Seasonal Note:
Spring Fever, Reflected in Tranquillity
18 April 2019

¶ Spring, although keeping on the cold side, seems to have arrived. And with it, memories of old excitements. Spring! The very air was dance music. At the barber shop yesterday, Cookie, the junior barber, who can’t be as young as I think he is because he has been young like this for many years now — Cookie was dancing, slightly but perceptibly, whilst cutting a customer’s hair. Rock ‘n roll pulsed from the speakers. Spring used to be the one time of year when I could bear rock ‘n’ roll. Now, though, I asked Tito, who was cutting my hair, if he couldn’t turn down the sound a little. He went over to the receiver and turned it down a lot. “Thanks,” I said, “but you didn’t need to turn it down that much.” “It was getting on my nerves,” he remarked. Even though Tito is only slightly older than Cookie, he prefers Aïda. “Why didn’t you complain before?”  

It used to be great fun to be foolish in the indulgence of spring fever. Now it is fun to remember foolishness without repeating it.  

Afterward, I walked to the Shake Shack. I had already walked to the barber shop but was feeling fine. At the Shake Shack counter, my order was taken, somewhat unusually, by a guy who appeared to be in a managerial position. Instead of giving me one of those blinking-light alarm doodads that go off when your order is ready, he told me that if I had a seat outside he would bring my tray to me. It was just nice enough to sit outside in comfort — I was wearing a heavy cardigan — and very nice to be waited on, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about being treated as an old man. Maybe the manager-trainee was treating me as a big old man, someone best got out of the way in the crowded area where people wait for their burgers. In any case, I felt like a first-class rube when I took a seat outside without a buzzer. Had I just bought a piece of the Brooklyn Bridge? I did have my receipt…

When the guy brought me the tray, he asked me to make sure that the fries were still warm. “I’ve been running around,” he said. 

I forgot to tell Kathleen about my odd experience at Shake Shack, but when she heard about Tito turning the sound down she asked, “Didn’t Cookie object?” “Of course not, I replied. “I am the Capitán.” Ludicrous but true. 

And from the Shake Shack I walked home. Then I got tired. 


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