Wednesday, July 15, 2015
In which the owner of my cafe dies
The first day I moved into my flat, he made me a chicken sandwich for a pound.
The cafe downstairs was always busy, explosively so when all the building work began in Kings Cross. Builders spilled out onto the tables in a dazzling array of massive arms and chips.
It was a great cafe. The set breakfasts were always puzzlingly huge (would the No 2 or the No 4 guarantee you'd be able to eat again that day?), and the corned beef omelette an unlikely jewel.
Even though I prefer to sit in the pub of a morning (the coffee was nicer), I'd still go in for the £2 eggs on toast, or for lunch with a friend. The prices never went up.
The owner was famously hard-working, always said hello, and was very kind about my awful Turkish.
When the cafe was shuttered at the weekend it seemed odd. Then the sign popped up.
Ah well, I thought. One of those sad little things. He worked so hard, he chain-smoked, he loved his own cooking - of course life wouldn't let him enjoy his success.
Turns out I was wrong.
There was a woman standing outside the cafe this morning, smoking a cigarette and crying.
"You know he got shot, didn't you?" she said.
Oh. Up until then I'd not connected the weekend's shooting in Wood Green with that sad little note. Why would I? But, of course, it turned out he'd worked hard, he'd made money, he'd opened a second business. And he'd sat down outside for a cup of coffee when he got shot.
Wood Green Shooting victim Erdgoan Guzel