Wednesday, September 2, 2015

An early morning people-watcher

A dirty blond-haired woman in a tan raincoat buttoned up to her neck strolls past the diner where I am seated by the window. Normally, I don’t give passersby a second look at this time of the morning. Everyone is walking briskly on his or her daily routes heading to work or school. This woman stands out way too much to be part of the mass commute. No one these days wears a three-quarter-length trench coat with shoulder pads from the 80s. Instead, they are uniformly outfitted with backpacks or oversized shiny totes and short jackets busy texting or listening to their iTunes.

When the woman comes back into my sight a second time as if retracing her steps, I realize she has another purpose being on 23rd street so early. Seconds later, she and a guy in a worn jeans jacket and patchy pants young enough to be her son, enter the front door and take a corner booth out of my sight. I get back to my toast and bacon with a glance at my watch realizing I would need to be on my way to the office shortly. Before I leave my tip, I glance over my shoulder and see that the two are huddled together and their hands are gesturing back and forth while they engage in a lively conversation, or argument. As I go up to the counter to pay my bill, the young guy brushes past me and disappears out the swinging door. When I leave, the woman is sitting there like a statue with her coat still buttoned up to her neck holding her coffee mug as if she is caressing it for comfort.

I make a choice not to think about that scene anymore during the day and leave it there at the diner. It’s fun to watch people until heavy emotions set in which might require something more of me.