He comes into the bookstore every night around 10 PM...at least, every night that I'm there. In fact, for some of the staff, his arrival is the harbinger of the long work-night being nearly over. When he comes in, sometimes he'll peruse the shelves a bit, sometimes he'll buy something from the cafe, but always he'll wind up in one of the booths in the cafe area. Often he brings in some notebooks and a legal pad, sometimes he'll bring a book and read. But always he'll sit there until it's about 10:58 or so, before he leaves and the store closes.
And I can't help wondering...why does he come so regularly? Why at that particular time? Maybe he is just getting off work then and the bookstore is a place to come and wind down before he goes home. Maybe he just likes to have the quiet place to collect his thoughts. Maybe he doesn't want to go home-- perhaps he lives alone and doesn't like the empty house. The bookstore is relatively quiet, but there are people there. Maybe it's a combination of the above. I'm sure I'll never know. But there's something comforting, comfortable and steady about his regular appearances. I don't know his story...but it's interesting to wonder. He's our 10:00 man.