The old man emerged like steam off coffee, slow, kinda swirly. He looked like Ben Kenobi might look if Ben Kenobi had long white hair and a long white beard, so more like Gandalf but without the wizard hat. No lightsaber. But he did look rich with Force, though old and decrepit. In fact, he would have blended right in with the jagged desert rocks had he not steamed into slow, swirly emergence.
“Excuse me, sir. But are you Lone Mt. Roshi?” Jon asked him, wiping sweat from his brow.
“It depends who’s asking!” he cried and held his staff aloft. “I am no gold sandy beach for sunbathing tourists with cocoa butter and floppy hats!”
“My name is Jon, sir, and I have driven my Saturn Vue 3.6 miles and scaled these 600 feet to seek refuge in your wise council.”
“Do you know, Jon, when you’re smoking crack and your mind is racing about how you’ll obtain more crack before you’ve even enjoyed the boulder in your pipe?”
“This is not good. Think hard on this.”
“But—” But nothing, for Lone Mt. Roshi had dissolved into the rocks like cream in coffee.
Several years later, Jon drove his Saturn Vue 3.6 miles to summit, on foot, Lone Mountain’s 600 feet and Lone Mt. Roshi taught him how to tie a noose.
“No, dummy—over, then under, around, around, around. Like this!” All afternoon they tied nooses. When Jon tried to talk or ask questions, Lone Mt. Roshi gazed wordlessly at the Las Vegas Strip until the questions were no longer questions; they were nooses.
“There!” Jon had mastered noose tying as the dark swallowed the sun. Orange and violet death spasms.
“Well done HA HA HA! Very well done, Jon. But what good is the perfect noose without sturdy, weight bearing beams in one’s garage?”
Several years later, Jon drove his Saturn Vue 3.6 miles to summit, on foot, Lone Mountain’s 600 feet and Lone Mt. Roshi was very pleased with Jon’s earnest will to pass through the Twin Gates of drug addiction and suicidal ideation.
“Addiction and death are but mendacious escapes from the wily labyrinth of selfhood! Merely artificial sweeteners when I have come seeking sugar!” Jon announced in keeping with a unified coffee metaphor.
“Very good,” said Lone Mt. Roshi, rubbing his beard and nodding slowly, “Next time, bring tea.”