I hired a car to take me back to the port, and had the driver drop me at an eatery that was within walking distance of my gate. After he left, I just stood there and looked around. Throughout history, the docks have always been the rough part of town; it was no different here, but aside from a few glances at my crutches and then down at my feet, no one gave me a second look.
I walked into the eatery and bought myself the house special three times over. The waitress thought I was strange for ordering seconds and the cook came out himself when I ordered thirds.
“You ain’t big enough to eat that much. Where’re you putting it?” he asked.
“I was hungry,” I said lamely.
“Ain’t nobody ordered seconds before. Did you think it was good?”
I thought about it for a few moments. “It was good enough. It filled me up. It’s the best fill-up I’ve had in weeks,” I said, which was true.
The man laughed big. “For that one, boy, chow’s on me.” He walked back into the kitchen still laughing.
The waitress just shook her head and smiled as she waved me away from the register. “Like he said, chow’s on him. Beat it, space dust.”
I waved and made my slow way to my gate. After I checked in, I took a seat near a window where I could watch the field. I still had about an hour before my lift was ready to take off.