May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
I have done it. I have sat near a teen mom with her baby on her lap. My arse has hardly touched the seat and I’m already regretting my table choice. I can smell baby puke. The cries of goo-ga-goo-ga are spoiling the ambience and disturbing my inner peace. I want to scream back in it’s face. Shut up you are in public you little oik! Adjust your volume and change your attitude or I’ll steal your dummy.
After ordering her usual small black coffee, Margaret sat alone at her usual table in the coffee shop for the first time in her life. It had taken her two years to find the courage to come alone. It had been that long since her husband Ralph had passed away. The memories of thousands of happy conversations, of soft tender touches and of deep loving gazes into each others eyes across the table were still heavily prominent in her mind. A single large tear rose from the corner of her right eye, it was a tear of both joy and sorrow. Ralph had been a loving husband, a wonderful father and a caring grandfather. He is missed by all, but mostly by Margaret, his loving wife of 60 years.
How can life become so broken? I have dropped the glass bowl which contained the fragile fragments of my fractured existence.
A young boy called Hanson, I know that’s his name because his mum keeps shouting at him to behave, has just arrived with his mum and sister. It could also be mum and grandma – you can never tell tell these days, parents are getting younger and younger. A man in a black baseball cap and a black megadeath tshirt, he doesn’t look the type to be a fan of the band, is sat with a young woman on the comfy sofas. He is pouring the liquid from the tea pot for her, while she sits in her grey granny cardigan and multicoloured old granny specks like the ones Dame Edna Everage would have worn. It seems strange attire for a young woman. Another young woman is sat in the furthest corner surrounded by food and she has a large bag on the chair at her side with the slogan “Team Jacob” emblazoned on the front in large gold and red letters, obviously she is advertising her allegiance to Jacob over Edward of twilight fame. She is stuffing her face with crisps and cake. She doesn’t look any older than 20 but has the appearance of a 20 stone woman, I can’t help but wonder why.
Most of the coffee shop occupants are reading. Some are reading newspapers supplied by the establishment. Some are reading books they may have purchased from the book store which is attached to the coffee shop. One woman, sat to my left, has tears in her eyes. I can see bold letters printed on the front of the document she is reading – “Last will and testament of ….. “, I can’t quite make out the name. Everything in me wants to go over to make sure she’s ok, but I can’t …….
Thomas was sat quietly in the cafe trying to read his book but the babies screams from over his left shoulder pierced every ounce of his concentration. He couldn’t work out how or why a couple, who had a combined age of 100, could ring a baby into a quiet peaceful, reflective place like a bookstore cafe to eat his dinner.
“You have certainly disturbed the peace”, the woman chelped.
“ooh, open wide, arrrrrr …..” added her incompetent partner. Who was trying his hardest, without much success, to get the freshly-made baby food into the little screamers mouth.
After another anger filled sip of coffee, Thomas placed his mug down on the receipts on the tray as the saucer had filled with coffee and every sip from the porcelain cup produced several drips that found their way onto the pristine pages of one of his favourite books, only exacerbating the situation.
People watching is one of Thomas’s favourite pastimes but people hearing is not. He detests sounds which disturb his inner tranquility. Bolders breaking the surface of a summers lake.