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Queen by Del Lobo

The Meridian Cafe buzzed with the news of David's death because he was popular among the circle of people that frequented the cafe.   I couldn't quite figure out what it is that made him popular because whatever it was that the others saw in him, I did not.  Mind you, I had my own memories but most of them had been of our younger days.   I remembered Vicki and Hugo Martin's small wooden sided home which was close to our red brick one.  David Martin and I played in the adjoining shed where David's mom stored all the costumes she wore in her different stage roles at the Franklin Theatre.   We were around 8 at the time.
 
'I'm the Queen and you're the King' he would say in this high pitched female voice, as he slipped on a majenta velvet robe over his jeans and t-shirt.   His long blonde hair flowed around the fake jewel studded cardboard tiara.
 
'Not fair, you always get to be Queen' I would protest because I wanted to wear the majenta robe instead of the cream colored tablecloth that Mrs. Martin no doubt adorned her table with on Valentines Day.   It had tiny red hearts all over it.
 
David and I remained the best of friends until we finished High School and while I stayed on in Elora and took over my father's antique restoration business, David went on to study law at the University of Toronto.    Last I heard, he was partners in a reputable law firm in Kingston.  I was curious about his life and often thought to call him but never did.   Snatches of converrsation around me was allowing me to catch up on his recent life.  A couple at the table behind me were not only loud but indiscreet.
 
'There's no doubt he was an asshole, but he didn't deserve to die'
'Was he involved in a relationship?'
'Last I heard, he was living with Peter Schlepp'
'Peter Schlepp, that sleeze?  They deserved each other then'
'Hey! Would you quit this?  For God's sake, the man is dead'
 
The waitress came along to take my order and I missed the rest of the conversation.   Two young men came in drenched from the pouring deluge outside.  They shook their manes like a pair of dirty poodles and sat down at the table in front of me.
 
'This sucks you know?  I just met the guy last week and he promised to look into the case of Arthur's wrongful dismissal' the dark haired poodle said.
'Oh?  Arthur was dismissed?  Lindmar found out about his condition?   Fucking homophobics'  The red haired poodle seemed agitated.
'Yeah and this dead lawyer Martin was going to represent his case'
The poodles got up at the same time as if they were tied to the hip and walked over to check out the desert table.   I put my head in my hands and looked down at my shoes so others couldn't see big splashes of tears staining the leather.


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