Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mr G's

Ben Gemel was hungry. He stalked past darkened storefronts, stared down a dazed hobo, and stood starkly at the corner of 5th and Elm. Ben Gemel had never been here before. He had only been in this city for a few hours. He looked south down 5th, east on Elm, north up 5th, and west on Elm, looking for some glow that might call out 'food sold here'. It was just after four in the morning. Ben Gemel saw a yellow glow, on a corner two blocks west. He read the letters on the sign, block letters arranged in two lines. "MR G'S DINE IN". A sign in the window said Mr G's opened at 4am. The menu looked reasonable. Ben Gemel started walking.

Ben Gemel had superior visual acuity. When he entered the Service, he was immediately singled out. The staff optometrician determined that his acuity was on the order of 20/2. He could get by fine without binoculars. At night, Ben Gemel could read a menu in a diner window from a thousand feet away. He could recognize a face at 5000 feet. He could do better when both eyes were good.

Approaching Mr G's, Ben Gemel noticed that the sky had cleared. He could see stars, and the approach of sunlight. Venus was over the horizon. Ben Gemel thought of Dalen Rutger. Was he angry? He probably was. It would be hard to keep one's composure, after such a humilation. When Ben Gemel reached Mr G's entrance, he paused. He looked through the round window at the top of the door, and imagined that he saw Dalen Rutger sitting at the counter, staring into his cup of coffee.

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