Thursday, November 27, 2008
The coffee place is crowded and there's no place to sit. I'm meeting her in about 15 minutes and I'm a bit nervous anyways. I always get nervous when I meet with people to talk about supporting our work and this time is no different, it always feels a little awkward, they know why I'm there and sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's hard. Poverty politics. So I'm casing the joint looking for a table or at least a chair that I can steal so I don't have to look like a total dork in 12 minutes or so.
I see him sitting at a table, he's reading the paper alone. He's got some stuff on the second chair and I figure if nothing else I can probably borrow that. So I wait till he looks up and I ask him if I could grab the chair he isn't really using.
He nods and tells me not only can I have the chair but I can have the whole table because he's getting ready to go.
I thank him and sit down, we are sharing the table now and as I peruse my new surroundings I start to get the sense that maybe he's from the streets, he's got too many bags and his clothes seem a bit worn. He's got an old thermos and he takes it to the counter and I watch them refill it for him and I wonder if that's something he relies on or if it's just how this place rolls.
He comes back and we talk a bit, I wish him Happy Thanksgiving and he looks at me and smiles. I don't celebrate that he says, it's just a day like any other but thank you anyways. I've got to go to the bus station now so you enjoy the table.
It's raining and he doesn't have an umbrella. If I had one I'd give it to him but instead I sit silently, still not certain so not wanting to offend. The words are on the tip of my tongue now, so where do you live or hey I know a place cooking up a turkey or simply, do you need a place to go tonight but my uncertainty quiets me and instead I simply watch him go.
The person I am meeting walks in as he's walking out, I see her and her umbrella, her warm coat and fancy purse. He holds the door open for her and I watch him disappear into the city. I am berating myself because I sat silent through what might have been an opportunity and as yet as necessity dictates I turn my attention to the reason I am sitting here in the first place while he lingers in my mind. I realize I should have risked offending him by inquiring, if he has a place to go then so what if some girl at a coffee shop offends him, right?
Happy Thanksgiving, all.