I’m sitting in this weird, lamp-lit tea cafe in a queer town in Western Mass. And I swear I’m trying to mind my own business (no, I’m not) but there’s a window opposite the booth filled with floor pillows that I’m seated in. And in the window I see the cash register behind me, reflected.
And I’m already a little bummed out because the tea I ordered without even looking at the menu – a situation equivalent to entering a bar and demanding a very specific concoction, or so I imagine – doesn’t taste the same as usual. They put fucking honey in this supposedly Indian/Pakistani chai and as I’m taking this in, I hear the chick at the cash register strike up a conversation with two customers, about the fanny pack one of them is wearing.
“Is that old, or is that happening again?”
She was sweet but her concern was so exaggerated.
The fanny-pack lady laughed, quick and silvery (as one does).
“Nah, it’s back.”
The cash register chick was so excited. “Wow… Because I was thinking – did you have to crawl through Ebay for this or did you get it at like, an Urban Outfitters just yesterday.”
The fanny-pack lady shook her head knowingly. “Yeah no, it’s branded.”
Meanwhile, the other customer – the friend of Ms. Fanny-Pack – was just standing there. Hoping to be included, probably. Or maybe she had crippling anxiety like most people in this town and was kinda glad the attention was off of her as she jammed her chip-card inside the machine.
And then I looked down at my book and read the next line –
“A bow tie announces to the world that you can no longer get an erection.”
And I was immediately distracted again.