Woke up this morning, threw on some pants, fed the animals, then took Rigby outside for a pee. I collected the newspaper from the lawn and as usual let Rigby grasp one in his mouth, his tail wagging enthusiastically as ever. Back inside I reflected how nice it would be to sit down and read the paper with a good coffee by my side? Just like the old days. Instead I had a shower, dressed, and set off once more for the shop.
Saturday morning streets are slow. I felt some of that slowness myself. I’m bone tired as I keep on saying, but I’m steeled knowing that there is no other option but to just fucking do it. And so I just fucking do it again, and again tomorrow, and so on…
I leapt ahead of the other traffic. Others may be filled with a Saturday morning languor, but I’m as urgent as ever, if I’ve got to get somewhere then I’d rather get there sooner, enjoying the feel of the car about me and the road beneath my foot, steering surely, alertly, the radio playing and vague thoughts of the day ahead in my mind.
After setting down at the shop I went out for coffee. I was early. I like this time of day the best, the time that is mine where I can sit with a latte and think or read the paper or if I feel like it have a chat. This is the time in the day when I am most myself, and I feel it.
It’s a grey day, though with light seeping through. I stopped by one of my usual cafes and took a seat. I was in no mood for the newspaper or conversation, or even to think too much. I sat back and watched things. A young couple kissed on parting from each other on the pavement outside. ‘Dark types’ I thought to myself, pale skinned and dark-haired, as if reformed Goths. They exchanged another parting kiss before, trailing fingers, they separate and she comes inside.
There was the waitress I had been friendly with now not so friendly. Where before she had served me every time, never mind the other girls working, now she doesn’t serve me at all. It’s unfortunate, but unsurprising. My sin is that I have done nothing when perhaps I should have – or so she reckons. Fair maybe, except she does not know my life. Now she is all business, and I am invisible.
I am served by another waitress instead, young and sleek and oblivious of her youth and allure. I had watched her start weeks before and witnessed her hesitancy, her uncertainty in an unfamiliar environment and unfamiliar job. Now it has clicked. She moves with the bodily knowledge of what comes next, and how. She smiles sincerely, enjoying her work and this milieu she has now become a part of as she wasn’t then.
I sit there feeling tired, still, I think, my eyes moving slowly about the room as I sip on my latte. At the table over on one side are a couple of ‘big’ guys in cyclists lycra. On the other side of me a couple of teenies – 15 perhaps, 16 – eat breakfast like a couple of adults. Both order skinny lattes, and inside I roll my eyes.
Then the time has passed. Time to move on. I pay at the counter to the sleek waitress, my old favourite avoiding me once more. I amble down the street, another day ahead of me, and beyond that, who knows…