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TIMES ARE DIFFERENT By Kent L. Johnson

I poured a package of powdered cream into the inky coffee and stirred with a little stick. The black turned to blond and I pulled the stick out and watched the liquid swirl, creating an eddy that moved closer to the side of the cup, eventually stopping the movement. The cup was placed forward on the table and my pad and pen were positioned in front of me when I noticed him. I mean, really noticed him. He sat in the corner of a booth, next to a window. The midmorning light, illuminating him from behind. I paused, then stared at my pad, the yellow paper and neat little blue lines and thought about the ad copy I was being paid to write. I like to sit in the coffee shop and sip the strong brew and think. The caffeine, the smell, the ambiance, somehow force the creative juices from somewhere inside me and out to a report, a sketch, a clever saying. I've even been known to make up a riff, music, put a catchy phrase to it and we've got a radio ad that people will remember. That's how I made my living. I tilted my head up and at that moment, the man in the booth, opened a candy cane, the cellophane making a distinct sound as it slid off the green and white pole of hard sugar. He placed it in his coffee and stirred some cream into the cup, then removed the cane and placed it carefully on the small plate that held a scone just a minute before. A fedora, that was the style of his hat. You don't see people in hats very often any more. Yeah, a baseball cap once in a while, and if it is freezing out, perhaps a stocking cap, but not a hat that is meant entirely for fashion. I remember seeing those hats in old black and white movies shown late at night on a classic movie station. The men in those movies wore too big suits and pushed their hats down deep over their foreheads, at just the right angle to give the appearance of cockiness, or toughness, or perhaps comedy. It's funny what you can do with a hat; display a state of emotion or anxiety, with just the angle and gait of it on your head. Some of those men in the movies talked tough, or got Page 30 of 50

The Weekenders Magazine: Issue 8  
The Weekenders Magazine: Issue 8  

Issue 8! Enjoy.