AN AUDIO RECORDING OF TODAY’S DIARY POST
Transcript available below…Make your day a good one!
Now that Paloma has grown into a less needy one-year-old puppy, I have my mornings back. That is, I have resumed escaping to my favorite coffee shop for my daily writing ritual. Social solitude, I like to call it.
It was a perfect quiet morning at Jones Coffee Roasters when I arrived before the crowd. What I love is that this rare hideaway has no public Internet service. People read here. And talk to one another.
To set the scene, only two other patrons were in the spacious parking lot-turned-covered-patio that is now a permanent Covid-era fixture. A man in his 60s sat at a table with a small stack of books. Several yards away, an early 30-ish man was chatting on his cell phone. A big guy, he also had a big voice. A bit loud, I thought to myself, but he’s not obnoxious as he was engaged in civil conversation. I took a table at the edge of the patio.
Within a few minutes, two 60-ish men walked towards the table next to me. As they passed the young man on his phone, one of them abruptly yelled, “HEY! CAN YOU KEEP IT DOWN?! THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE HERE…!”
Who was the obnoxious one?
There went my blissful morning. I kept my eyes on my computer screen unable to concentrate. Why couldn’t the old guy be more polite about it? BTW, I can call him “old” because there is no doubt the two of us are in the same age bracket. Did he assume the young man was arrogant and thoughtless? Of course, so he carried on his rant.
The young man turned out to be a class act.
“Sir,” he answered, I apologize, but I have been watching the volume on my phone…” But that wasn’t enough for the old guy. He proceeded to mouth off. I looked up to witness this exchange. Suddenly, I heard myself under my breath. “I cannot believe this!”
The young man proceeded to say that he was speaking to his father. “WELL, TELL YOUR FATHER HELLO!!” the smart ass answered back thoughtlessly. And the old guy’s friend sat quietly in his seat poker-faced, taking no sides. I was about to lose it but stared back at my screen and took a deep yoga breath.
The young man then stood up and approached the two men. He towered over their table. Uh-oh. By this time, any other man or woman might have punched the guy.
“I would like to introduce myself,” the young man said courteously offering a handshake. And what is your name? Caught off-guard, the old guy said his name. The young man turned to the old man’s friend to also introduce himself and shake his hand.
“I am a regular here,” the young man continued. If you are, too, I hope that the next time we see each other, it will be friendlier so that others here can enjoy their time.”
“Good for you,” I couldn’t help saying out loud to the grown-up amongst them. “Bravo!”
The young man then walked away and left the coffee shop.
I was tempted to put the old man in his place…”What’s the matter with you?!”
But I had already said enough, so I went back to my writing.
Ah, things came full circle so quickly.
Within a few minutes, a young couple took the table right next to the old man and his friend. In the stroller that they parked next to the table was their active and very vocal toddler.
The old man said nothing.