I sit at a tiny table in an African shop and enjoy my coffee. The best coffee in town, I love it. Last night was exhausting, and another long and busy day is lying ahead of me. I am waiting for the caffeine to kick in, but my blood is kind of sluggish today. No need to hurry, though. I cradle my favorite mug between my bony hands and take another sipp. I have come to this story ever since it opened, and from the first day the owner gave me this mug. He knows how I like my coffee best, and although the years have almost folded him in on himself since we first met, he still has a sweet smile for me every time I push the door open.
Early spring sun is drawing strange signs on the worn table. For a brief moment I wonder what kind of wood it is made from, and they are idle thoughts. I am not a handywoman, don't know shripp about wood and trees and figure. Trees' lives are boring, I guess, and since they never go anywhere and experience the same things day after day (until someone comes along and chops them down), I don't bother.
Another sip of delicious coffee, and by now the sun is high enough in the sky that I have to squint. There are more people on the streets than when I came here. Most of them are on their way to work, serious expressions on their faces, posture heavy with important decisions. They are wearing suits or overalls of fancy dresses, and at the bakery on the other side of the street I see an old woman putting a hair net on her head. With a deep breath, I empty my chipped coffee mug. Leave money on the table and walk out into the streets to do my job.
The coffee has lightened up my spirit. I weave through the crowd, unnoticed by the other people, and touch them lightly. I pick my targets randomly, following my intuition. My mind is whispering directly to theirs, as their future enfolds in my head. 'You will be fired and find a new job on another continent.' - 'Your wife is pregnant with twins.' - 'Don't let your dog out in the garden tonight, someone will throw poisoned meat over the fence.'
I look at a young man with a smile on his fresh face. It is obvious he hasn't had much experience so far, and his life probably resembles a modern day happy story. I know exactly what will happen to him next. His girlfriend is unhappy because he is working so much, she will get wasted tonight at a club, cheat on him, get pregnant and infect the baby as well as him with the disease. What a sad twist in life. I remember the taste of my coffee - warm and smooth and comforting - and touch the guy's back. 'You are going to take your girlfriend out to dinner tonight. Don't leave her alone. You should go on a trip to the beach this weekend.' I look at him closely, trying to push at his thoughts. Sometimes it doesn't work to change what is in store for them. But it doesn't hurt to try.
Luckily, my contract left me some personal freedom of choice in bestowing fate upon them.