Observations from a Coffee Shop

November 17, 2007
By
People. People watching is a pastime I enjoy when I am presented with the opportunity. Life. I’m sitting in Caribou Coffee on Haggerty Road drinking hot chocolate while working on my French homework, but between the conjugation of my imperfect and passé compose verbs I take sometime to watch the magnificent display of the human life around me.
A middle aged woman with a long tan coat and black rimmed glasses walks in. A balding man in this black leather jacket and jeans greets her. The woman squeals and the two hug and she kisses him on the cheek. I wonder who they are, husband and wife? I think not. Perhaps they are siblings greeting each other after a long time apart, or maybe friends. I don’t know, but I’m glad to see this love. It reminds me of my own friends, those I would greet with the same kind of joy. I love people.
I rearrange myself in my comfy armchair and reposition so I can see the group of five in the corner on the other side of the room. Soft music floats above my head. Sometimes an old jazzy piece, something that sounds like Nat King Cole. I think I heard a Death Cab For Cutie song, I didn’t know the song, but the voice and style sounded like it. For the last hour I’ve heard certain phrases coming from the table, things like “two moles of carbon dioxide.” They must be working on Chemistry. I don’t know who they are or what they’re doing, but, perhaps, they’re Chemistry students from the nearby Schoolcraft College. They look a little diverse in age for college students, but I can’t think of what else they might be. But I don’t know, I just see. One of them, one of them who looks older, she is pregnant, and she’s wearing a red blouse that contrasts beautifully with her dark chocolate skin. You might guess that I’m trying to pull some ratty symbolism as a writer, but I’m not. This is just what I see.
I count five computers. Do they offer free wireless here? I don’t know. People are working away. The woman sitting close to me in a black leather armchair has a Mac and an iPod sitting on her lap. She looks like she’s in her thirties. In her hand she holds a book called, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and my mind immediately scans through a database of possible literary allusions this title could refer to. As the topics spin through I can’t settle on a specific one, I know that if I thought hard enough I could decide, but that doesn’t really matter does it? I still don’t know what the book is about, no matter how much I wonder about, which I do do. Once in a while, she’ll look up from her book or computer screen and look up as if she’s thinking about something for a second. I do that too as I sit here writing this, but I don’t know I just see. I don’t know, but I do see. I enjoy watching people.





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