1001 Black Men–#135

During the last week or so, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to older men. I saw this man at the Starbucks off the Dutton and Estudillo exit of I-580, in San Leandro. I noticed him, because when I am at a cafe I notice everyone who comes in just to read and relax.  I go to cafes to work, with my laptop and my notes. I’m sort of a telecommuter and if I do take a moment to read a newspaper or magazine article, it’s a guilty pleasure because I know I should be writing or grading a paper or poring over some electronic database.  This gentleman came in with his Economist magazine, ordered one of those fancy coffees with whip cream on top, and proceeded to enjoy reading and drinking his beverage for the next couple hours. He was–in a word–chillin’. He read his magazine cover to cover, taking generous breaks to listen in on the conversations around him. The expression he is wearing in this drawing is the face he made while listening to a particularly bizarre conversation between two young customers who were talking about popular music and fashion trends. With his mouth slightly opened, this man couldn’t even hide his curiosity or the fact that he was eavesdropping. And yet the young companions at the next table didn’t even seem to notice him at all. It’s one of the curious side-effects of aging, I think. It seems that as people get older they somehow become invisible to those who are young; but I have a feeling that it’s those of us who overlook the presence of older folks who are truly missing out.


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