Thursday, January 5, 2023


“You ever wake up in a brothel and don’t remember how you got there?” He rubbed his temples as he sat at the cafe table. His elbows rested rudely on the wrought iron that bordered the edge and his iced coffee had a pool of slopped milk and condensation beneath it. Each time he had a drink he risked a drop of milk falling onto the black fabric of his sweater. It looked expensive and I wasn’t sure if it would stain but regardless, I refrained from letting him know. 

I smiled in amusement at the question. He was not known for adventurous activities and a brothel seemed way out of his wheelhouse. “Does this happen often? Or only when you drink”

He laughed silently and then winced in pain. “Both.”

I hummed in mock contemplation. “Seems like you’ve got an expensive habit.” I waved at the waiter and ordered another baguette. “Coffee is on me by the way, eat up.”

He shooed the waiter away without ordering more and leaned back in his seat. “That’s the thing…” He picked up his coffee and a drop of milk hit the edge of the table. “I’m not down any money. Am I so charismatic I get serviced for free?”

I watched the drop splat in disappointment and looked back up at him. He was certainly disheveled lately. Maybe he needed help. “Perhaps they’re being charitable by taking in the homeless.”

The cup returned to the table harshly and for the first time he was not amused. “I’m not homeless.”

“Could have fooled me. You look like shit, man.” He rolled his eyes at me. “Were your eyes open enough this morning to look in the mirror?”

He laughed loudly. “It’s the ‘in’ look, mr out of touch.” I hummed in disagreement but didn’t press the issue.

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