By John Bryant
I found him at Subway, an old man in a brown jacket, boots, jogging pants, standing in the small space between the table and deli counter.
He shut his eyes so he could hide himself under them, in a place where the cold and his age couldn’t find him. Eyes closed tight so he wouldn’t fall out of his eyes and land in the Subway, in his body, like a fish flopping in a bucket. There was no one else there. I stood in the silence he’d made in the room.
His face relaxed as he fell all the way into himself, the only place inside him that was bigger and quieter than the restaurant and his entire life. It was his peace.
He stood under a jet of warm air when the Subway heater came on. He lifted his face toward the ceiling as the warm air pulled the damp out of his coat and asked him gently to return to who he was when he was eighty and dirty and in a Subway. His lips searched the heat until they became a smile. He opened his eyes and found me looking at him. [Read more…]