Saturday, February 12

Wind in the trees

Time to sit. Out the window Portland grows from partly sunny to mostly cloudy. Music that I like, but don't recognize plays through the coffee house speakers. Surrounded by other writers. Life is good. The hot chocolate, however, is a bit weak.

Pine trees are pushed sideways and the flag pole quivers and bounces back and forth. The sky is shifting to ever darker shades of  gray. Today's sunny morning has turned into a more cold gray afternoon.

Two women drink their coffee from large brown French-style cups that rattle nervously in their saucers, as the last few days events, and gossip are bantered about. The women are friends, but they sit far apart. Even a friendly touch between the two seems unpracticed and awkward. Animated and smiling, rich with gestures, she regales her friend; who looks downwards and scratches her head nervously. An odd conversational style, have these two. One leans in, to make point and the other leans away. Can a conversation be animated, yet stilted. Heads tilted aggressively backward, backs arched they take big slugs of their coffee.

The door, opened unskillfully as the wind and three men sweep into the coffee shop. The boyfriends arrive. Noisily. Newspapers flutter and crackle in the hasty process of stuffing them under-arm to accommodate hugs and air kisses.The quiet conversation of two, becomes a loud, brutish, stumbling, five-way group discussion. The two women, now with nervous girlish smiles are quiet. The men dominate the conversation. Having stolen the quiet from the rest of us, the newcomers are reluctantly pushed to the counter and finally order something. The silence, temporarily restored, during the reading of the handwritten chalkboard menu. Blocking my view, the two quiet, now five loud sit down. The women go back to their conversation. The men pull out their smart phones and gadgets. The brown double wide door is flung open again, and the five abruptly leave. Outside they are joined by two more friends and a large, fluffy brown dog. Drinking coffee, with wind disoriented hair, the seven-and-a-dog disappear up the street.

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