There are two waiters, one is young and another one is old, at a café at one late night. They have a customer who is an old deaf man, and he is already drunk. The young waiter doesn’t like the fact that the deaf customer is staying for a long time.
The waiters are talking about the deaf man’s attempting suicide. The deaf man asks one more glass of brandy, but the young waiter rejects it to close the café. The deaf man leaves.
The waiters watches the deaf man walks down the street after his leaving the café, and they compare the deaf man’s life to the their life.
After closing the café, the old waiter goes to a coffee bar and thinks his has nothing. He has a cup of drink and goes home, and then lies on his bed in the morning.
I had a really hard to time to follow when I read it first; I had to read it more than three times to understand this story. Especially, the narrator, third person point of view, isn’t providing enough explanation and description for the story. For instance, the conversation between two waiters are hard to figure which one says which part since the narration doesn’t specify it.
While the old waiter seems to have sympathy towards the deaf man, the young waiter doesn’t seem to like him; the young waiter doesn’t like the deaf man since the deaf man is just an old man who makes him go home late. But still, he was so rude! The young waiter’s attitude towards the world is mammonistic. He thinks that money defines happiness; he doesn’t understand the deaf man’s attempting suicide even though the deaf man has big money! It sounds just so foolish to me.
After the deaf man left, I could see the old waiter sees the deaf man as himself. Especially, given what the old waiter says from their conversation, the old waiter says he doesn’t have anything that the young waiter has, except his work, I could feel his pain about his loneliness and being old. That is why, the old waiter doesn’t want to go home while the young