I think of ghosts as metaphors for memories

There was a fire in the café where I used to work. It was small; no one was hurt. Smoke filled the building, the sprinklers went off, and then the entire store was soaked.

Now, it is closed until further notice.

Today, I peered into the same window I used to look out of, and saw big, white, ghost-like tarps covering the familiar kitchen and tables.

I was in the café the evening before the fire. Galba was sitting in his usual seat, and I sat next to him, across from the counter that I stood behind all summer.

He handed me an envelope with my name on it. I opened it curiously. It was a love letter. His words, describing me at the counter, looking happy and smiling, felt as tender as the way I used to steam the peanut butter pie man’s green tea lattes each morning.

I’m sure that man is rankled now that he’s unable to follow his routine.