Friday, May 11, 2012
He was a lumbering gentle bear. He could be seen walking through the Eastern Market with his fabric shopping bag, rooting through mushrooms, heritage corn, local honey. His dungarees were cinched at his waist with a belt tied in a knot, as all of the buckle holes had been torn over time. The way he handled the produce was like a lover caressing his beloved. One by one his hand selections found their way into his bag. Silvery fish, damp bags of beef, tomatoes bursting at their skins. He never spoke to anyone and always finished his shopping with an egg breakfast at Louie's, his bear body spilling out on either side of the stool. It was to the point where the waitress simply knew what he wanted. Twenty years, every Sunday. His shopping bag on a neighboring stool, his eyes steadily reading a travel worn paperback book. The eggs were always the same, his coffee swirling in an old diner cup. He would linger here over breakfast amongst the clatter and conversation, and at the last possible moment, he would gather his things and begin his walk home along Gratiot.