Empathy

This text, written by Albert Aribaud <albert.aribaud@free.fr>, proofread in French on the (late) Atelier de Création Littéraire, is published under Creative Commons by-nc-nd (attribution, no commercial usage, no modification) license; for any use incompatible with this license, contact the author. The attribution constraint implies keeping this paragraph just before or just after the text title. The text may be reproduced in any file format as long as it does not contain any digital rights management mechanism.

I am sitting at the terrace of the café, savoring the fact, firstly that there still are some cafés left with a terrace to sit at, and secondly that this one is close enough that I can stop there from time to time on my way to work.

My coffee (decaffeinated, for health reasons) is kindly waiting for me to finish drinking it, while I read my morning paper and wait for for a lab colleague whose arrival I check for with a quick glance after each news item.

As I cast one of these glances, I notice the individual stationed on the pavement across the street. Stationed is the word : he is staring at me, unmoving among the passers-by. His gaze crosses mine, and that is, I am sure, what sets him in motion toward me […]