Saturday, March 22, 2008
overheard at the coffeeshop
I peer over my glasses to see who is here at the neighborhood coffeeshop this morning... There is the black man who looks like he might be a professor, always here on the weekends with his teenage daughter. He usually is reading a book, while the daughter looks bored to tears, and they don't talk. She keeps looking around, and every few minutes she picks up her cell phone, either desperately hoping for a text message or maybe playing Tetris on the phone. This morning, though, there is that guy sitting with them -- the older white guy with the white beard and wearing a cap that makes him look like a 1917 Bolshevik -- and when he sits with them, the two men never stop talking. I can never hear what they are saying, so I imagine they are discussing the book the Bolshevik might be writing, or maybe they are plotting the Revolution.. No, I don't think that's it -- If it were something that interesting, the daughter wouldn't look like she's ready to blow her brains out.
Then Jim and Ruth, retired friends of ours, stop over at my table, as they always do, to see what book I'm reading. What's refreshing about them is that they have usually at least heard of whatever it is. A couple tables away are the two slightly overweight cops eating their muffins and hoping that people don't stop at their table to tell them about the new graffiti on the building next door, graffiti reports being something they say isn't their job any more. Then next to them is the guy who seems nice but talks to himself. I get the impression he might have fried his mind on something, and he always has the look that he just got out of re-hab.
Students from the U start to drift in with their laptops. I finish my latte and trudge through the snow, Doctor Zhivago-like, down the street to my 9 a.m. haircut appointment and from there to the office. A lovely Saturday morning.