The double doors slammed. There was a pause, and then the familiar shuffling of dragging, uncooperative feet. Soon Clarence would round the corner into the airiness of the camp lodge’s lobby. First he would make a beeline to the three garbage cans and fish with his gnarled hands for pop cans. Then he would awkwardly pour coffee from the big metallic urn and carry the steaming stryofoam cup to “his” table.
I had watched this ritual virtually every day for over a year, and I knew that the finale was approaching when his broken gait carried him to my receptionist’s window. He leaned closer to my desk and waited for me to catch his eye. As I looked into his face that seemed to carry such haunting sadness and pain, it brightened with the most delightful grin. Continue reading