There's this place I go for lunch most days. Type of joint middle aged woman clap about in low heels with dewlaps bulging over apron strings and blue eyeliner too thick.
This isn't about me but the old man. His cheeks heavy with combed hair the colour of thunderheads; his eyes considerate. When I'm not watching him, we are watching the same thing. We are watching the tall trees outside that sit on the slice of grass that splits the road. Three lanes of cars pass one way and three lanes of cars pass the other way and the trees stand between them.
I think he is like me. That is to say he eats the same lasagna and fries every day. He sits alone every day watching things. If I wore a beard I might run my palm over the nap on my cheeks like he does. He nods when he forks another mouthful and I can see the a line of skin running back from the grove of his hair line. The skin demarcates the hair combed to the right and the hair combed to the left and everyday it is straight and everyday it is on the same side of his head.
His flannelette shirt must itch, sprouting from the collar of his sweater. He must be hot.
It's cloudy today but even when it's not cloudy it's grey in that place and the coffee pours, and a tiny bell chimes, and low heels clap on linoleum and someone sneezes and "Bless you, honey" in a Mediterranean modulation. It's windy outside and people are running in a cluster across the road because if they don't the cars will have to slow for them and it must be windy because their clothes ripple across their bodies and it must be windy because the trees move.