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Sitting at my private table in my private universe, drinking a macchiato, pecking at the keyboard. Looking over the top of my glasses at the people sitting at their tables, in their universes, wondering what they're thinking, how their lives are going, what's on their minds and on their hearts right now. A woman waiting in line to be served, answering with a steady "no... no... not right now... no..." to her eager four-year-old who really thinks she deserves a piece of vanilla candy and an over-priced juice box. An elderly gentleman, hat in hand, waiting patiently behind the child and smiling. A college student sitting at a small table in the corner, powercord dripping into the socket behind him, typing madly for the class he's missing right now. The barista trying to remember everyone's name, everyone's order, everyone's face so the right name and order and face align perfectly with every beverage.

Outside, the traffic moves past in its own whoosh, people driving too fast to get to places they would rather avoid to do things they'd rather not. The fountain in the square flings water into the air, allowing gravity to bring it crashing back into the cycle over and over. A gentleman sitting by himself on one side of the structure, looking at his feet, at the passing cars, at me through the glass watching him, at the joggers speeding up to pass him at a distance. On the other side of the fountain, a preacher preaching the love and the nasty wrath of an angry condemnation-filled but loving if you believe in Him Jesus who wants us in heaven or seals us away in burning hellfire forever and ever - by himself, yelling at those walking by, avoiding him from a distance. Flinging his own "living water" and hoping gravity or vehemence or volume or something might bring his "seeds" back down for some good thing in the lives of the people, and looking at me watching him through the plate glass-window beside my little table.

Coffee cold, laptop power draining from the screen. Looking around at the people before I take my leave of this place again. I'll be back sometime next week, perching over their lives, drinking my macch, wondering what's going on behind the eyes, from the safety of my own private universe.


Blogger utech said...

have you tried the green tea frappuccino yet?

9/8/05 10:58 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

no way - sounds girly.

9/8/05 11:34 PM  
Blogger Tana_Schott said...

Hahaha - it is girly Rick. Whereas your macchiato??? I'm teasing you. You know, I haven't done what you described in this post in a LONG time. I'm going to have to fix that.

10/8/05 5:04 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

tana - "macchiato" is masculine; anytime you've got two "c"s together like that, it's manly - except for zucchini.

my wife said "(1)when did you go to starbucks, and (2)i liked this post" - to which i replied "(1)i haven't been to sbucks in a couple of weeks, and I made it up; and (2) thanks" :)

10/8/05 8:34 AM  
Blogger utech said...

uh, since is is a Green Tea FrappuCCino it is manly. ;)
I tried it this morning.
Not a repeater. Review/Comments are on my site.

10/8/05 12:02 PM  
Blogger Girl in Progress said...

wow, I thought I was the only one that people watched with familiar thoughts.

Of course, since I hate coffee, I'm without the maach..

Well maybe mocha frap..most likely hot cocoa with whipped cream.

Nice post!

10/8/05 11:26 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Hey, I read your blog pretty often cause you're good. But man, this was a great one! I do the same thing all the time when i sit in coffee shop, or on a bench. I wonder what is going on in the lives of the people around me. And I realize how hard people push not to let you know.

12/8/05 7:11 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

thanks - yeah, watching people and feeling like i'm "isolated" shouldn't go together, so i try to empathize a little more in my people watching than this guy in the post ;)

12/8/05 10:35 AM  

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