As I sat in a booth at Panera Bakery, clutching my steaming hot chai tea latte, a slightly grungy looking man with a laptop and all sorts of journals sprawled out in front of me. The store manager seemed to know this man by name, although I cannot recall the name she called him. Awkwardly friendly with his startling “hello” and suspicious smile, I wondered how many hours of his week he spent in the restaurant. The trust he seemed to hold with the world around him was surprising to me. Countless times as I sat in my booth, he would stand from his table and leave the building, leaving all his belongings behind, only to reappear a bit later. I guess that once a person loses that sort of trust with the world, it is always a bit startling to see that others have still maintained it.
April 30, 2009