Never could figure him out. Sat there every night at the end of the bar lookin’ at people. Folks would drink and carry on. Some would get loud, boisterous; bartender would tell them to settle down. He’d just watch.
And they’d keep refillin’ his pint glass with ice and Dr. Pepper. A big man, he’d drink em down just as quick as they’d fill em; must’ve gone through eight or nine by the time he’d leave. But, he never got bossy or asked em for a refill. He just sat quietly, waiting, then thank em. Most polite fellow you ever met. There was a mystery bout him.
None of the young folks would talk to him. They’d look at him though with eyes shut, not bein’ able to see his beauty; wore the same old sweater every night. Could be a hundred outside and he’d still wear it; a white V-neck with reindeer on it. I guess Christmas was his favorite time of year; wore shorts all year round too. Could never figure him out.
Some said he was just a lonely old man while others told tales of some lady friend in Chicago. Never got a word out of him. Couldn’t tell ya.
At times he’d be gone for a stretch or two. Usually from middle of the month till the end. Said he didn’t have any money, just social security. It’d run out on him and he’d starve the rest of the month. Either that or go to St. Mary’s for soup.
Times I’d see him walk round town, but, mostly on that barstool. Never could figure him out.