I met Stoner one night in a little town called Glencoe. The band was playing at a local bar and I had just arrived for the Saturday show of a weekend engagement. Stoner was sitting at the bar alone, drinking M***** Genuine Draft and bothering the waitress.

When I struck up a conversation with him, he proceeded to tell me that he had been at the show the other night, and that he had really enjoyed it. In the same breath, he told me that he was an old soul and the first time he died was in the year CE 1236. When I asked him what he had died for, he told me the cause was a woman.

"I hate to see a man die for a woman but is there any other reason?" I said.

I excused myself and made my way to the bathroom. In the stall, someone had etched a bizarre pictograph of a naked figure on top of a four-legged creature, possibly a cow. I took note of this artifact, as well as the phrase 'Kill God', which someone had carved into the wood beside the diagram. I zipped-up, washed my hands, and went back to the bar.

Stoner and I talked a little more and then the band got up and did a set. Dale - the guitarist - told me he wished that Stoner would leave. When I said the man was harmless, Dale said he was sure that he was, but - with drunks like that - you could never be too sure. Sure enough, after a few more songs, Stoner was getting rowdy and calling the four of us, "pissant fucks".

During the break, Stoner told me that he smoked the weed, sure, but he also liked crack rock. He told me that one time his crack dealer had given him trouble, so he threatened to take the dealer to court on grounds that he had gotten Stoner addicted to the substance. I laughed, thinking it to be a joke, but I don't think that it was.

We talked about books. Stoner said that I should read 'Of Mice and Men' and 'The Art of War'. When I told him I had once read the latter text he'd mentioned, he said I should read it again - backwards. Then he looked at me square in the eye and asked me if I knew what the meaning of life is, to which I responded ambiguously, and returned the question to him. "Fucking," he said, matter-of-factly, and went back to his drink.

After another set, I sat down with Stoner again and asked him what he did for a living. "I design realites," he responded and proceeded to make the case for the importance of his task. I razzed him for a little, but he remained sincere. Then we got to talking about his metaphysics again.

"There's this great hall in heaven," he said, leaning in close and starting to breathe heavily. Amidst the smell of beer and stale smoke, I couldn't help feeling that I was going to be let in on some sublime universal truth."There's this great hall in heaven," he continued, "called the Guf, and this is the place where all the new souls are kept. Now a lot of people say this hall is empty. Do you know where they say all the souls have gone?" I imagine they're here, on Earth, I offered. "That's right...but I don't believe it for a second", he said.

We sat in silence for a moment and then he spoke. "If it's empty, it's a signal that the world is coming to an end." We regarded each other then with the sombre knowledge of what it meant to be informed of such things.

Our conversation was cut short because the band had to play another set. We were about half-way through before I realized that Stoner had disappeared. I wasn't concerned; he had told me all he was going to tell me any ways. Besides, I don't think he enjoyed the music as much as he said he did.