"What am I supposed to do with these?"
He pulled the first card off the top of the deck, almost like a reflex. Queen of Diamonds.
"Same thing you always do with everything I give you." There was no humor in the man’s voice or answer.
He replaced the Queen and covered the deck with a menu. Something about the swords.
"I don’t know." He sounded more tired than he meant to.
"I know you don’t." That smile.
The waitress was returning with more coffee. The pot with the orange spout. God damn it.
"I need more." Even more tired this time.
"I just gave you more," the man replied.
"That’s not what I—"
"More coffee?" The waitress. She sounded less tired than she looked.
"No. I mean yes. Please. But regular, please."
"This is regular."
"But the spout is orange."
"And I’m wearing a name badge that says ‘Tina’, but that’s really my middle name."
The man across the table raised his eyebrows and laughed. Genuinely. It sounded amazing and horrible at the same time. “Tina” didn’t seem to have an opinion either way. She poured the coffee and went back to her straws.
He moved the menu away from the cards. The man across the table slid out of the booth and stood.
"I’ll be back this way soon. January 15th." The man was looking at the cards, and for a moment looked almost sad. Well, more sad than the man usually looked. And before there was time to think about that, the man was gone.
He turned the cards over to look at the bottom card. Eight of It Didn’t Matter.
All the magic I have known, I’ve had to make myself.