Sunday, 8 July 2018
"This country stands ready to defend its rights..."
Not everyone. One guy sat further back, grinning, apparently amused by our excitement. Puzzled by his response, and because there was nowhere to sit at the bar, I moved back to near where he was sitting.
"It won't happen," he confidently informed me. I waited for him to enlighten me. At last, he vouchsafed:
"This crisis will not escalate all the way for another twenty years."
"How do you know?"
"I've been there."
That was all. He had been where? He had lived through such protracted conflicts before? All of us had done that. Then:
"I must make a call."
He stood up and walked toward the phone booth at the back of the room. There was a burst of excitement from the bar. I glanced that way, then looked down at the table where I noticed that the mysterious stranger had left a coin. It was dated 2026. I looked quickly at the phone booth. It was empty.