too much butter

He started buttoning his shirt from the very top button: the one that is hidden by the knot of a tie. Most people start at the button 3 or 4 down and then work their way up or down like a beagle following the scent of some wounded animal; or maybe a black lab, golden retriever mix with the buttons like small cookies as she makes her way along the outdoor seating area of a bakery.

He owned a small restaurant that was very expensive and didn't have many tables. The only hors d'oeuvre was an entire stick of butter elegantly presented adorned with edible flowers and drizzled with extremely rare olive oil; olive oil created from olives picked from a tree outside the kitchen and ground using human-powered grindstones. A single, toasted piece of bread was served cleaved into the mass of butter; wedged like airplane wreckage among an earth made of dairy. 

Customers would be served this dish, no matter their desires, before their meal. Without fail, they would look cautiously around the restaurant trying to gauge if they were, in fact, supposed to eat the entire stick of butter with only the single dried piece of bread. Since there were so few tables and eating times were always staggered, they had no reference, and fearing embarrassment about not being part of the in crowd, they would consume the entire serving of butter on the tiny cracker; a dairy haystack overburdening a small wagon made of wheat.

When he went home from work, his nose would always be running, but he refused to carry a handkerchief. Instead, he stared up at the ceiling of the metro pretending to examine the route map, letting the snot drip down the back of his throat.

He was usually home by 11.