A Voice Behind My Back


Down a street in NYC at about 1AM going home from a friend’s place years ago. Suddenly I heard a voice behind my back:

 

– Stop and turn around.

 

I did and I saw a man in a mask holding a revolver. He said:

 

– Your money! Hurry up!

 

– What would you like to have happen? – I asked

 

– Shut up and give me the money.

 

– Listen, let me talk to you 2 minutes first, and I’ll give you all my money without any resistance, or else I’ll scream, you’ll have to shoot, and police will be here. You don’t need such complication, do you?

 

– Damn, go here and speak quietly, – he led me into shadow, in a gap between two buildings. I was scared very much, my voice trembled. I tried to overcome the fear and have as much “affinity” as I could.

 

– What would you like to have happen?

 

– I’ve told you, I need your money.

 

– You need my money. And when you have my money what happens next?

 

– I can pay the bills and just live, – he became angrier, but I felt his anger was affected.

 

– And you can pay the bills and just live. And when just live, is there anything else about just live.

 

– Your stupid questions! Do you know what is live? I can’t just buy medicine for my mother, I can hardly buy food! – I saw despair in his eyes.

 

– And you can hardly buy food. And what happened just before?

 

– I was fired.

 

– And what needs to happen for you to just live?

 

– Livelihood. I want to earn an honest livelihood. But I was fired two times in a row because of damned redundancy.

 

– And with an honest livelihood, is there anything else about honest livelihood?

 

– I’m a veterinarian. I can’t do anything else except veterinary and playing a guitar, – his voice began to tremble also.

 

– And when …

 

– Enough! Now, your money! – He said through tears welling up in his eyes.

 

I reached out for my wallet, and stretched it to him.

 

– My friend holds a big farm, and he needs a veterinarian, – I said. And it was true.

 

He didn’t take the wallet and stood silently unmoved.

 

– I can call to him right now.

 

He only nodded his agreement in response…

 

-J.

About Jonathan Harnisch

Author | Mental Health Advocate | Schizophrenia | Artist | Blogger | Podcast Host | Patent Holder | Hedge Fund Manager | Film & TV Producer | Musician
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