Mawkish. A man in Teva sandals, board shorts and an all around look of disheveled ignorance. As if he didn't realize that he didn't look stylish or new professional, like the kind of kid that can get away with that look and still demand to be taken seriously. As he voided his breakfast order, gathered his things, made protestations of time, late late for a real and actual meeting. Said he comes here all the time, this place is the best, dropped a Hamilton for his coffee (not enough for the whole check, where does that money go? is it a tip? a short payment? who takes the hit: waitress or establishment?), will get you next time, and out the door with his pen and legal pad and documents and smug self-satisfaction. I disliked him immediately.
I took his emptied table.
The waitresses mock him after he is gone. They do not think of him the way he thinks they think of him. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.
I begin writing, this piece and another: a book of stories, a story of the book, of the people of the book, of a shelf of books dusty unread to be read full to the bursting with their tales their woes their lives and words unlived unbreathed not breathing; we wait. My sandwich arrives, I sip my coffee.
I eat. I return to writing. I take two photographs. I pay and leave.