Paris cafe

Waiting is a pastime when it comes to my father. It has always been this way. His human clock is wound with fumbling hands. It is both unnerving and wonderful.

Each Saturday for the past six years, my father and I have had a cafe date on Rue Montorgueil. Like many pleasurable things, it has become a willful routine. Lately, I’ve asked him if he needs a ride. Walking is now hard labor for him; his knees are a tumble of mischievous bones. He always waives off my offer. “Like the rest of me, there is no warranty,” he says, laughing. “But walking is what I’ve always done.”

My father’s habitual tardiness and damaged body have made my pastime all the more acute. And I worry some days that I won’t see him rounding the corner, fresh daisies in hand for me. I sit by the window and stare at the intersection, thinking about the Saturday he won’t arrive.

Photo: Chris JL


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