I head to the coffee shop. I envision a black coffee with my name on it. My mouth is watering already. Two years ago I didn’t like coffee. How times change. How people change – but that’s another story. It’s mid-afternoon and, having realised that later in the day I am more likely to overhear interesting conversations, I hold my notebook in my pocket. Anticipation is running high.
There are no conversations. The coffee shop is empty, apart from a family whose order has been taken but hasn’t been delivered. The dad is frustrated, well who wouldn’t be. I am sitting with my cup of black coffee and he is without his and the cakes he ordered for his little ones. It’s a little drama played out but not an interesting discussion.
A bookshop and a cafe
The world seems a little dull. The weather is grey and overcast. I move on to a bookshop for a browse. There’s some discussion about how to rent a house. I catch the odd word and phrase.
“You go down the dark alley between.” Perhaps I am overhearing too much. I make a quick purchase and leave. I’ll go and get some dinner.
The cafe is busy, but apart from a guy with a ukulele holding some promise, the conversation is raucous but dull. I should have stayed in the bookshop and seen what lurked at the end of the alleyway. I eat up.
A bar and conversations
I have a meet-up later in the evening but have an hour to spare. I decide to head to a local bar and see if anyone is talking there.
I should use the pub more often, despite there only being a handful of people the conversations are nice and loud and interesting.
As I order my drink, I find out that the moon landing was faked. All the facts are clearly laid out in between sips of a local ale. The argument is pretty persuasive. This is good stuff. I wonder why the conversations aren’t like this in the coffee shop. Of course, like all good conspiracy theories, the question of why the moon landings were faked is not seriously addressed. And before they even get to that point the two guys disappear outside for a quick smoke.
I sit down and make myself at home. A drink, a notebook and an hour to kill. A guy and a girl are sitting at the table beside me. I hear them talking. It sounds like the girl is chatting up the guy. This could be interesting.
He casually introduces into the conversation, that his relationship is going through ‘issues’. I feel like a cop taking notes in my flip Moleskine, either that or a reporter finding juicy gossip quotes. She’s telling him, “you work so hard” and “you do so much”, she suggests he should rest up, “you deserve it”, I might need to move to another table and give them some room.
She is very loud and he has cool dreads. I might be jealous of the whole situation as I sit alone nursing my ale and listening to the interesting lives of others. Oh dear, that was a long hug. Just longer than a friendly how are you doing, see you soon hug.
I head out into the dark night and my meet-up. It’s a storytelling group. I’ll listen to ancient stories retold. As I walk I realise there are stories everywhere, all around, we only need to listen.
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