"It doesn’t matter." He looked at his hands. "Before any of this was here, it was just an ocean. Then one day he decides to throw some dirt in the mix. He makes some mud and bakes it over a flame to make a man. He breathes into that man and creates life. That’s how this goes. But one day we figured out how to make that flame, and decided we had this whole life thing figured out for ourselves, thank you very much. Ever since then we’ve done nothing but bake our own clay armies, choosing to wave away how little we know about breathing life into things.”
"As you say," the man said.
"We can’t change that."
"Perhaps not." The man slid the box he had brought across the diner table, and opened it. "Take these."
The box was full of keys, each tied to a paper tag with a string.
"What am I supposed to do with these?"
"Nothing more than take them."
The waitress was coming over. He closed the lid to the box.
"Well well. New faces," she said. "Hello, gentlemen. To what do we owe the pleasure?"
"My friend and I have always wanted to stop in here on our way through," the man said, "and something about the place on this trip called to us, I guess."
"Well I’m not too fond of guessing, but I guess I’m fond of that one," she said.
Classic diner waitress talk. She was good at it. He wondered how long she had been practicing this brand of sass. He tried to read her name tag, but missed it as she turned to look at him. He looked at his hands in a panic, cursing the placement of that name tag.
"Well. Let me bring you boys some menus," she said. He could hear her smile in her words.
He looked up and attempted a thanks, but didn’t have time between her wink at him and her departure.
"Gentlemen to boys," the man said. "Back we go. If we stay here long enough, we just might get a look at that ocean."