Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday afternoon in real life

Interesting things happen at the coffee shop.

There’s a couple I gaze over my laptop sitting across from each other at a table for four. Both well-dressed, older and he’s stroking her hand. His body leans forward as he looks at her, straight up on his tail bone. He’s completely engaged. They talk in low tones, his hand moving up to the fleshy part of her elbow where fingers now run in large circles. Trying to figure out their story. Perhaps a stop in a clandestine affair, stolen moments away and coffee-flavored kisses. With a little tongue. Are they potential paramours who’ve shared saucy thoughts and desires online, in a phone call or two, meeting in the flesh for the first time?

I had that meeting in this coffee shop. Just felt a smile creep right to left recalling it now. Flushed-hot cheeks, anticipation and chemical reaction. Wish that could be bottled to sniff at will.

Next table over is a girl who looks familiar. No, a woman. My shy eavesdropping tells me the gentleman in a powder blue dress shirt and blonde in a similar hued fitted jacket are financial advisers…no, realtors. The conversation eases into familiarity, talk of bathing dogs and college graduation. Then they speak about it.

She always has to talk about it to some extent doesn’t she?

I thought it was her from a picture in a magazine. A recent picture, a “Where are they now?” montage. I knew it was her when she said she attended the 10-year ceremony in April, said it may be the last, maybe until 20, time to move on from remembrance. She was shot at Columbine and survived. I even know her name, first and last. I know her mother, long-depressed, walked into a Denver pawn shop soon after, asked to see a gun and when the clerk turned away loaded one bullet from her purse into it then shot through her head.

I’m intrigued by the mind of a killer, the why, all the details. Reading a new book, a very good one, that delves further into what motivated them (if anyone can determine those things that breathe only within ones head and heart, speculation really).

Now sitting feet from me is this vibrant woman - she must be in her mid-to-late twenties now, yes? - poised, straight up and solid in a wheelchair, a result of those minds. It’s awkward to know so much about a person you don’t know, odder yet to want to soak up more. She doesn’t seem to notice the old hippie who haunts this place with nosey skills as defined as my own give a long look back on his way out.

She’s not just the news story, or chapters in a book. She has a warm, throaty laugh and releases it often.

It sounds alive.

Interesting things happen at the coffee shop.


dan said...

this is the kind of stuff that makes life so rich. your eye is unerring; it feels like I was there. I'm now on a new commute on a much less interesting bus line, and I already feel a sense of loss...

Jodie Kash said...

Heart you, Dan ;)

Sorta wish I'd have told her that her laugh sounded like life to me. Maybe someday I can.

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

Sitting in a coffee shop is would be very interesting if we could read people like we read books.

I see many people who I have read about and sometimes I feel a little guilty that I know something about them and they know nothing about me.

Jodie Kash said...

Yeah, it's like someone not knowing you've glanced their Facebook page; got some goods, made some decisions (perhaps) already.

And waaayyyyy too much of my business is online.

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