He was tall, broad-shouldered and had dark shaggy hair above puzzled eyes. He moved a little differently than others and spoke a little louder. He brought his own cup – an opalescent punch glass with nubs in rows that reminded me of the shell of an sea urchin. Cookies and cups of coffee were priced at a dollar each and he wasn’t sure that his $3 would cover him.
He got his cookie and coffee, sat near Hailey and I, chatted pleasantly for a few minutes in his sweet way about nothing particular and everything at once, and then he was gone.
The kids I went to grade school with would possibly – no, certainly – have called him “retarded.” (Hell, they called me that.) As he walked away with his magic cup in his bag and his smile (always just hinted at the corners of his mouth), I had to wonder: What’s wrong with moving slower than every one else? He may not get concepts like anger, bitterness or revenge, but – then – he notices every pretty thing in his way and will fall asleep one day not knowing what old is.