Eulogies For Bad Men
I sit back in my chair and place my order for the pretty waitress. She smiles, a bit suggestively, but I am in no mood for flirting. I watch her walk back to the counter holding my order. She looks slightly disappointed. Outside it is grey and rainy. I rest my head on the cool glass window and stare outside.
"How old was he?"
I jump in my seat, startled. I look in front of me and he is sitting there, calmly sipping his coffee and smiling at me serenely.
"Your father. How old was he when he died?"
I look away, back outside. "If you don't know the answer to that, you shouldn't be asking that sort of question."
"No?" he says, quite at ease. "I apologize for my brashness. Age does not concern me very much."
"Oh? Then what do you want?"
"Simply to console you."
I think back. "I don't remember you at the reception. Or the funeral, for that matter."
He tugs his sleeves back smartly. He is wearing a black ensemble, as I am. "I was there. I prefer not to put myself in the open, is all."
"Fine." There is a long silence. He clears his throat, and then speaks. "I admit I was not so great a friend to your father as others were. But I knew him well enough."
I breathe on the window, and trace a circle on the glass with my finger. "That's great."
"I understand that you are in no mood to talk. But talking about it will help. Believe me."
"That's right. I am in no mood. So, why don't you just leave, please, whoever you are."
"I'm sorry. Timothy Levid. Sir Timothy Levid, in fact, but I'm not one for silly honorifics."
"Sir? So you've been knighted by the Queen."
"Yes. Nice lady. You could think of her as a sort of sweet, old grandmother." He grins.
I smile, though I try not to. "What did you do?"
"Oh, this and that. I have much money on my hands, but I don't need any of it. I give most of it to charities and such."
"That's kind of you."
"Maybe. My job earns me plenty of money, but I have no use for it."
"What do you do?"
"I am an independent contractor."
"Really? Who do you work for?"
"Anyone who needs me. I am a courier."
I snort. "A courier."
"Yes." He places his hands on front of him and sets them on the table before us.
"You deliver packages, and you have money left over to give to charity?"
"Not just any kind of package, my friend. I deliver to high value customers."
"So? You shouldn't get paid much more, even if you were the messenger of the Queen herself."
"Well, let's just say legalities are not part of my job description." He winks.