Subtitle: ‘Disturbing Incident at the Downtown Diner’
“WHY-the-HELL is this crazy bitch screaming at ME for?”; the incensed giant in the corner complained bitterly. There was nothing but an empty chair across from him. “Do you have ANY idea, Jesse?”; He bellowed loudly; with a not-so-subtle hint of disgust. The only other patron in the diner was understandably startled by his nonsensical outburst. She watched in bewilderment as his psychotic attentions were directed at the unoccupied area in front of the booth! The powerfully-built man continued to ‘stare a hole’ into the imaginary eyes of someone he perceived before him. The onlooker watched in astonishment as the agitated restauranteur become even more belligerent at his phantom nemesis.
His hyper-focused gaze was transfixed on ‘the crazy bitch’; when he wasn’t seeking the input of ‘invisible Jesse’. With venom in his eyes, he clenched his jaw and gnashed his teeth in a further sign of fury. “Why are you yelling at me? I’ve done nothing to you!; He exclaimed once again. (His non-existent attacker uttered no audible response.) “I don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I’ve done nothing of the sort!”; He sneered with increasing intensity.
Finally summoning up the courage to speak (after the initial shock was over); the lady timidly inquired who his misplaced rage was directed at. The intimidating hulk of a man ignored her question as if he wasn’t even aware of her presence. Instead he continued the disturbing one-sided argument with the intangible source of his irritation. “I don’t care what you do! You started this while I was minding my own business! Go on then; Call ‘em. See if I care! Jesse and I weren’t doing anything but eating.”
“Mister, are you… umm ‘ok’?”; She asked cautiously. “There’s no one in front or beside you. Do you want me to call someone to help?” Her louder appeal to render assistance garnered the same complete lack of response. He was clearly in his own world. No one connected with reality was going to break in and disturb it.
“Listen lady”; He began with a noticeable quaver of restraint in his voice. At first the startled patron thought he finally heard her but his next rant revealed he was still deep in his psychosis.
“I don’t know why you are attacking me or being so abusive but I’m not going to take it much longer! I wasn’t bothering anyone. Jesse and I were just here eating our meal when you started shrieking and calling us names. It is really uncalled for!”
“What are YOU talking ABOUT?”; She retorted incredulously. With her patience gone, sarcastic aggravation became apparent in her responses. “You must be out of your freakin’ mind, you big loony! I was just sitting here eating my salad. For no apparent reason, you started ranting at the top of your lungs! I haven’t said ONE WORD to you before right now. As a matter of fact, we’ve yet to even made eye contact because you’re staring into space and babbling to imaginary persons! Behavior like that points to the need for some serious psychiatric help.” Almost immediately she regretted losing her temper at someone who obviously had considerable mental problems.
The ‘nut job’ continued to stare in the opposite direction while shaking his head vigorously in denial. At first she assumed he had finally snapped out of his hallucinatory psychosis but his next rambling statement contradicted that.”Bitch, I’ll kill you deader than 3 O’clock if you ever call me ‘Dave’ again! My name is Legend!”
The woman’s natural fear instinct had been temporarily delayed but it rose to a terror crescendo after hearing his homicidal threats. For all she knew, ‘Legend’ was an extremely dangerous psychiatric escapee; and not just a harmless GIANT spouting idle threats.
At that very moment, a much smaller man walked in the dining room. He stopped dead in his tracks the instant he saw the sheer panic in her eyes. Further arousing her apprehension, the new, diminutive patron appeared to be making a beeline for the psychotic hulk’s table. That observation worried her even more because the only thing worse than being alone with ONE delusional psycho; was being alone with TWO!
“Did he say or do something strange?” The man asked her nervously. “He hasn’t been ‘right’ since he was shot in the head by bank guards during an attempted robbery. Since that day his perception of reality has been seriously skewed; as well as his concept of time. I am his ‘custodial guardian’, Jesse. I want to apologize for any worry he may have caused. I only left for a few minutes to make a phone call but if he has one of his ’episodes’; that’s all it takes!
I hope he didn’t scare you too much. He used to be a very successful boxer with a perfect TKO record before he got addicted to crack. That’s how he earned the boxing nickname: ‘Legend’. After that serious career detour, he turned to a life of crime to support his consuming narcotic habit. Luckily he’s only on legal, anti-psychotics now.” Realizing it was a lot to absorb, he added: “I know he’s a huge, menacing-looking guy but his doctors have declared him ‘cured’ and no real threat to society anymore.”
“I’ve got some news for you; Jesse! Regardless of what his ‘expert’ doctors say”; She spat. “he appears to be dangerously paranoid and psychotic. That’s certainly not traits the public wants to see in a free roaming, monster-sized behemoth who would have trouble squeezing into a normal-sized straight jacket. He’s definitely not ‘right’; as you delicately put it. Saying he is ‘cured’ is a wee-bit, premature.
He swore up and down that I was yelling at him when I hadn’t said a word to him at that point! He was even ‘talking to you’ before you returned from your call. Whenever I asked if he needed ‘help’; he ignored me because he was lost in his fantasy world. In the beginning I tried to explain I hadn’t said anything but he became belligerent and made serious threats TO-MY-LIFE! Or at least, it seemed to be directed at me.
Unfortunately as the exchange became more heated toward the end, I lost my temper a bit and resorted to childish name-calling. I even raised my voice a tad however I swear; I did nothing to provoke him. It just came out of the blue!”
Jesse listened to her rather unpleasant experience with ‘Legend’; and then did his best to explain. “Interestingly, one of the few positive side-effects of massive brain trauma like his is that he somehow developed occasional clairvoyant ability! When his sugar levels drop too low, he can sometimes see a few minutes into the future! It’s the craziest thing. ‘Legend’ actually experiences significant life events a few minutes before they happen!
A few minutes ago he was probably ‘seeing’ a vision of your conversation AFTER it became heated! He just failed to understand that he was the one who actually started it by reacting negatively (to something that hadn’t happened yet). He has an explosive temper and long history of murder, rape and violent crime but hopefully that is behind him. He’s actually trying to do something good for the world now by being studied by a team of research parapsychologists.
They are fascinated because of the amazingly high level of accuracy he has exhibited in predicting the future. He just has to learn to recognize that his premonitions are FUTURE events so he can avoid getting ‘wrapped up’ in them before they happen. We are hoping to teach him to channel his energies in a more positive way from now on.”
By coincidence, “Legend’ interrupted Jesse and started speaking to the phantoms of his premonitions again. “Honestly officer”; He pleaded pointlessly to an invisible homicide detective. “I didn’t mean to kill her! Something inside me just snapped! I found my hands around her throat; twisting, squeezing, crushing. I just couldn’t stop choking her; I couldn’t let go. I knew it was wrong but I couldn’t stop until I knew she was dead! She had been mocking me a few minutes earlier in the restaurant and…”
Jesse interrupted. “Oh My GOD! Run lady! Run! I’ll try to hold him off long enough for you to get away!”
The lady let out a blood-curdling-scream and tore out of the restaurant to flee for her life.
(addition: alternate humorous ending)
‘Legend’ looked Jesse in the eyes for the first time, and both broke into huge belly laughs. “Man, we are REALLY getting good at this food scam!”; Jesse snorted. “You should have seen the look on her face when I told her that you had a long history of murder and violent crimes!” I thought she was going to pee her pants! It’s too bad you couldn’t watch her reactions. It’s hilarious! I don’t see how you keep a straight face during your ‘crazy man’ act.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s hard to stay in character when people get so furious at me but we gotta’ eat, right? Too bad we can’t use this same set up to rob banks, or bilk investors out of their cash.” Both men laughed at the thought of ‘the crazy man and Jesse’ scam being used to swindle investors.
“Alright we gotta’ hurry before she brings the police back. I get her peas and you can have the corn. That blackened salmon sure looks good. We can split it if you want….”