Happy Birthday: A chance encounter with a lonely man
#human #isolation humanity
My wife and I ate at Benihana last night. Just an out night. We sat with a rotten family of nitpickers and a lonely man. We kept to ourselves, dodging approval seeking glances from the family sitting across from us. The man sat beside us. He was overweight, his hands crusted from hard-work, his eyes dead from isolation. The table was a motley crowd of awkward people. I enjoyed the time with my wife. At the end the waitress brought out an ice cream with a candle for the man’s birthday. He blew out the candle, and set it aside. He then ate his ice cream fastidiously with no affect. He did not smile. He did not divert his glance. He wiped his mouth and excused himself. My wife and I exchanged an embarrassed glance. We didn’t bother to engage him in conversation. He was just there. It was awkward. We all were awkward. He came back, signed his bill and left a five. I managed a “happy birthday” as he was leaving. He replied: “Thank you for letting me share your company.” He left. We left the nitpickers soon after. We watched our art film. I am a fool.