Three in a Café

He sits hunched, the crown of his skull as devoid of hair as his jaw. He sits and scribbles. Sometimes his pens scratches wildly, tearing its way across the page. At other times it flows silently. Every mannerism seems to be shaped to aid his writing. All his rubbish neatly stuffed into a soup bowl, placed as far from his shifting hands as possible. The dark sleeves of his jacket are rolled to his elbows, the green seams twisting into the jagged mountainous outline of a healthy heart beat on a monitor. Let us hope his work is as lively.

At another table sits an old man, significantly stouter than the writer. Age has bent his back and burnt all but a handful of wispy white hairs from his head. His every movement is slow, measured and cautious. Even so, though they may be weak and slow, his movements are solid and steady. There is no shaking of the hand as he lifts his spoon. When he stands It is like watching the growth of an oak tree. It may take some time, but the end result holds itself with real nobility and pride. Age has not yet broken him.

Opposite him sits an elderly woman, to whom time has been, at first glance at least, kinder. She retains a shock of pale curling hair upon her head and whilst age has lined her features, she retains a youthful energy. Until she stands. She is quick, but unsteady, the word “doddery” bubbling to the surface of the mind as one watches. It seems born of nervousness. She moves to avoid mistakes. The spoon flashes from her bowl to her mouth and back again in a twisted unstable ballet. Still it seems to work for her, for the table remains pristine


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