To Harry.

To Harry.

A man came into my work this evening.
He sat at my empty bar, and told me he wanted to order some take out for he and his wife.
“What do you recommend?” he said.
My stock answer is the scallops.
He told me that his wife loved scallops.
I wondered, though, how far he might have to drive.

“To Children’s Hospital,” he said, not looking at me.

I still wonder about the customer/bartender relationship.
It stalls me out sometimes.

So I made other, more travel-friendly suggestions..
Cleaned a bit behind the bar..
Then came back and said, “So.. Children’s?”

“My son is there. My youngest of three. He’s six.”
His wife hadn’t left the hospital in 36 days, since their youngest had developed Encephalitis.
He began seizing and hasn’t stopped.
For 36 days.

His wife hadn’t left the hospital but once to go to her uncle’s funeral.
He traveled from Appleton, WI every day to come and visit the both of them.

“He’s on the mend,” he said about his baby.
“He has wild, long, blond hair.. We had to trim it because he had been pulling it.”

If I could describe to you the way this man’s eyes lit up talking about this boy..

“Does he like his hair long?”
“That’s his mother’s doing.”
“You pick your battles?”
“What do I care? He’s going to be good looking no matter what he does to his hair. He’s my kid.”

His name is Harry.
And Harry and I share a birthday.

Harry’s dad told me he hoped to never see me again.
And then he left his credit card.

I told him I’d think about Harry with my birthday.
And I will.