a little cafe on 6th street in Pedro

went in about 1:30 p.m.
ordered the turkey sandwich
on wheat plus some
decafe,
opened the paper and
waited:

two men to my left
talking:
“well, I wasn’t going to
say anything but I looked at
your haircut and I saw
something was
wrong…

“yeah, I was watching her
in the mirror and I thought,
‘hey, what’s she doing’?”

“I noticed it right
away…”

“you should have said
something…”

they went on talking about
the haircut and I went on
reading.

the sandwich and decafe
arrived with a side order
of
slaw and I began
eating.

“she should have taken more
off the left side…”

“yeah, yeah, she’s always given
me a good cut before…”

“yeah, I mean, it doesn’t look
bad but somehow it doesn’t look
right, you know?”

“I know… I might not go
back…”

then
one of the men
asked for some
cherry pie:

“I really like your
cherry pie…”

“me too!…”

I finished my meal
left the tip
got up and walked to the
cash register near the
door.

the men were into their
cherry pies:

“I wasn’t going to say
anything, it’s really not a
big thing, you know… but
I thought I’d better tell
you…”

“oh, I knew…”

“it’ll all grow out, you’ll
be all right…”

“when it does, I don’t think
I’m going back…”

“it’s not that bad, it’s
just…”

I paid and walked outside
and my car was there and
I got in and drove away
but I had to stop for a red
light
at Pacific
and
the turkey on wheat and
the slaw and the
decafe
huddled and bucked in
my stomach

and as I got the green
I thought
I might not
go back there.