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It was after he had entered the cafe, paid for his glass of beer, looked for an empty table, that I spotted him. He had a glass full of beer in his right hand and grey gloves on the other. He moved briskly across the floor, passed people who were drinking, smoking and talking noisly, until he reached the empty table.

Hesitatingly, he pulled up a chair. Sat down and unzipped his brown coat. I heard him clear his throat. His eyes moved around and finally settled on the glass of beer that he had put on the table. He cleared his throat once again and took a long gulp. He wiped his mouth with the back of his left hand.

I could easily estimate that he was over fifty by the greyness of his hair, and the multitude of wrinkles running chaotically across his face; like gulleys. He did not look like he belonged where he was sitting. There was an air of turbulent temporarity around him. He seemed distant and drowned in a stream of thoughts. A little while later, when I started to think about him, I saw him confirming something that was crossing his mind. He nodded his head from time to time, and moved his hands, like he was discussing an important issue with someone that only he could see.

It could have been bills! I thought. An impending divorce, or a quarell with his boss. It could have been anything, but it was quite obvious that something was eating his mind. He was being mercillesly devoured by the invisible teeth of life.

Then I caught my own reflection in the mirror that was on the wall in front of me. I saw myself sitting there, drinking herbal tea and letting my mind wander aimlessly; killing time.

Watching myself in the mirror, a sudden feeling creeped through me, a sensation, that I too was being watched from my left. I turned around and saw a bearded man looking at me. He was partly hidden. I had seen him before, in town, but I could not remember where.Our eyes met like clashing searchlights. I wanted to give him a wink but immediately changed the idea. He had been looking at me as I spied on the Stranger. The room was filled with noise and smoke. In the middle of all this was the Stranger.

I could see the Stranger through the smoke that filled the room. I fixed my eyes on him without him noticing, and after a while I started to see all of him rising up. He was being reincarnated in the misty cloud of cigarette smoke that was wafting under the neon light. It was a spectacular scene. He was rising together with the chair that he was sitting on, pluss the table, as well as the glass of beer, which was now half empty. He was lifted up in the smoke like a master yogi meditating above mountain Kilimanjaro, and thus I fixed my eyes on him even more.

From the corner of my eye I saw that even the bearded guy sitting to my left was looking at the Stranger with a growing intensity. So now, we were in fact, two people sitting and spying on the Stranger, from two different angles.

Three jazz musicians were playing softly on the stage. Now and then, the waitress came and cleared the tables.

After a while, I straightened up to look at the Stranger, and he was gone. At the table, where he had been sitting was only an empty glass of beer, and an ashtray. And except for the transparent glass, the space around the table looked exactly as it was before I spotted the Stranger.

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