The next time Clement saw Emperor Don, he froze. Earlier, Clement determined to confront this mystery head on and meet the man who piqued his curiosity. Now, with Emperor Don strolling regally through Regent Park, Clement felt his face flush. This is the man that caused a knockdown, drag out fight with Becky.
As it happened, the confusion on Clement’s face caught the notice of Emperor Don. He approached Clement and said, “You looked vexed, my good man.”
“You’re Emperor Don,” stammered Clement. He cringed at the tone of his own voice. It reminded him of teenaged girl meeting her favorite boy band.
Emperor Don laughed. “Indeed I am.”
Clement swallowed hard. It was now or never. “Are you really an emperor?”
Emperor Don examined him carefully. “You’re new to the city,” he concluded.
“Uh huh,” said Clement.
“So you’ve heard the stories and want to see if they’re true.”
“I guess so, yeah,” said Clement.
“I’ll tell you what. I’ll let you buy me a bagel and I’ll answer your questions,” said Emperor Don.
“Is that because you’re homeless?” asked Clement, before he could stop himself.
Emperor Don started walking. “Bagel first, answers second.”
The two entered Bagel Fortress Bakery at the far end of the park. The barista smiled at Emperor Don and offered him the usual.
Emperor Don bowed to the barista. “Not today, my dear lady,” he beamed. “This gentleman agreed to purchase this morning’s sustenance.”
The barista looked over to Clement. “You’re new to the city, eh?”
Clement looked confused. “Why do people keep asking that?”