The security guard stepped out of the bakery, his wrinkled navy
blue uniform baggy around his tightly cinched belt. He wore
comfortable shoes with thick white socks. He walks a lot during the
day, so comfort remains high on his priorities. He had gone into the
bakery to get a cafecito, a small coffee in a tiny white
styrofoam cup. Soon he would return to patrolling the tiny strip mall.
On his way through the swinging glass door, he jostled the full little cup and spilled
hot coffee on his fingers. Our man held on though, held on for dear
life. I could see the pain in his face, but he wasn’t going to give
up that coffee.
– now he had hot sticky coffee all over his hand. No napkin – he
checked his pants – clean. He sighed mild relief, the
uniform would go for one more day without washing. He exchanged the
cup to his left hand and shook off the drops, and turned looking for
something upon which to wipe his little fingers. He reached out to a
yellow metal pole, a parking barrier, its top peeling paint and, after
a quick glace around to see if anyone was looking, wiped his hand upon
its top, down the side, and gave it a slap.
He brought the cup to his lips and gingerly took a sip.