by Cloyd Campfire
About the closest I got to meeting anybody in traffic-choked Flagstaff was ~ Indians ~ Navajo Indians ~ of course. The first one was at the breakfast counter of the little touristy restaurant across the street that was dolled up in such a way as to be a replica of The Old West. I sat down a couple stools away from a pudgy old Indian. I said “hello.” He said “hello” back. And that was the end of that. I don’t think either one of us wanted to get to know the other.
But after I ordered biscuits and gravy and bacon, and after the steamy plate of grub arrived, I couldn’t help but note that he, the Indian under a cowboy hat a couple stools away, kept trying to get the waitress’s attention so that he could have his coffee cup refilled. He would hold it in the air but couldn’t get any waitress’s attention. So he sat there with his empty coffee cup on the counter in front of him and slumped into a fatalistic acceptance of his lot in life ~ which seemed to be an eternally empty coffee cup.
I wiped my plate clean ~ no more big helpings of biscuits & gravy & bacon. Hmm hmm good ~ although the bacon was somewhat ~ commercial. As I polished off my own cup of coffee, I couldn’t help but note that the Indian still sat there with his empty coffee cup infront of him. The waitresses were bustiling back n’ forth n’ all about but wouldn’t fill up the man’s cup. What was up with that? Was he some kind of troublemaker & were they trying to get rid of him? Had he already had eight refills? Or what?
I didn’t want to get involved. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I just wanted the check, to pay, and leave. But hombre, is this or is this not an injustice ~ an injustice to be acted upon & nullified?
“Can I get you anything else, Sir?” said the waitress ~ to me. I looked at her. Studied her for a moment. She was just another poor young hard-working gal.
“How ’bout getting me and that guy there some more coffee?”
She did as she was beckoned. The Indian nodded his thanks to her ~ and to me. I threw a grin back at him & picked up my check. I left my renewed cup of hot coffee untouched & a tip. At the cash register I payed the bill ~ then sauntered out the door ~ quite a guy.
Quite a guy!
Black Bart (photo)
Archangel Raphael (art)