“over here honey! you can do it! smile!”
please don’t fall again please don’t fall again.
oh my god it’s freezing out here! how much longer do i have to stay?
“whoa! watch it! not too fast not too fast!”
five more minutes and then i will tell him it’s time to go.
“watch out for that woman! i told you to be careful!”
if i go inside the coffee shop i can still watch him from the window i think….
“you’re doing so much better than yesterday! i’m going to go get a coffee and warm up for a minute. you keep going though okay honey?”
hopefully no one watching thinks i’m a bad mother if i leave for 5 minutes. well what do i care it is freezing!
“beautiful spin! oh a jump too! look at you go!”
maybe i’ll make it an irish coffee. yes, definitely, i deserve it. it must be negative 10 degrees out here!
“one more picture! perfect i will email that one to grandma. i will be right back honey i love you!”
his name is samuel barber but his friends call him “sticky buns”. he isn’t sure which name is worse but generally goes along with sticky buns because he feels it is more original than sharing names with a famous american composer.
years back, when samuel was still in high school, he found himself unable to stand up from his chair at the end of biology class. it took multiple tries from various classmates and his teacher to unhook samuels ripped jeans pocket from the grasp of a stubborn screw in his chair. scissors were eventually called to the scene and the name “sticky buns” was born.
samuel likes to hang out, but doesn’t have many close friends. when the friends you have call you “sticky buns”, it seems to limit the potential depth of the relationship.
most of the time he prefers to ride alone anyway. he prefers not to be samuel barber. he prefers not to be sticky buns. alone he can just light one up and be whatever he feels like.
Arturo peered through the screen window at Glen outside. Arturo was not spying, per say, nor did he consider himself nosy. These screenings were habitual, daily, routine, practically natural. Arturo doubted anybody could handle Glen the way he personally liked to think that he himself “coped with him.”
This Monday proved pivotal for both men. Arturo observed Glen take the first sip of his coffee. The coffee was always prepared the same. Dark roast with half a sugar and two counts of two percent. Arturo knew this because he prepared it. Glen’s first sip gave him pause. Here we go, thought Arturo. Glen’s eyes narrowed. He brought his cigarette to his lips. He closed his eyes. Oh dear god, thought Arturo. It was the recipe for a reaming. Any moment now Arturo was prepared for Glen- eyes still closed- to sit up, get up, walk over to the screen window and-
No reaming. No chance. But no matter because Glen was on his feet like a gazelle and running as fast as a cheetah. He was first to the crime scene, two hundred yards around the corner from Arturo’s Artistic Coffee Shop. Glen was not a bad tipper, he was an arrogant cheapskate. Glen didn’t smoke a pack a day, he smoked two. To say that Glen existed in a cloud of smoke was an understatement for dwelling in a carcinogenic chimney. To Arturo, it seemed Glen was incapable of being pleased, rarely was he satisfied, and explosive were his expressions of dissatisfaction.
Nothing could change these cold hard facts that Arturo accurately observed. Frankly, Arturo hated him. But- when he watched Glen leap into the flames like a firefighter- when he watched the smoke engulf him- when he saw him disappear- Arturo’s judgement was suspended. And- as he watched Glen emerge- as he saw the smoke part to reveal him- and he saw the girl in his arms- Arturo felt…something. The ambulances appeared, sirens whined, neighbors loitered, chaos ensued. Glen lowered the girl to the pavement and again he disappeared from view, swarmed by the good guys and their medical instruments and professional attention. Arturo waited a long time until the crowds backed off and gave the horrifying scene some space. Finally, he saw Glen stand up, step back and light up a cigarette. He saw a hero.