Saturday, December 29, 2012
Some Coffee Shop Drama
28 December 2012
I do not want to eavesdrop, to spy. I am sitting and reading on "my" couch at Starbucks; in front of me, oh, a dozen feet away, a young couple, facing each other, sit at a table. I barely noticed them when they came in awhile ago. She sat at the table, thumbing her smart phone while he stood in line, bought their drinks, returned to the table with their order.
Now they are sitting there, right in front of me--a 3-D mini-movie--and something consequential is going on between them.
I keep reading, but I can't help it: Every now and then I look up to see how the drama is advancing.
They are both young, no older than their early twenties. She is thin, tall, has mid-length light brown hair, very curly. His is dark, cropped close. She wears a leather jacket, bluejeans, calf-high leather boots. He's a bit shorter than she, but also lean, also in jeans--but wearing sneakers, a spring-weight jacket. His posture remains unchanged through most of the hour I see them: He sits close to the table, his forearms crossed before him on the table top. And throughout their conversation, there remains playing about his lips the slightest, faintest of smiles.
Her posture changes continually--one leg crosses then other, then a switch. She throws her hair back, drops her head to the table, her hair covering much of the table. Later, I will see tears in her eyes.
About the only exchange of dialogue I hear--very early--is this: SHE: I can tell you're mad at me. HE: I'm not mad at you.
My disinterested observation: He is mad at her.
She employs a variety of facial expressions to nudge him out of his mood. Playful emotions ripple across her face and she tries various submissive and regretful and sorrowful expressions. These seem to me like masks she is trying on. Looking for the one that will please.
None does. He says something I can't hear. Tears. Her head drops. Neither moves for a while.
I look up. They are clasping hands. Again, she is searching for the role, the look, that will dulcify him. His expression does not change. But his hands remain on top of hers.
I look up. There appears to be more lightness over at their table. Lightness and light. I can't hear anything, but I feel that they are bantering. Reconciling?
I look up. They seem to have reached some sort of resolution. The young man leans back for the first time in an hour. They begin making departure moves.
I look up. They are moving to the front door, he ahead of her by a few feet. He pushes open the door, heads out in the front parking lot. She follows. He does not hold the door for her, does not even look back.
And I think: She cares more than he does.
And so I read--and struggle to resist the infection of sadness the young people have left for me.