Tau

Into the caffeteria

walks an old man

too poor to retire

he goes to make instant coffee

frantically spooning 8 tablespoons of sugar

into his small plastic cup

muttering incoherently

he adds boiling water

the cup overflows

scalding his hand

sugary black liquid paints tau over the counter

as he strirs incessantly

he fumbles the spoon into the sink with a clank

as a young colleague resemblant of his son

looks at him with pitiful contempt –

it doesn’t register.

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