He winked at me from his table for one at The Fisherman’s Shack- The Shack is my favorite place to eat lunch or to buy a cold drink on those hot days when my bus is late.
It’s some sort of law of nature.
When it’s very hot or very cold your bus will always be over crowded and late.
Anyway, I could have ignored the wink- it wasn’t one of those ‘hey baby’ winks and it wasn’t one of those winks really good looking people mindlessly hand out to ugly people – I don’t know why they do it exactly, it’s for practice I suppose. However, I must admit it’s pretty funny though when they do that to a blind person.
So, I looked over my shoulder and to the next table and realized- yeah- this guy was winking at me, and along with the wink he was pointing out the window to the cross walk.
It was empty.
Thanks a lot Winking Guy, I thought to myself, for trashing one entire second of my life.
I dug a piece of ice out of my drink and started to chase it around my table top with a straw and tried to remember how long it took to melt the last time I did this when I heard a little tap coming from Winking Man’s table and he winked at me again and this time he said,
“This will be much more fun to watch then the Ice Cube Death Race your running over there.”
“That cannot be so. “ I told him.
“Trust me on this- come on now- here I’ll prove it, what’s your least favorite color in the entire world? I mean if you could do away with one color what would it be?”
“Gold, it’s a kind of braggy color don’t you think? It just gets slapped onto the side of something and old whatever was there before has been improved a thousand times over- just for being gold colored. I hate that.”
“That’s very specific.”
“I suppose it is.”
I look down and my little ice racer is no more.
Darn- not only did I forget to time it- I liked that little chunk of ice, it had been shaped like a little cat’s head.
I was mourning the loss of the little cube when Winking Man cleared his throat, I looked up and he was looking at me and winking and from over his shoulder right there in the intersection I saw two gold cars at the stop light.
Winking Man asked me, “least favorite sound? “
The two gold cars are sitting there and I tell Winking Man, “One year I carved this amazing jack-o-lantern for Halloween. It took me hours. I even put little flashing lights in its eyes and mouth and I used chicken bones in spots where it looked like the pumpkin’s face had been peeled away. It was the best work I’d ever done. Well, later that evening I was handing candy out when I saw my pumpkin was gone and from the street I hear this sound…”
“Oh no. “
“Oh yes. I’ve hated that sound ever since. But do you know what I hate more? People who smash pumpkins for fun.”
Winking Man takes a little packet of sugar from the chrome holder on his table for one and he shakes from side to side and says, “That truly is a character flaw.”
And then the light turns green and as it does a truck- a big orange truck runs his red light and the two gold cars were gone in a haze of black and blue smoke and flames.
Winking Man tears open his little packet of sugar opens up his mouth and tosses the sparkling crystals in.
He looks very pleased with himself.
He smiles back.
“So what do you think?”
“That beats Ice Cube Races alright.” I admit.
“But do you know what is better then pulling silly tricks like that? “ I said pointing to the wreck in the middle of the street.
“No, I cannot say I do.”
I get up and go to Winking Man’s table and whisper in his ear “Putting rat poison into sugar packets.”