Friday, March 14, 2003

I can't believe it's not butter! Please forgive me, it's been six days since my last blog. This is something I wrote in October, sitting at a Borders Café. I was just so taken by this struggle. It's such an everyday thing, but it plays out in its own beautiful way. So without anymore jibba-jabba:

A Play In A Cafe´

Francine leaves her glasses on a table in the crowded cafe and orders a drink. She then picks up her glasses and takes them with her while setting the coffee on the table -- the only one not occupied at the moment. She disappears for several minutes. A girl walks up, looking for a vacant table at which to sit. She picks up the seemingly abandoned coffee. Feeling its warmth, she sets it back down in its place, and walks away.

Enter the boyfriend -- his turn to look for a seat. He ventures to the very same table, the only one appearing empty, and picks up the same fresh, hot coffee, makes a face and then walks away, looking for someone to possibly tip him off as to the ownership of said coffee, and the whereabouts of its possessor. He looks around intently, almost pleadingly. Do I volunteer this information? After all, it would clear up any confusion and quickly resolve any potential conflict. No, I will leave it alone. Let them fend for themselves while I watch it all unravel before me. A private performance, with myself as the lone spectator. How grand. Am I a bad person?

Coming back a few moments later, with girlfriend in tow, he decides to go for it.
“But Isn’t someone still here?” She asks.
“Somebody must be rich,” he responds. “It doesn’t really matter, anyway” he mutters, while displacing the controversial object from the table to the nearest windowsill. “Do you want anything to eat, Jill?” He walks to the counter to wait in line. She follows.

Francine reenters the café. She is looking for the table with her magazine and coffee, but it is no longer there. Should I tell her where her coffee is, who moved it and who the real gunmen in the John F. Kennedy assassination were? No, I have already decided on my role as the impartial observer -- I cannot change my part in the middle of the play. I am here simply to watch the drama unfold, to be the only witness in a possible standoff.

Francine has determined that she is not insane; that her coffee is NOT where she left it, after all! The lines on her face can barely conceal the contempt rising below the surface. She thinks to herself “Where is my drink, and who is to blame for this?” She places her choice of reading material and her glasses on another table, as she goes back to the counter to get a replacement drink, having lacked the fortitude to continue her quest for the missing beverage.

A couple of minutes pass by. Jared comes back to the table, picks up the orphaned coffee from its new perch and throws it in the dustbin. I wonder if he is being presumptuous, or just a downright asshole. As Francine prepares her replacement beverage, Jared sets up shop next to her. Have the two parties communicated with each other offstage (I cannot see the coffee counter), or are both events still occurring independently, parallel to one another, unaware of their personal conflict?

As Jared takes his seat next to Jill, and Francine sits at her new table, I am truly disappointed at the lack of animosity. I was fully expecting a showdown -- some yelling, a raised voice -- anything.
Jill sneezes repeatedly. Jared sits there, unresponsive, reading a magazine silently. She sneezes some more. Not one single “Bless you” or “gesundheit” passes from his lips. What a freaking’ douchebag! Francine should have clocked him. Instead, she picks up her coffee and walks gently into that good night. What a waste of my time. Why did she not rage, rage at that freaking douchebag? That’s it. I’m out of here.