story #5: warm milk and cookies
location: cafe nocturne, 19 prince arthur ouest
This is about the man who is never seen but lets see.
He is the regular regular known at all cafés of the neighbourhood, yet the café knows nothing of him. What is known is that he has no seat and no order. I don't think he drinks coffee either.
You can hum your favourite song, and by the end you will have noticed his task completed and his compensation remunerated. Is it $15 per visit or $15 for the week? I only know he does his task well and he seems to do it, all the while, in a trance.
When his pace falls to a pause, you begin to notice his eyes suddenly more clear in the reflection you sit right behind. They seem to be returning back from the momentary visit to the place of intuition, instinct, and learned habits. Once again a man, he stirs back in his place. You see, part of the ritual of performing is returning to where one began.
He packs up and stands up and walks through the door. He nods in fulfillment and asks not for anything, but a special order uttered by none other—
In fact, this is the only reason why I had noticed this man at all. If it weren't for this detail, I would have seen no story at all. I would have seen nothing at all, and yet believed to have been seeing things all along. I would have forgotten that I could not see, and lived believing that not seeing was to see. You see, this is until I heard this man's request that I turned to see that I had recognized his hands holding—
This is the man who cleans the windows of the neighbourhood cafés in such an immaculate manner to be that of a graceful dance no matter the hour or temperature of the morning rise. Yet, most importantly, his order always remains:
A glass of warm milk and a chocolate-chip cookie.