He sat at the only outside table at the Italian sub shop next to the post office. Defying the Sunday morning heat, he sat, smoking a Camel, his hands huge around that six ounce styrofoam coffee cup.
After I dropped my letter over in the weekend drop box I walked back toward my van. Offered another look at the old gent, wearing khakis and blue checked shirt, then said "aren't you hot sitting out here?"
"Nope", he said. "Grew up in West Texas where this would be called a 'cool spell".
"That so?" "What kept you busy over in West Texas?"
"Wildcatting on oil rigs." (I wasn't going to get much out of this guy).
I looked down at his hands. They were huge...scarred, battered....as big as a kid's catcher's mitt.
"Been in Arizona long?"...the familiar greeting in a state that's taken in a couple of million transplants over the decades.
"Nope", he offered.
"Enjoying your retirement now?"
"Not quite", he said...as if every word cost him a dime.
"What kind of work you do?"
"Fix refrigerators", he answered.
I looked down again at those hands. And I believed him, the scars and cuts clear evidence of when the tin snips and cutters slipped.
I wished him well, climbed back in my van, grabbed one more look at him through my windshield. As I pulled out of the parking slot he lit up another Camel and raised that styrofoam cup to his lips....the white of styrofoam nearly lost in those big hands.