The man with the dirtiest hands

Dirty Hands(Full disclosure: I stole this one out of an old notebook from high school, when I was a barista in an espresso bar.)

You grab your small coffee.

Medium, if it’s early.

You hand over your change with hands that are careful and calloused.

I feel guilty for hesitating at your touch, but – you have the dirtiest hands I’ve ever seen. As if it wouldn’t matter if you washed them.

I’m intrigued by the bits of you I’ve collected. How you refuse to accept the title “sir,” pretend you’d never argue with a woman, and wouldn’t take a million dollar prize – you’d rather earn it. You clean up real nice when it suits you, but your rugged voice never does quite match the suit.

You don’t look like the type who has a lot to spare, yet whether for a friend or a stranger, the coffee is always on you.

Your name is D***, I think you said? You fix roofs and you prefer to wear a hat; I can tell. You tip so nicely, with a wink telling me that I know where that change should go. You’re messy, but a gentleman.

Each time you return, I try to remind myself that the dirt is only earth coating your palms and fingers.

That character doesn’t develop in the shower.