The Coffee Shop – 22nd August

There’s a woman in a seat to my right complaining about her job again.  She’s a cleaner and she “won’t be finished until 5!” Last time I was here at this time, on my way to another festival, she was here complaining about her job.  Someone had not shown up so she would have to do extra. Fair enough.  I asked her if they had anyone they could call at short notice but she just shot me down and kept moaning.  I left her to her misery and drank my coffee.

The staff are busying themselves re-arranging the muffins, biscuits and sandwiches, hoping that someone will order something soon.  The other food options nearby are the expensive corner shop and a Subway.  It’s not even a corner shop.  My home town has changed – a Subway and a Costa. It’s not like the old days of the bakery with teddy bear biscuits and a farm machinery shop.

Two drizzle covered boys walk in, skinny jeans soaking to the knees where the capillary action has kicked in, satchels and sideways hair.  I wonder if they are getting results today.  I remember that –  a mild panic that perhaps I’d not quite done enough, perhaps I’d managed to fail, despite some half-hearted revision and a genetic predisposition to doing well in exam conditions.  They don’t look too stressed, they pay for a Tango and wonder off into the day.

A blonde, older lady, all sharp bob and glasses orders a small, skinny cappuccino.  She’s taking it to work in the local Boots.  She fiddles with her purse as the girl makes her drink and they chat about the weather.

I caught sight of my reflection and my hair looks like an unripened blackberry – red and bumpy.  I plaited it wet last night thinking that I woud have glorious waves his morning.  Of course instead I was met with wobbly, fluffy hair. I pinned it back hastily, leading to the blackberry impression.  The rest of me is a bit Robin Hood, knee high brown leather boots, leggings, tunic dress, belt, hair that looks like I live in a hedge.

My dress smells like Tanzania.  It’s been in a bag with lemongrass and jasmine soaps that I bought in Zanzibar.  I can’t decide if it’s a reassuring smell or if ti reminds me of a hippy shop full of dream catchers, semi precious stones and incense sticks.

The rain is really pounding down now, bringing more people in for shelter and hot drinks.  The windows are getting a little steamy and the inoffensive soft rock on the radio seems to be getting louder, competing against the rain and traffic,t eh chattering of staff and customers.  One man starts to gently sing along.  I don’t recognise the song, but it has the familiar, slightly growly, 10 a day vocals, starting low, then high, low then high chorus, steady but predictable chord progression on the guitar.  I think it’s time to find my bus.

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