Sometimes You Can’t Hear a Damned Thing
I’m focused on my phone. Taking notes,
listening around the corner to conversations.
It’s a writing prompt; I’m not George Smiley.
If only that were the truth, a woman says.
And the conversation is overwhelmed by
the espresso machine and steamed milk.
I glance over to the coffee-making-girl
twirling knobs, sliding cups left centre right.
Medium Americo black, says a woman
who’s wearing a red hoodie and jeans.
I’ve been looking for a hoodie that shade
of red for years, but not one that reads
Lifeguard across the front like hers.
A woman sitting to my left grabs three packets
of sugar and pours them in her hot chocolate.
I roll my eyes and tap more notes on my phone.
A man dressed head to foot in a colour that
I don’t think has a name, balances a food tray
in one hand and a walking stick in the other.
He sits at a table opposite, facing me.
I look up from my notes. He’s smiling broadly.
I take note. Return his smile. And then nod.
He probably thinks I’m mental.