Thursday, January 19, 2006


They were friends, clearly, because neither of them was trying to impress other. Both sat slumped in their seats with reproachable posture that reflected their present states of mind. They sat at right angles to each other, him in the cushioned chair, her at one end of the couch in front of the coffee table. They drank juice, not coffee, him orange, her kiwi. They talked little, but not because they had nothing to say. The day had been long and trying and each sought repose in the other's company.

Couple number two sat side by side at a table near the friends, both looking out at the passersby. He was selling her something. She wasn't yet sure what it was by she wasn't buying. He drank coffee, she drank tea, both from paper cups. Coconut crumbs were left on the plate that moments earlier carried the lamingtons that they'd shared. He out-dressed her by several degrees.

Couple number three sat head to head, sitting across from each other at a round table just inside the threshold. The woman's confidence could been seen in how she aggressively launched large bites at her blueberry danish, intermittently washing them down with gulps of frothed milk that left white residue in the corners of her mouth. Unabashed, she leaned in toward her opponent as he sat back trying to create space between them. Her hair was long for her age, reaching her lower back when tied up high on back of her head. Her large purse sat in the chair beside her. His brick of a wallet sat in clear sight on the table by his left hand, this symbol of his worth fighting a battle of its own.

The friends got up and stood gingerly as if they'd been sitting there for hours. They glanced around, delaying further, before walking out and leaving the pursued and the pursuers to continue their affairs.


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