This is the first in a series of posts entitled Sunday Brunch: Feasting on the Good Things in Life, However Small.
Everyone’s eyes are on the man; it’s hard not to notice the lopsided clack and thump of his step as he drags a cane past his brown leather shoes. A young couple tithes their time and promises to save his seat while he gets a coffee from the counter.
Next thing I notice, he’s sitting down in a kind of calculated fall, jacket on the back of the chair, cane leaned on the wall. He has a lidless cup of coffee and a slice of yellow pound cake with a real fork on a real plate.
He pulls a new paperback book out of a shopping bag. He opens the book and it hangs in his hand, lopsided, the cover and first pages fighting to balance out the story to come, quite the opposite of the man whose hands it is in, the man whose story is in the last chapters, the man who comes from a time when people moved slowly enough to eat things off of real plates, when a lid wasn’t needed for your coffee because you weren’t going anywhere.
And though this man looks content as a honeydew, popping fluffy yellow forkfuls of cake into his mouth and turning the pages of his fresh book, I feel an immense tenderness watching him. I want to turn the coffee shop into a campfire, surround his table with the chairs of the busy young people with the paper cups and the grease stains on our napkins, I want him to put his hands on his knees and tap his feet and tell us his stories, the back pages of his book, our eyes agape as we follow his words, wise and long as the hairs combed across his head.