I’m sitting at the little coffee dive near my house, my anatomy and massage texts piled before me, spread across a four-chair table. I am listening, due to morbid curiousity, to the hour-long conversation of two women at the table next to me; apparently between them they have about 90 or so combined years of failed romantic endeavors. Burning into my back are the bright crazy-eyes of the bear in the painting on the wall behind me, a childish 40s-esque cartoon bear with a heart on his sweatshirt, a penile bulge and a bright red smily mouth with the caption, “Poochy Bear sez: when you fall asleep, I will EAT you!”
Usually at this late hour this place is overrun with the scruffy, foul-mouthed young white urbanites who work here plus about a dozen of their friends, yelling back and forth between the kitchen and the counter, their talk filled with charmless swagger. The last time I was here, they were joined at 11:30 by a tough-acting dykelet who looked to be about – oh, I’d say 19. She slammed through the door and made a big show of being there. “You’ll never fucking believe what just fucking happened to me!” she yelled, her voice fake-gruff. “What? What?” the young hipsters responded, their voices fake-concerned. “Oh my fucking god,” she began, stopping to fake-steady herself. And the yarn she spun was old-style incredible, as in, it was the dumbest, least-credible thing I’d ever heard, about how she was at this convenience store, yo, and she’s in line and this fucker walks in and like, he’s got a fucking knife yo, and he holds up the fucking cashier and then the manager tries to get the knife away and the fucker’s like about to stab him, but she got in the middle and was like trying to talk him down, she said come on man this is so not worth it, come on give me the knife, and he like sort of cried and she got the knife and he ran out, and the manager was this old Arab dude and he was like what do we do and she was like get rid of the fucking knife! So she threw it in a fucking trash can on the way here, yo! Oh my god she was so fucking stressed out about it and she just needed a fucking beer!
A few minutes later the tough girl was consoling her male friend, who was going on a trip without his girlfriend, by telling him, “Yeah, I’ll take care of your woman for you! l can strap it on, give it to her better than any man!” At which point I left and did not return until tonight, three months later.
And now the failed-relationship women are gone and it’s just me, the owner, Leslie the transvestite, a couple of cockroaches, and Poochy Bear, who will eat me if I fall asleep.
I guess that’s it.