Joseph walks up behind me just as I log on for a 15 minute session. He's an older guy, bald, with a mustache, probably in his late fifties, and for some reason he's always wearing Hawaiian shirts. He talks in a deep, but somewhat nasal voice, kinda like he has a permanent headcold, and drawls a little bit.
"You finished with that book yet?" he asks
"Yeah, you can have it. As promised."
"Cool. You should check out some of the other ones in the series."
"You got a cigarette? Y'know, to make it a trade."
"Alright. I'll be out in a few."
The internet really isn't offering much. So I finish up quickly and head out to the steps. When I take a seat, Joseph starts rolling a smoke; he hands me some paper and a small sack of tobacco. Everyone else is sitting around shootin' the breeze, trying to stand the oppressive heat for more than fifteen minutes at a time.
"Is it pipe tobacco or cigarette tobacco?" I ask
"It says that it's pipe tobacco, but really it's more like a cigarette blend."
I give it a final twist and light it up. It tastes kinda like hickory and chocolate. Rich, like pipe tobacco, but it's a finer cut, and burns alot better. Not bad.
I look over, and see Joseph doing something curious; He's just finished eating an orange, and now he's sticking the spiraled peel back onto itself with Krazy glue. I watch his hands, and notice a faded lightning bolt tattoo on the knuckle of his index finger. He works with mechanical precision, applying the glue with a small brush, taking extra care to make sure that it looks just like a fresh, fully intact orange.
"You gonna offer that to someone?" I ask
"Huhuhuh . . . yeah." He replies, chuckling to himself
"That's kinda mean-spirited, but funny."
"Schrodinger's Orange." he says slowly, almost leaving stops between the syllables.
"You mean Schrodinger's Cat(?)"
"Nope, this is Schrodinger's ORANGE. To a casual observer, it's edibility is in a state of suspension. Until you pick it up, feel it's weight, maybe even until you try to peel it, you cannot know; you must presume that it is both edible and inedible."
He finishes with the glue right as he finishes his sentence.
"Hey man! want an orange?" he asks with a shit-eating grin (this guy sitting across from us saw the whole process)
"Naw, I know that trick." he says as he rolls his eyes and shakes his head.