Old Man: The elderly, deaf gentleman
who drinks gracefully near the back of the cafï¿½, outside, is the main subject of discussion for the
waiters, who are starting to close up for the night. The waiters gossip with one another about
the man's attempted suicide the previous week, and speculate about other aspects of his life.
It seems the man drinks at the cafï¿½ every night, alone, to pass the time in a clean, well-lighted environment.
Young Waiter: The young waiter
is impatient with the old man, hoping to return home to his wife by a decent hour. He doesn't
understand how important it is to offer such a clean, well-lighted place to his customer.
Older Waiter: The veteran waiter,
like Hemingway, understands the deeper things in life, believing strongly that he must keep the cafï¿½
open in order to let others stay in the light, as he wishes also to remain in the light. Unable
to bear the darkness of his world, the waiter walks the streets late in the night, not being able to
sleep until morning.