Short Story by Etgar Keret at Tin House

Tin House has a short story form Etgar Keret.

Every night, after she had finally left him, he’d fall asleep in a different spot: on the sofa, in an armchair in the living room, on the mat on the balcony like some homeless bum. Every morning, he made a point of going out for breakfast. Even prisoners get a daily walk in the yard, don’t they? At the café they always gave him a table set for two, and sat him across from an empty chair. Always. Even when the waiter specifically asked him whether he was alone. Other people would be sitting there in twos or threes, laughing or tasting each other’s food, or fighting over the bill, while Avichai sat by himself eating his Healthy Start—orange juice, muesli with honey, decaf double espresso with warm low-fat milk on the side. Of course it would have been nicer if someone had sat down across from him and laughed with him, if there had been someone to argue with over the bill and he’d have to struggle, to hand the money to the waitress saying, “Don’t take it from him! Mickey, stop. Just stop! This one’s on me.” But he didn’t really have anyone to do that with, and breakfast alone was ten times better than staying home.

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