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Old Habits in a Fresh New Life

By Nicholas May

Copyright 2012 by Nicholas May

Published by Nicholas May at


“I don’t want to kill you,” I said.

“That’s ok,” the man holding the gun said. “I don’t think you’re really going to have to worry about it.”

“I worry a lot though,” I said.

“I can understand why,” the mugger said. “You do have a gun pointed at you.”

“Oh that,” I said. “I rarely worry about that.”


I sat there at the outdoor café, having pastrami on rye for lunch with steak fries. The sandwich was good, the fries a bit greasy but I wasn’t complaining, and the coffee was excellent. I hadn’t been out in public in a year, and sitting there in the open, unrecognized by anyone was probably the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done, and I have done my share of exhilarations.

The waitress told me her shift was ending and that I needed to square up my tab, but I wasn’t done enjoying the fresh air yet so I just gave her a fifty dollar tip, and asked her to tell her replacement to keep the coffee coming. It really was outstanding coffee.

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