Letter Written in a Coffee Shop (Prose)

My love,

I am watching you across the table as you gaze at your laptop screen. Your eyes twinkle a little, a slight bemused smile touches your lips. I listen to the people around me talk. An old man explains to a girl how to better play their strange game. The two girls at the counter chatter excitedly about one’s holiday, news bubbling forth as they renew a friendship after time apart. Behind me someone is talking in another language. I don’t know what it is but for a moment I just listen to the unknown words, the tone of voice.

A boy and a girl behind us at the window whisper in low voices and she giggles. They almost never stop looking into each others eyes. I imagine that they are boyfriend and girlfriend still in the first flush of romance when all one can see is the other and the word does not exist outside of them.

On the couch a man passionately describes something to a girl arms waving. By the time I am writing this he has stopped and they chat in low voices. I think maybe she has moved him away from the topic that has made him so excited to more mundane things, or maybe things that confuse him. Maybe they are conspiring together, the possibilities are endless.

Beside the old man and the girl two men play the same game. They seem to be old hands at this. They play mostly in silence, occassionally stopping to observe the girls progress. Another girl enters and a man, who until now has been merely an observer rushes to fetch another board eager to play himself.

The man behind you is alone and he stares intently at his computer. He seems oblivious to the activity going on all around him.

A single girl is reading at the far end of the room. I wonder is she studying or does she just enjoy the atmosphere here? At the same time some people sit separately on the computers. They seem apart from the rest of us in the cafe like they are in a different world. I guess in a way they are. Their presence in the room is so faint I keep forgetting that they are actual there.

A man sits at a table reading a translation book. I wonder is he going abroad or has he recently come to this country. I wonder what language he is studying, what language he speaks.

My attention is continually drawn back to the old man and the girl. Is she a grand daughter? Or a student who has heard about this little gathering through university. Or maybe she happened upon this gang by chance and found something that suited her, people that she somehow connected with and so she returns again and again.

I watch all of them and I watch you, my darling, with loving eyes. You, as much a mystery as these strangers at this moment. I wonder what you are thinking what thoughts are going on behind those eyes. I watch you all and I wonder what is more interesting than this? There may be many many cleverer things to think on but what can be more fascinating that the lives of people, of us?






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