John Caldez ™

John Caldez, born a trademark, woke up late. He looked up from the sheets and saw the clock. 8 pre-meridian. He turned.

He arose at 9, went into the kitchen. He turned on the kettle.

He phoned his psychiatrist. “I had the dream again.”

“Which one?”

“I was plastered on a coffee can.”

“You were drunk?”

“No! Plastered. Painted. Ever feel that way?”

“Drunk? Once or twice. Last night maybe.”


“Oh.” He heard some ruffling on the line. “No. Listen, I have to go. Anything else in the dream?”

“Not worth mentioning.”

“O.K. See you Tuesday.”

“See you then.”

Looking at the mountains outside his balcony Caldez felt a pang in his stomach. He sipped his tea.

Ignacio came by at half-past. “Don Caldez, what do you say?”

“Not much.”

Ignacio gave a hearty laugh. The kind of rich laugh you read about in poor stories. “Not much?”

“I find quiet suits me better most times.”

“Can’t argue with that.”

“I’ll say.”

“You said. But if you had to…”

“Had to what?”

“Had to say, what would it be? Say you were scripted, and something had to
emanate from you. What would it be?”

“I guess it would be that I’m tired.”


“Coffee. Look at me. I don’t even drink the stuff.” He spit some tea leaves. “Makes me sick.”

“It’s a good job, no?”

“It pays for the trouble. Yes. But they’re bringing fair-trade stuff in.”


“What if they know I prefer tea?”