The Man at Starbucks

There is an Asian man who sits in the Starbucks in the highrise that I work at. I presume he’s homeless mostly because he’s there every single day, all day long. He sets himself up at the same table, spreading out the notebooks that contain his manifesto. He also has a 17″ laptop that looks about 4 inches thick that he uses surfs the Internet.

Earlier this year, you could find him scribbling things into a wall calendar. He seemed to be planning something big for 2019, because he was hunched over that thing for days on end. I tried to get in close, but I couldn’t make out what he was writing. Which reminds me, I really need to get new glasses.

When he’s not writing, he watches a lot of Youtube videos. A LOT. I know this because occasionally I sit near him to figure out what he does all day. I know this sounds way weirder than sitting at Starbucks all day. Since his laptop is bigger than my first TV, I can tell that he watches dated music videos of Asian pop stars. He also loves some Asian soap operas or something like of that ilk, because he also watches a lot of those. It’s nothing I would ever recognize. He’s never sitting there watching clips of Jimmy Kimmel.

He also pulls around a utility cart wrapped with bungee cords and stuffed with his belongings. One time, I spied a 64-oz jar of Vlasic sweet pickle relish in there. I watched him widdle it down over the course of several days and was convinced he was going to get ill. Who can eat that volume of sweet pickles? Without refrigeration? I can’t even imagine. This man’s stomach must be made of steel.

Shortly after the pickle sighting, he stopped showing up at all. I was convinced he got food poisoning and was in Harborview Hospital getting treatment. Days stretched into weeks and then it was over a month. I got so worried about him that I asked the security desk what happened to him. “Did you kick him out?” I asked. The security guard replied, “Lady, we don’t kick anyone out.” That is so true.

Just when my coworker (who is also obsessed with him) and I were convinced he was gone forever, he reappeared. I wanted to give him a hug, but I’m not a hugger. But I smiled at him instead. He didn’t see it because he was too busy watching Youtube.

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the personal blog of

giyen kim

Hey there, welcome! This blog is my journal, writing space and where I share the things I want other people to know about. I post every Tuesday, sometimes more, but never less.

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