Three times a week, no more, no less, my local café is frequented by one of the gentlemen who works the front desk at the post office.
He has gentle, sensible hair and I imagine he washes it three times a week with a preventative product like ZP11.
His feet are encased in those black sneakers that have somehow snuck in as an unfortunate alternative to men’s dress shoes, but they allow him to walk quietly, unnoticed.
Three times a week he has two toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches washed down with a strawberry milkshake.
He sits against the wall, facing away from the door. He has no need to observe the passing traffic.
I imagine that every afternoon he finishes work happy to work an extra seven minutes but no longer, otherwise he would miss the first bus home. He walks a flat and easy stroll to his ground floor apartment, a neatly kept, spartan home, with only one spare towel in the linen press.
He changes out of his uniform and allows himself to leave it lying neatly over the back of a chair he inherited when his grandmother passed away. It is over stuffed and sits too low to the ground to be comfortable, but he sees no need to have it replaced.
He owns a tv, but it is surrounded by hundreds of plastic army figurines blu-tacked to the surface of the table.
The postman likes to recreate famous past battles, reenacting them one minute a day, meticulously moving the soldiers about the table, blu-tacking them back down again in their new position.
Those ones killed in battle are stored in colour-coded ice cream buckets labeled with red permanent marker.
Dinner is frozen fish and chips and micro waved peas and gravy. The gravy is made from gravox with a dash of vegemite. It’s a trick his grandmother taught him.
Dessert is two scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate topping, but not the kind that sets hard.
A quick shower, towel drying the ZP11 hair (because you shouldn’t go to bed with a wet head) and he’s in bed reading a Biggles novel by 10pm.
This is today’s profile of a stranger…