Cafe people

They are either breaking up or having a fight. The couple across from me give each other often sharp, often awkward looks. The man looks more awkward than the woman, she seems defeated and annoyed. They are a Mediterranean couple, both look flashy. Neither are saved by their belongings, her shiny handbag doesn’t cheer her up now; neither do her designer stiletto shoes. His face of transparent defiance and hidden regret is not masked by the beauty of his shirt or even his expensive jacket. They sit with their coffees, saturated in negativity.

They are having a catch up. Two women sit behind me, they are mums with children small enough not to be in school but big enough to run away. I hear one of them say, “She’s thinking about having another one you know, I told her not to.” The stresses of parenthood evidently at the forefront of these women’s thoughts. They wear mum’s clothes, have mum’s haircuts and revolve around being mums. They try in vain to steal a few moments of adult conversation, but Amanda is misbehaving. Her mum shouts her over. Amanda apologises and gives her mum a hug. Her mum, in her clothes, with her haircut, could not look happier.

He is getting his work done. A man sits beside the window with his laptop open. I can’t see from here but I think it’s a spreadsheet. He is mid-thirties. He sips his coffee and looks intently at the screen, occasionally furrowing his brow. His grey suit and dull shirt livened only by the red flash of his tie from underneath, I can’t help but think that this is more than just a tie. I think that this bright tie hidden beneath the drab suit, the corporate haircut and the spreadsheet represents him, there is a spark in his eyes. Perhaps he likes rock climbing, or bunjee jumping. He finishes his coffee, shuts his laptop and leaves.

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