Isosceles triangles

He had silver-gray hair that must have been braided, twisted into a bun under a hunter’s ballcap. Faded brown scene of deer and thicket. A pencil was shoved point first into his nest under the cap on the left.

Occasionally he turned his head to reveal a soft Santa Claus beard, about 18 inches long and parted in the middle, forming a pair of isosceles triangles. His glasses had thick lenses, grossly distorting what was beyond them from where I stood behind him.

Hanging through the flesh of the left ear lobe was a red-metallic flashlight, the kind you’d grab near the check-out counter at WalMart, about an inch in diameter on the shaft. I was not sure whether it had batteries in it, but it appeared heavy. He wore a short-sleeved buttoned shirt of a black, red and white palette, with sketches of can-can girls and playing cards, and it was tucked into his Wrangler jeans with a brown leather belt cinching them. From the left side of the belt, on a 3-inch green carabiner, hung a set of perhaps twenty keys. On his right side was strapped a leather holster with a black tape measure.

He wore Crocs whose gold coloring was peeling at parts on the heels. He stood with his right foot tucked behind his left, his toe pointing to the floor.

As I stood behind him waiting to order my café au lait and frittata at Café Doma, I couldn’t tell whether he was smiling or not.

photo: jimurphy