Sunday, April 29, 2007

Coffeehouse Life

A ginger-haired man stares off into space, his fingers twitching, his notebook open to a blank page in front of him, his mechanical pencil untouched. He hunches his shoulders, clearly beaten. He gets up and sits down. He leans back, his feet up. Occasionally he mouths words or a tune. He silently counts on his fingers. He puts his hands in front of him. Every day, I see him here, parked on the couch, wrangling silently with some muse.

Outside the coffeehouse is a bake sale for Save the Whales. In a landlocked state. Are they trying to create more land whales with their iced brownies? I know I ate one. The trash can is overflowing, garbage carried away on the wind.

Standing scant yards away from the girls and their bake sale table, a man stares. He sways back and forth, his tongue darting in and out of his mouth. When he moves inside, he sits on the couch reading a science fiction pulp novel, his tongue still darting every few seconds at the corners of his mouth, his knees wildly pumping in and out excitedly. Hard to think the best of human nature here on a Sunday at the Coffeehouse.

I'm grateful for the people with their laptops, papers sprawled out on the table around them, the teenager drawing, the professor who tells me it's not so bad that my ass has expanded in the dissertating process laboring over her student essays with her pen.

I'm so confused. This all started when I went over to WSF's at the appointed time and saw him getting into his car, laptop in hand. I can't deal with this. We're going to a park. I think I need to return to the relative sanity of my dissertation. This guy rocking back and forth and pumping his legs in and out is freaking me out.


Anonymous said...

Since I was there, I can confirm the utter absurdity of that day. But I'd say the man was licking the air like a gecko. It was too slow and methodical and fat-tongued to be "darting."

Earnest English said...

I don't know, WSF. When he was reading that pulp book on the couch, he was frantically pumping his legs in and out and his tongue was darting pretty fast too. (I don't want to think about what was going on there!)