He wore a watch. He always needed to know the time, even though he never had any particular place to
be. If he for some reason had some place to go, he’s positive that he wouldn’t be late. Today, a glance at his
watch made the fedora that rested lightly upon his head move from its habitual place. He reached hislarge, soft hands up and pushed it back into place with one of his long slender fingers. With his fedora in the proper place, he reached into the brown leather briefcase that he carried wheneverhe was out. The briefcase was a gift from his parents on his 18th birthday. For the past fifty years he neverhad a single important thing to put in it; though he might if he had something important to do. He hadnever held a job. His parents left him a large sum of money, more than he could ever fathom to spend. Soinstead he carried a tattered old notebook in the briefcase which he used as a journal to document thethings around him. There was nothing special about it; just a plain, 70-page, college-ruled Meadnotebook.
It wasn’t the paper, he felt, that made writing special. He thought it came from the pen he used. Indeed,
his pen was a work of art. Gold and obsidian worked together into a beautifully formed, perfectly balancedfountain pen. He told people that it was handcrafted in Italy at the turn of the century; only a hundred of them had ever been made. For all he was ever told, this might have been true. But in reality all of which heknew about the pen was that it came from his grandfather, left in a
will, and it had been his grandfather’s
for the entirety of his working career. Looking at the pen he saw aged gold, smudged with fingerprints andthe obsidian worn dull in places from years of use. This particular pen could make any bit of writingspecial.Every day the man came to the same coffee shop on the same street in the same city. He felt it was morethan his job to be here every day, he believed it to be his duty. On sunny days he would sit outside on thepatio and sip his coffee, two creamers and two packets of sugar, all day. On days when the weather wasnot so fair he would sit inside next to the fireplace and drink a cup of tea with milk and a packet of sugarin it. Never did he take tea outside nor did he ever take coffee inside.Every day it was the same routine. He was at the door of the coffee shop fifteen minutes after its opening.He would get his beverage and take his seat in the appropriate place according to his drink. Once there he would pull out his notebook and the pen. Then the rest of the day was spent with him observing people asthey walked by in and out of the coffee shop. He would write down which way each one was going and what it appeared to be that they were doing. He observed and wrote. He talked to the other customers of the coffee shop; each one had a story to tell. At first he tried to write down every word that was said, buthe found this to be hard and rude. If the person talked to fast it made it hard, and it was rude when he was writing more than paying attention. It also affected his ability to respond because he only heard the words