Café Atlas

             All the chairs and tables in Café Atlas were arranged in neat rows. The manager, Greg, was a squat, dense man, billowy and unpatterned in his dress, but cropped short in his hair and beard, as though all measure of fastidiousness might be condensed to one aspect of grooming. He was also pathological in his awkwardness, and fully aware of the effect, but unable to resist the compulsion for another comment, joke – one not even intended, or believed, to be possibly funny – or otherwise discomforting behavior that afterward would sink him into an unbearable self-consciousness and resolve to change, a resolution immediately martyred at the next opportunity.

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