So. A blast from my past. I peeked over at my old journal site for some inspiration and decided just to steal my own goods. I especially like this one entry because I think about this little episode a lot. I've even been back to that out-of-the-way coffee place since then with the secret dreams of spying on a special little moment like it again. No such luck.
While wasting a gap in between appointments today at an overpriced coffee chain serving nothing but crack-coffee...
I saw an elderly couple walk in through the front doors. It occurred to me that I'll eventually (with a little luck) be one-half of a similar old pair: walking as though they haven't any place to be, mostly because they simply can't walk any faster. They surveyed the cafe and chose a little table in the corner.
Far away from the counter.
The gentleman pulled out a chair for the white-haired woman. Her fuchsia painted lips curled into a neat smile as he turned and went to the counter. It was a mile away if it was fifteen feet, but he shuffled along at a steady pace and looked up at the menu hanging above the register. A line of folks in suits and the business sort of duds accumulated behind him as he pondered.
For a moment he seemed confident as he began to speak his order and then he paused.
He was a statue with blinking eyes.
For what seemed like an hour, he just stood with his mouth open.
"Excuse me a moment," he smiled at the bespectacled teenager facing him before turning. A genuine (shock) smile bounced back at him.
Without hurry, the old-man walked back to the table at the far corner of the shop.
R.E.M gushed from ceiling speakers, "your feet are going to be on the ground"...
Nobody in line moved. Typically over-caffienated and in a perpetual rush, they stood silently. Patiently.
Not one person sighed.
Or looked at their watch.
Or looked at each other.
Everyone watched him.
He asked his lady, "What's the stuff you like?"
"Hazelnut," she smiled and patted the papery skin on her cheek. Her fingernails were pink and perfect.
It all came back to him.
"Ah-ha,"he raised his finger in the air triumphantly, "The sweet stuff."
He turned back to start the winding path around cafe chairs and table-top chess game. He glanced at a display of coffee mugs marked down half price for the new season and finally made it back to the counter to finish his order.
The whole cafe watched. Some people smiled a little.
He paid with a bill and counted his change. And the people waited until he had coffees in hand before springing back to life.
As he scuffed by me, I was sitting in a plush chair with papers strewn about in my lap.
Not at me, but at that corner seat and the lady waiting in it. Her hands delicately folded on top of the table. Her hair was drawn up and sprayed into a stiff bee-hive.
He put the coffees down and pulled out his own seat and saw me watching.
"Gotta have it just so for my gal," his words skipped through a toothy smile.
The moment was, in the simplest way possible, spectacular.