The Old Man in the Pink Towel

He looked like Hawaiian Danny Trejo but with an extra 60 pounds.

His walk was predictably slow, dragging his worn out flip-flops, who’s foam had long ago given away underneath yellow rusting feet. The kind of shoes that had been flattened for so long by this massive man that I can only wonder what kind of support they could have ever offered him.

As he approaches me with purpose, I am uncertain if I am more intimidated by his collection of tattoos done in that classically Jail-ish style, or of his thick black panhandle ‘stache. When combined with his slow menacing shuffle and overwhelming size, I am left a little tightly wound as he stops and stands over me, as Im sitting down as I wait for my food.

“Can I sit here.” Said the mustache, with no affect assistance from either his eyes or lips.It wasn’t really a question. The ogre was pointing directly across from me. I imagine the whole picnic table tilting his direction as he sat down, like a house perched on the edge of a cliff in an ancient Chaplin film.

“Sorry buddy, my wife’s sitting there.” It wasn’t a lie but it sure sounded like one.

“You should leave her.” Said the mustache on top of the deadpan face.

“I tried, but she keeps coming back.”At that his face cracked and the mustache gave away to a somewhat full set of teeth, all of which seemed to unravel from his face, the way a drawbridge opens over an impossibly wide moat. His eyes lit up a little more as he took a big sip from a bottle dressed in a paperbag, which appeared from somewhere within his massive hand.

He proceeded on his shuffling routine to another seat on the other side of the BBQ shop, wearing nothing but a big pink towel and his old lady hula tattoos.

“You see the guy in the towel?” Linzay would ask later.

“Yeah, He’s cool.” I wished him a good day as we left with our greasy stack of beef short ribs and rice.  He gave me nod and returned to his can.

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