Today’s coffeeshop eavesdropping

One: A young woman and man walk in together. He’s thin and wiry and works as an engineer; she’s large and laid back and works with the mentally disabled. They only find this out as they sit down together; they’ve clearly never met before. They try to start a conversation, without much luck. She laughs once, quietly; he asks what she’s laughing at; she tells him he’s funny–clearly she means funny/peculiar, not funny/amusing. Really I suspect they find each other funny/peculiar. I imagine him gaming on Saturday nights, while she goes out with her friends for drinks and conversation. They both probably laugh a lot, when they’re with the people they’re comfortable with–but that isn’t each other. They decide to continue talking outside, and as they leave, the awkwardness between them is an almost tangible thing. Yet they do leave together, just the same.

Two: A younger couple, clearly at ease with each other, accompanied by an also-young loan officer. They’re looking at buying a house, probably under her name, since she’s working a full-time job as a teacher while he’s still a student. She’s seven months pregnant, expecting a son (the loan officer, who has two sons of his own, asks). They (the couple) plan to get married, but not until he finishes school, two years from now. They seem grounded around each other, and I find myself hoping that they find their house, and spend many years slowly getting to know one another and their son better and better, all of them settling into a life together.

Three: Just a snippet, overheard — “Yes, you are a big boy.” (Pause.) “I really wish you would eat the rest of your lunch, and not just the potato chips.”

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