Time of Day: Mid Afternoon
Date: February 19, 2011
The Coffee Shop Diaries makes people watching a fun and exciting activity. When I go to airports or coffee shop I like to sit and watch people for a while. When I do this, I end up creating stories about their lives in my head. I thought it would be fun to write down the things that I come up with. This is purely for enjoyment and nothing I’ve written is true by any means. The only things that are true (that I know of, anyway) are the physical descriptions of the patrons/servers in the shop.
“Man With a Fedora,” (we’ll call him Roger) wearing a button up silk vest, walks into the coffee shop. He gets in line behind two other people. He looks around, then glances down at his watch. He’s running late and is hoping the people in front of him will be quick. He needs to hurry up and get some caffeine in him. He’s going to be up late and will need it. Band rehearsal starts in 30 minutes. They have their first paying gig tonight. Roger joined the jazz band a few months ago. The band had lost their sax player when he was injured in a car accident. Roger had seen the posters advertising their audition session after he had his very last meeting with his lawyer. His divorce had just been finalized and he was in the mind sight of doing something he knew his ex-wife wouldn’t have approved of. He had been in a band when he was younger, but his wife wasn’t so keen on the late nights out that came with the gig. He had quit to make her happy. Considering the divorce was in result of her affair with her personal trainer, joining a band seemed like the very right thing to do. It was the best decision he had ever made. It’s finally his turn to order up at the counter. He orders his latte, pays the woman behind the counter, then steps aside to wait for his order to be up. He looks down at his watch again. He has to be at the studio in 15 minutes. If he leaves right now, he’ll make it just in time. He takes his coffee from the barista and makes his way to the door. He leaves with a huge smile on his face, because tonight he knows he’ll be living his dream.
“Man With a Black Jacket” (we’ll call him Steve) opens the door for a fellow coffee-a-holic and follows in behind her. The woman was going to let him go first, but he doesn’t get in line like the woman thought he would, so she steps up to the counter. Steve slowly looks at all the coffee cups and coffee presses on the shelf to waste time. He’s waiting for the barista (we’ll call her Lisa) to finish the woman’s order. He’s been coming in every afternoon for the last week “looking for a particular gift.” That’s what he had told Lisa, the barista. He secretly has a crush on her but he’s been too nervous to say anything. He’s only been single for a few months, since his girlfriend of 10 years broke up with him. He’s in his mid 30s and has almost forgotten how to pursue a woman, since it had been so long since he'd need to. Lisa finishes up the woman’s order and comes around to the other side of the counter. She saw Steve come in and is anxious to talk to him. Steve is unaware that Lisa is interested in him as well. She walks up to Steve and shows him the newest shipment of travel mugs. She touches his arm while he talks. He picks a piece of fuzz out of her hair. The sexual tension is clear to everyone around them, yet they are clueless to each other’s interest. A line begins to form again and Lisa is called back to her duties. Steve continues to look at the merchandise for a few more minutes. He goes up to the counter to finally order his coffee. They flirt a little more. She smiles at something funny he said and tucks a piece of her hair behind her ear. She hands him his coffee and they say their good byes. Steve is regretting chickening out, again, as he walks to the door. Tomorrow will be the day, he says in his head.
“Man With Black Leather Jacket & Shades” (we’ll call him Mark) walks into the coffee shop, whistling. He waltzes up to the counter and removes his shades once the barista comes to the counter. The amount of flirting coming from Mark is obvious to the barista. She laughs, awkwardly, and continues to take his order. Mark doesn’t notice the signs of the brush off, so he continues to attempt to flirt while she’s making his drink. There is no one else in line, so there is no one to save the barista from Mark’s over the top style of wooing. After barely responding to his attempt at conversation, Mark get’s the hint and goes to the far end of the counter with his coffee and picks up a newspaper from the shelf. He sits down at an empty table and begins to flip through the paper. He glances at the date on the front page. He still can’t believe it’s 2011 already. Where has the time gone, he thinks to himself. He’s been an executive at his company for nearly 15 years. Has it really been that long? He realizes, though he drives a Porsche and has more money than he knows what to do with, he has no one to share any of it with. He’s alone. He used to be able to pick up women left and right when he was younger, but at almost the age of 40, his old ways have been less than successful. He finishes his coffee, puts the newspaper back on the shelf and thanks the barista for the coffee. As he’s leaving he decides that something has to change. If he’s going to find love, and not just a beautiful woman who knows how to act as a corporate wife, but real love. Real love that is all encompassing, nothing else matters in the world kind of love, he’s going to have to come at it a different way. He first needs to find someone he would enjoy having a cup of coffee with.