The apartment is old. Paint chipping. Pathetic frayed upholstery. Old box gas stove. No TV. No pictures except Martin Luther King. Neighbours’ noises much too noticeable. The black man coaxes “the Professor” over to the table, and it begins:
Where were you when I was on the platform?
Right behind you by the pillar. Had no choice, had to stop you. Terrible way to go man.
It is night outside the windows, and raining.
Bible in the middle of the table.
The Lord wanted me to talk to you.
Oh you know this for sure do you?
Sure as you’s sittin’ there Professor. Tell me what is it got you so fired up to make your exit?
Nothing you’d want to talk about.
No you got to try me. You ain’t the first you know.
And then begins a whale of a conversation about life’s value, the world’s collision course, murder, repentance, friendship with Jesus, loneliness, self-loathing, vanity of learning, culture, systems of men, exasperation, self-annihilation, stopping it all for a new start.