Random encounters

The last few days I’ve been witness to a couple of random moments which piqued my curiosity.

On Saturday afternoon I caught up with Cheeseboy for lunch. It was a pure winter’s day, cool, but the sky a pristine blue, and the sunshine like crystal. It was very pretty, and so we chose to sit outside at a café at the end of my street.

We sat and talked about all the usual stuff, about work, about our plans for the weekend ahead, about a golf weekend we’ll never have, gossip about mutual friends and, of course, sport. As we sat there going about our very prosaic activities a couple sat at the next table over from us, right in my eyeline.

He was a handsome man of about 30, dark skinned and vaguely exotic. She was an attractive woman of about the same age with curly brunette hair. At first glance I thought them a recent couple out for a coffee on a Saturday afternoon.

Cheeseboy and I continued our conversation. I paid no special attention to the couple, but as time went by it was impossible for me not to notice that they weren’t talking. They had coffee delivered to them, but not once did I see them exchange a word of conversation. They sat there awkwardly, neither seemingly willing to break the silence, but both apparently very conscious of it.

The man sat facing me, the woman was in profile. He looked out towards the road, and occasionally glanced backwards her, but without seeming intent. She seemed the more stricken. She looked straight ahead, her expression grim.

Finally I looked up and saw she had begun to cry. Her eyes were large and moist and had taken upon that puffy look that came with tears. She continued to look straight ahead, and still there was no conversation. It appeared that the tears had sprung from a deep well. She sat there knowing without a word having to be spoken. He knew too, without needing to comment. I was witnessing the end of something, and I wondered what their story was.

Then yesterday I’m in the lift returning from having picked up a coffee. In the lift with me were a couple of guys who work for the NBN (I always wonder why they don’t get out of the lift a few floors below and don’t walk the rest of the way, a la their tech model). As it transpired both of these guys were Filipino. They chatted about their respective weekends before one said he was heading back to the Phillippines on the 25th for a month. No kidding said the other, I’m heading back there on the 29th for a month too! Really, the first one said, I’ve got to go back for my grandmother’s 90th birthday. Get out of here the second one said, or something similar, I’m going back for my grandmother’s 90th birthday too! Both burst into laughter, and I couldn’t help but smile too.

The lift doors opened and they got out before I could find out if they had the same granny.

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