Impressions of a coffee shop in Edgewater

Throughout the week, I write down moments out of the day about fascinating details of the environment and the people around me. I’ll be posting them here every Monday.

The crying baby is more a moaning sleepy cry than a loud, shrill, and it comes and goes in ways that make it more a conversation to the mother that isn’t there.

The little plastic box has another debit card in its mouth. The girl pokes her number on its pad and pulls it back to her to put in her purse. The weight on the front of her right foot pulls her heel up off the floor.

A man sitting on a couch near the window jostles his reading glasses over its edge in his hands as he talks to the man across from him. They are both regulars, and no doubt are talking about things regulars do—the neighborhood’s depletion, the young kids’ growing responsibly of it, the politics of the day, the politics of their own day, the weather the weather the weather, and endless stories of the times they did things they don’t do anymore.

The other regular, a seventy-year-old man, is on oxygen. Tubes spring from his nostrils and curl down to vanish into a box he carries like a tiny suitcase. A carry-on to carry him on another day.

The young woman in the knit black-and-yellow Pittsburgh Penguins winter hat stretches and then covers her face and bends her head toward her laptop’s keyboard. Seemingly in exhaustion but maybe mild terror or panic, I can’t tell.

The baby, with her two female caretakers getting their coats on, looks up and yawns halfway. Sleepy-eyed, a constant look of worry and frustration curbs her beauty but does not strike me as possessing an impending unhappiness. Babies are nothing if not a river of conflicting moods and thoughts. And yet we adults all envy them.

A man’s voice breaks out as I unpause my music—“Oh my god! That is so funny. Does Brenda know this? Hahahaha. Oh my god. That’s so funny!”

Outside, the traffic on Broadway zips left and right past the tall windows. The sun makes it all look so clean as the sun blanches this cold December day with morning sunlight.

With no one to ring up and the spare moment of having nothing to do, the counter girl stares out without looking at anything in particular, picking at her lips unconsciously.

A young black girl takes her hand away from her keyboard to tug at the dreadlocks behind her head, her hand cupped as if it were filling an old vase with the stalks of fresh-cut flowers.

The fans above me spin as they have since they started and will spin until they are shut off or break down and are fixed or replaced. For now, they are spinning until they stop.



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