn, no sun­glass­es.
He crossed the street to the new two-story Star­bucks and stood in line behind the usu­al col­lec­tion of black clad teenagers, under-employed hip­sters, and multi-level mar­keters in cheap sports coats. Kam stared at the logo on his enve­lope. A laugh­ably cheap image of crossed fin­gers on a back­ground of the ini­tials LD and the mot­to “Only Time Will Tell.” He flipped the enve­lope over and fin­gered the flap. Turned it back over and stared at the crossed fin­gers again. His broth­er had told him that the ini­tials LD stood for Lucky Dayz and that the com­pa­ny that pro­duced the Answer­Ma­chine™ had orig­i­nal­ly been in the busi­ness of man­u­fac­tur­ing claw crane games and bar-top slot machines. In fact the machine itself was orig­i­nal­ly designed as a for­tune telling game called “How Shall I Die?” The design­er had had the bril­liant idea of get­ting cryp­tic sound­ing answers by tak­ing ran­dom phras­es from a live con­nec­tion to Wikipedia. Mar­ket­ing had loved the for­tune cook­ie vibe of the answers but had nixed the name in favor of the less def­i­nite Answer­Ma­chine™. Still ‘every­one’ knew that the machine only answered one ques­tion — How am I going to die? And ‘every­one’ knew that the machine was nev­er wrong.

Lucky Dayz. That’s rich.” he said aloud and then remem­bered he was­n’t alone.

He turned the enve­lope back over and slid his fin­ger under the flap. There were two pieces of paper. A close­ly print­ed double-sided “Guide to your Answer”. He ignored this and looked at the 3x5 card with it’s hap­py orange bor­der and the LD logo in the corner.

Leonard Cohen?” it read. “What the fuck, they’ve giv­en me some­one else’s results.”

He shoved the papers back into the enve­lope and stuffed it back into his mes­sen­ger bag, elbow­ing the man behind him in the process.

Oh, sor­ry.” He apol­o­gized as he stepped up to the counter.

Amer­i­cano in hand Kam walked to the condi­ments bar to get half-n-half. Wait­ing behind the goth girl adding four Splen­das to her soy lat­te, his curios­i­ty got the bet­ter of him and he dug the enve­lope out of his mes­sen­ger bag. As he pulled out the card the Guide fell to the floor. An old­er woman with lots of pre­cise spikes and angles in her gray hair stopped to pick it up for him. Hand­ing it over she stiff­ened when she saw the enve­lope in Kam’s hand.

Super­sti­tious non­sense.” she mut­tered Con­tin­ue reading