After visiting the graves of my favorite curmudgeon and his lovely lady this morning, I made my way to Waldo and Coffee Girls. The only table with decent light stood next to a four-top where two ladies sat chattering in loud voices. I glanced their way, looked around the shop, and decided that enduring their voices would be better than squinting.
But I erred. The first statement which assaulted my airspace erupted from the woman facing me. People are so stupid! she pronounced. People are so stupid that they have no idea how they sound! Stupid, I tell you. They are stupid. Her companion muttered something that escaped me.
I froze, Americano in mid-air. I gently set the mug back onto the table and contemplated my options. I could move. I could get a glass of ice water and dump it on her head. I could hug her. I could grit my teeth and try to focus on writing despite the inescapable invasion of her continued castigation of the human race.
You should have heard her! the lady exclaimed. Incredible. I just stared at her. She was so stupid she had no idea how she sounded. Again her companion murmured something inaudible to me. I glanced over. Both had heavily applied make-up; both wore an assortment of tweeds and wools. Not your typical tattooed Coffee Girls patrons. More like the Sunday Classic Cup set.
I realized that the woman had now turned her gaze towards me. I know what she saw: A sixty-something in sweat-pants and a bright, patterned hoodie with a day-old French braid falling from a hair clip.
The woman leaned forward and spoke to her companion in lower tones. I missed the first part which undoubtedly included some commentary on that crazy lady at the next table. She shook her shoulders a little and crumpled her napkin. You ready to go, I heard her ask. They stood and gathered their pocketbooks, walking away from their cold coffee and the debris of breakfast. I swear I heard the woman who hates the entire world sniff in disdain as she passed me. I supposed that’s my just desserts for eavesdropping. I couldn’t help smiling. I felt a sudden kinship with all the stupid people who fall beneath the boots of this sad little woman.
I smiled at the counter guy who came to clean their table, and watched them walk across the street to their car. I resisted the temptation to blow a kiss.