The man was carefully counting the number of seats, for instance, and making sure that every guest would have a plate. But even though he was carrying out all the preparations on his own, he didn’t miss a trick. He even set up decorations, laid out party hats and placed a fancy cake at the center of the table.
For Rodriguez and everyone else in the restaurant, then, it may have become clear that it was the man’s birthday and that he was hosting a little celebration. And once the anonymous man had everything sorted out to his satisfaction, he took a seat at the decorated table. But perhaps no-one around him could have expected his festivities to fall quite so flat.
Indeed, although the birthday boy sat by himself waiting patiently for his guests to arrive, there was no sign of any partygoers. And after a while, people in the venue couldn’t help but notice the awkward situation that had developed. Still, even though the man had been alone for an uncomfortable length of time, he continued to wait in anticipation.