The man who got off the bus looked a lot like an old Motorcycle Club member, gone to seed. He also could have been a newly paroled prisoner. He walked to the ticket agent who felt a little apprehension as he approached.
“Where can I get a bowl of soup, and a cup of coffee close by?” the tall gray haired man asked.
“There aren’t many place close by,” the agent replied.
“Don’t need but one,” the old man said with a stone face.
When you leave the waiting room through that door over there.” The ticket agent pointed to the front door. “Turn right, then go two block and turn right again on Church street. About half way down the block on the left is the Downtown Diner. They have coffee for sure. They might have soup.”
“Thanks,” the old man with the bearing of a soldier or maybe a weight lifter, said.
The agent watched the old man exited the waiting room carrying a small canvas overnight bag. He was glad to see him go frankly. The man walked out the door and turned right. He noticed that the whole left side of the main street was a railroad track. He could imagine that the trains once kept the town busy. These days the tracks had grass growing between them. The trains still came through, but none stopped.
He walked slowly across the parking lot then into the door of the Downtown Diner. It was a cleaned up relic of the past. He liked that it was still a diner, even with the grease missing from the walls.
He looked at the blackboard with the menu pages hanging from the bottom. On the blackboard someone had written soup of the day “Navy bean with carrots”. He didn’t mind the carrots too much.
“What will it be,” the chubby teenaged looking waitress asked.
“A large bowl of bean, onions, cornbread and a cup of coffee,” he said.
“Coming right up,” she said.
When she returned with his soup, she was careful not to spill it. She also brought a basket with two corn muffins in it. He nodded acknowledging her service. Then he ate the soup, and the muffins. He washed it down with the complimentary water, and the coffee.