Something In The Air by Bob Williams

Robert sat down at the table and politely waited for the server to bring him a menu.  He noticed the, PLEASE WAIT TO BE SEATED sign through his Burberry glasses when he entered the restaurant,  and figured someone was being a comedian.  He couldn’t deny it, he enjoyed all speculation about the weird shit that was going on.  The increasing amount of school shootings, cop killings, and race violence.  It was insane.  Something must be in the air, Robert thought. Or, maybe it was…

Aliens! No, it was the government!  Actually it was terrorists that sabotaged the security protocols at the C.D.C.    He didn’t own a T.V. and stayed away from the “paper.”  You couldn’t trust a damn thing that ended up in print anymore.   

“Sir, the sign said please wait to be seated.” A rather perturbed sounding twenty-something young man stood staring, mouth agape at Robert.

“I thought for sure the sign was in jest,” said Robert.  “This restaurant has never requested its patrons wait to be seated in all the years I’ve come here.”

“Yes, well, this restaurant actually does currently require its patrons to wait to be seated.  If you wouldn’t mind sir, please return to the sign and I will be with you shortly.”

Robert felt his eye twitch.  Robert’s eye only twitched when his when he was in the beginning stages of anger.  But this was such a rare occasion for Robert to feel anger.  He practically never got angry. Not anymore.  Robert did a bit of therapy in the eighties when he decided at one point, “it was all a bit too much for him.”  It was during this especially valued time that Robert devised his anger plan.   These were markers meant to alert Robert to the fact that he was getting upset, and to retreat to a his happy place.  However, in this moment, Robert was indeed perturbed. Something must be in the air.  Maybe the C.D.C. did let something escape.

“Young man, my name is Robert Kurek.  I’ve been a valued customer at this restaurant since before you were born, and I assure you, the patrons of this very establishment have never been required to wait to be seated.”

Robert felt like maybe, and this was a big maybe, beads of sweat were forming over his brow.  Beads of sweat only formed on Roberts brow when he was in stage two of his anger plan.  While Robert practically never got  angry he did have his anger plan.  Apparently he was heading towards being really angry.  He knew this because there was only one more phase to attain and then, well, he’d be angry.

I wonder why the server is being so discourteous? He has to understand I’m on phase two of my anger plan.  He definitely needs retreat to his happy place so we can salvage this experience.

Robert looked briefly away from the server to the sidewalk outside the restaurant. Through the rather large, perfectly clear window Robert saw a man straddling another man, choking the life out of him.

Well that is certainly peculiar.  I wonder what is making them so upset.  I wonder if either of those men have an anger plan?  It certainly doesn’t seem like it though.

Robert was slapped out his subconscious when he felt the server put his hand just below the elbow of his right arm in an attempt to make his rise.  “Robert,”  he said assholically. “Please return to the sign and I will be there shortly to seat you.”

Robert shot straight up out his chair and violently grabbed the young man’s neck with both hands.  He squeezed. Hard.  Robert enjoyed seeing both of the servers eyes bug out of their respective sockets as he struggled desperately for life saving breath.  Did he lift him off the ground, and peek down to watch his legs kick about? Maybe.  Before he knew it, Robert held the limp, dead body of the server in his powerful grip.

He dropped the lifeless body to the ground.  Robert stole a glance outside, surprised to see not only the body of the man who was getting assaulted, but another body as well.

Once he sat back down, Robert  scooted his chair quietly back to a respectable distance from the table.  He untucked his shirt and proceeded to methodically wipe both lenses of his Burberry glasses in a circular pattern four times after a short breath for condensation.

While he resumed his wait for the menu Robert  casually thought to himself, there is most assuredly something in the air tonight. 

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