Old Man


There’s an old man in this coffee shop wearing a red polo, red beanie (sailor style), black pants, black shoes, and an oversized black watch with a red face. He is reading a book titled “Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A History.” The book is also mostly red and black. He has a packet of highlighters standing by, from which he has carefully selected one in particular. He also has with him the day’s newspaper and an enormous hard copy of the Oxford American Dictionary, I assume for self defense.


He’s back today, now in a blaze orange polo and beanie. Again, the beanie is worn sailor style, cuffed high and sitting high on his crown. I can tell he’s bald under the beanie. That’s his business, but I can tell. He came in with a gray and blue flannel over shirt, which he has taken off and draped over the chair on the opposite side of the cafe table.


It’s a blue tshirt and blue beanie today. A stack of newspapers, a book, and three different plastic packets of markers and pens of assorted colors. Another flannel. He takes a pen, ball point, from its pack and makes a note on a receipt.

It’s Summer in Fort Worth. Every one else in this city, save this man, wishes the humid, 100ยบ heat would just end them and enjoy its prize. He wears a beanie. So help me.