I can’t eavesdrop on the man in today’s coffeeshop. He’s utterly silent, mouthing words and gesturing to an invisible person beside him. Yet there’s something about his gestures and his mouthed words–they seem too coherent, too sane. His clothes are unkempt, but not dirty. And he’s so quiet.
I find myself wondering whether his disorder is scripted, a project to see how those of us pretending not to see him react.
Then I see that beneath the table, his foot twitches. Somehow that slight uncontrolled movement is the first thing that makes me believe everything he’s doing may be real.
As if reading my thoughts, he looks at me, or maybe at a point in space behind me, and whispers his first audible words. “I’m crazy,” he says, and nods.
And then he goes back to talking to his invisible companion.