by Chris Starr
￼July 9, 1997.
Joseba closed and locked the front door behind him. Keys in hand, he crossed through the front room, not bothering to turn on the lights. He passed the counter and the seven tables that constituted the seating in Haritz, his father’s restaurant. His restaurant, since his father had passed, and really since he had taken over day-to-day operations, several years ago now. But he still often thought of Haritz as his father’s.
The seven tables were exactly where his father had placed them 30 years ago, when he had opened this place. Thick, dark oak, rough-hewn and solid: these were not tables you stacked one on top of the other at the end of the night. These were not accessories, but artifacts: you cleaned around them. And so it was that Joseba navigated the darkness without thought, crossing past the kitchen door and down the hallway to the office where he used a different key and went inside.