Cafe Culture

Two people, a man and woman, mid-twenties, sit in separate arm chairs by the window. His shaved head and dark, circled eyes look almost sinister until he smiles and a wonderful warmth lights up his face. “God damn, I’m glad to be inside”-his accent says he is not used to the weather. The girl sits a foot or so away. You can see pale skin trying to show itself under her merging freckles, she has recently travelled somewhere warm. Her hair is dry like straw, maybe she was somewhere very warm. The space between them is filled with their warm winter coats piled up like a wooly mound, and their hands hang off the arms of their seats above the mound. Every now and again fingers twitch, moving ever closer together, until he brushes her right pinkie with his left. Secretly, they are more than just friends.

A dedicated follower of fashion sits over a boulder sized latte, speaking like a hyperactive squirrel into her phone. She habitually chips the polish from her nails, then stares at her fingers, either examining the damage she has done or trying to discover a microscopic colony of some kind. A vintage satchel lies open at her feet. Barely visible is some make-up, the strap of a Nikon SLR camera, stained paintbrush bristles and a few glossy magazines. She is creative, an artist, and easily entertained. “I know, I mean yeah it’s a real important piece but seriously, it’s just unexciting to look at. Like, really, really, really dull”. She lifts her charity-shop-chic Yves Saint Laurent silk scarf over her mouth to hide a little burp.

A dark figure sits alone in a dimly lit corner, probably deliberately. His tangled and matted hair sticks out at odd angles all over his big round head. You can faintly see burst blood vessels in his cheeks and nose, the result of being rather fond of a few bottles of red over the years no doubt. He wears an oversized, broad-shouldered pea coat. It looks like he is trying to hide something. With his head tilted to the right his eyes rapidly trawl over his broadsheet. His hands rest on the left of the table where he rolls a day’s worth of cigarettes. He only stops to gulp down another espresso and suspiciously and cynically glance at those around him. “Fucking…”, something indistinguishable follows. He returns to his broadsheet, scratching his head.

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