Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Lost Patron of the Day

For years you appeared each day outside the door 15 minutes before the branch opened, ensuring that you would have first dibs for the newspaper. When the doors opened, you would hustle in, take possession of the paper, and disappear inside the bathroom for 20 minutes. You would while away the rest of the day reading or staring contemplatively at the wall, with frequent breaks to go outside and smoke your pipe. I found the smell of the maple flavored tobacco you filled your pipe with distasteful, and would shoo you away from the windows when the smoke would waft in. One day you abruptly stopped coming, and I haven't seen you since. You were as constant as that maroon Members Only jacket you always wore, as dependable as the U.S. Mail used to be.

What has become of you?

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