The Coin Flip


ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD,
screamed the pamphlet stuffed in my father’s pocket.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were dead,
and Jim was chewing idly on his pancakes as my father
searched and searched his pockets for a coin,
as the servers bustled and hurried with hot, greasy food,
as cars flashed by outside in the heavy blanket of night.
A quarter was procured, and he studied it from its place in his palm.

He flipped it, once, twice, thrice. Three times it clattered onto
the half-washed table. Heads, heads, and heads once more.
He laughed (nervously), and began to flip it again. But the story
stayed the same. Heads, heads, heads. Ed looked to Jim,
Jim looked back, unruffled. That was a play, this was real life.
(Was it?) Ed looked to the other tables. Hadn’t there been
more people before? Hadn’t there? Was he truly Ed?
Was Jim truly Jim? Which forces were they within?
Un-, sub-, or supernatural? He flipped the quarter again and again—
seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen,
(EDWARD AND JAMES ARE DEAD, screamed the pamphlet)
fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen—

Tails.

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