"Smells like tengu," he said, "go ahead and eat it."
"But this is an amazing cryptozoological discovery!" I protested, "Shouldn't we call a museum or something if it's really tengu? And how do you know what tengu smells like, anyway?"
"Go ahead and eat it," he insisted, "or else we'd just have to throw it away."
I ate it and it was so-so. Very salty. I can't say why, exactly, but it definitely tasted like tengu.
As I was throwing it away in my friend's kitchen trash can -- the tall, chromy kind -- I was surprised to find myself in a restaurant supply store in Roseburg, Oregon.
I took the bus home, but about six hours into the trip, I was no longer on the bus. I was in the hallway of a charming Colonial-style townhouse in upstate New York. The residents screamed and called the police as I ran out, apologizing.
Five minutes later, I was in a tobacco farm in Georgia. It's a good thing I had my cell phone with me - I called my friend to tell him what happened.
Just as he picked up, I disappeared again and found myself in the middle of the lanes of 101, in Sonoma County, the home of many fine California wines. I barely made it to the shoulder alive.
Then I was in a posh, somewhat pretentious little commercial district in Salt Lake City. I ducked into a cafe and bought a bunch of spanikopita - I didn't want to starve to death while hopping from place to place - and got online to post this.
I don't know when I'll disappear next, or to where. It seems like a random increment, five minutes to six hours, and I seem confined to the United States so far.
Unless this wears off, I pretty much don't stand a chance of a normal life. I'm embarassed about what might happen during a bathroom or shower break, or while I'm asleep. It'll be hard to hold a job, or do laundry, or recharge my cell phone without losing it, or maintain a schedule or social life.
But maybe this new life is just as normal as any. I may be in your town soon. With the understood risk that you may be ditched with the bill, wanna grab a bite when I'm in town?