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Word Count: 392
A Clean Well-Lighted Place begins with a description of a quiet outdoor caf at dusk A deaf old man who is a regular costumer at the caf sits at a table under a tree slowly drinking himself to a state of unconsciousness as usual Preparing to close two waiters speak to themselves about the elderly gentleman one telling the other that the man tried to kill himself the week before Soon the man demands another bottle of brandy and the younger waiter angrily gives in telling the deaf man You should have killed yourself last week as he pours him another glass The waiter returns inside and the two caf workers continue their conversation about the old mans suicide attempt The younger waiter who says that he never gets to bed before three oclock and that his wife is waiting for him seems especially angered at the patrons continued presence It seems the old man is very lonely and has no remaining family save perhaps his niece who cut him down from the rope with which he tried to hang himself the previous week Throughout the conversation the young waiter continues to insult the old man calling him a nasty thing The older waiter defends the senior however saying that he is clean and dignified in his drunkenness Finally the young waiter or the waiter with a wife as Hemingway refers to him forces the man to pay the bill and soon the man leaves Cleaning up the old waiter dispenses a few words of wisdom to his younger colleague telling him that he identifies with the old mans desire to stay up all night drinking feeling the need to keep the caf a clean well-lighted place open for anyone who needs it Now alone the old waiter continues his train of thought deciding that life is meaningless He recites to himself the Lords Prayer except he removes all references to God and
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