“I know you, everybody knows you, mostly the cops. That’s my table, and I’m going to have it!”
It was a dimly lit room, filled with the noise of clattering dishes, and shuffling busboys. Tables filled with leftover pasta and garlic bread crumbs. The only table available had just been taken by two men in grey slouch hats and rumpled trenchcoats, but it was now in dispute.
The man pointed a gloved finger at the table, and continued, “I know you, everybody knows you. You take what is not yours. But I’m going to stop you. The table is mine, and you can go down the block to Smokey Joe’s, and eat his chili beans, cause there is nothing for you to eat at my table.”
There was a brief moment, when hands went to pockets, something hard was gripped, but then let go. The men in the trenchcoats slid out of their chairs, their hats never left their heads, and they headed to the door. The gloved finger balled into a fist as they passed him by.
He had done it, his table was ready to receive him, if only in his thoughts. The room was still full of busy diners and the sound of clattering dishes. His table still had a couple pondering the menus. He was still standing, waiting for someone to finish, but his mind was still caught up in a 1930s dialogue.
Later that day, while riding BART home, he spotted a corpulent man in a double breasted striped suit, taking up two seats on the crowded train.
The gloved finger pointed, “I know you, Everybody knows you, even the judges know you. Everywhere you go you spread yourself like peanut butter. That’s my seat, and I’m going to take it.”
Just then the car slowed and the platform came into view. The man in the striped suit got up and moved to the exit. The gloved finger balled into a fist as he passed him. His seat was his, and he had it.
I sometimes imagine myself in a bad film noir, filled with bad actors who confront me in tedious actions. They never win. It is possibly because I wear gloves.