Sunday, April 30, 2006

Life and Death: Lulu-Style

in front of Lulu's

I went to Lulu's this afternoon to pick up iced coffee with Miss S. The place was crowded (it was a fine, sunny day in Flip Flop) and we had to go to the back of the cafe to find a place to sit. While I was trying to squeeze my ample buttocks through the maze of chairs, laptops, study groups, amorous couples, and other human obstacles, I noticed, to my horror, an old, one-legged man collapsed in his chair, in a pool of brown liquid I assumed was coffee. It was like some hideous scene from Poe, people dropping dead, unnoticed, in the middle of a party. The cafe goers babbled on, oblivious. I carefully set down my cookie and drink at our table, and waded through the throng back to the old man. I couldn't tell if he was alive or not. I patted his shoulder and I could feel his bones beneath his skin. He looked ancient. Finally his head bobbed up and he started to say something. I mopped up the coffee, I asked him if he was okay. He said he hadn't slept last night and was very tired. He had a comical chocolate mustache. His name was "Bill." He said he was fine. I sat down with Miss S, and we ate the cookie, and drank our drinks. I noticed Bill had fallen asleep again when we left. We told the barista we were concerned about the elderly gentleman in the back. She said he was a regular. I wondered if caring for the elderly was in the job description of a typical barista.

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