The way the grain goes.

It was a simple place, unembarrassed with pretension, as if invented just for him. Salt, dust, formica over hardwood. Thousands had sat here, face to face, fork to knife, questions to answers. Sons with lovers, loners with strangers, bankers with secrets. The perfect setting for what it's all about. "Time will not save you when the time comes," he half whispered to an empty glass, dregslimed and cold. Its small tears dripped slowly to the table, puddling. Grand plans, big places, games and trips and months and souls...all long lost, but leaving still that tree strength, plumb certainty and an unconqueable optimism. He hard won it in the hardest places. Before sunrise, aching, cold, alone. Wood, nails, hammering on. Measure, cut, builder man. "And then the whole world falls on you", said still with a smile. Rough truths he sanded over so I wouldn't get splintered. I'm ten again, sharing a table with my dad.