This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.
He always ordered the same dish.
When you found something special why would you bother working your way through the menu?
The cafe was incredibly loud; the noise was coming mostly from the bar area.
It was one of those cafes that tried to have it both ways, and the bright young things who worked in the city were only too pleased to oblige.
Earlier in the week it had been quieter, but come Friday night and the noise registered on the Richter scale.
It hurt his ears when he first walked in but amazingly, he got used to it very quickly.
Humans can be very adaptable.
The cafe had an excellent red wine ‘by the glass.’
He got to know the staff very well after his first visit. They were friendly and looked after him really well.
For forty years he had dined as one half of a couple, but now his wife had gone away and he was dining alone.
It was a strange experience at first, but like most things in life, he got used to it.
His routine was to eat at the cafe and then go wandering through the city in search of coffee.
When he found an interesting spot he would sit, sip and read. Sometimes he would write when the mood took him.
The drive home took about an hour preceded by a short walk through the park.
Counting possums along the way was part of the ritual.
A long drive, late at night is not a hardship. There is time to think and opportunities to imagine.
At the end of the journey there would be excited fluffy white dogs and a warm bed.
Life was good.