As I arrive and sit down, roughly half of the chairs are occupied. Every table is. There are ten female customers and five male. One of the male customers is a former GTF for one of my classes. He is in the corner opposite me and he is intently typing away on his computer. A female employee wearing blue jeans and a salmon colored shirt blocks my view to microwave a drink. She is gone now and I can see the GTF again. A woman has sat down with him and started talking. They are nodding, smiling, nodding, gesturing, nodding, acting surprised at what the other said, and nodding some more. He wrapped up whatever he was talking about by saying, “So, ya know…”
More customers just came in. A man wearing khaki pants and a gray Northface jacket just ordered a scone, but no drink. That is odd, scones are some of the driest foods out there, eating one without a drink is like asking for a super dry mouth.
Now there are three more men in line. A fourth! The male/female ratio is almost even now. But two more women come in to use the microwave and the women retain their ruling majority.
Two more women, one wearing sandals, socks with green, lime green, sky blue, blue, and
purple stripes, with leopard print yoga pants and a black sweatshirt. Another one of the women becomes animated in telling her story. It seems like a story from the weekend because she says “And I was like, ‘Who are you?’” and gestures like a mad, confused person would be. Seems like an encounter that one would have over a weekend.
Now there are like six women waiting in line. Uh oh, a woman comes running at me! Oh, she was just running to her friend to say hello. Her friend reciprocates the excitement and gives her an aggressive yet friendly hug. They both say, “How are you?” at the same time and they both stretch out the sound of the last word. There is some forced ‘oh-my-god-that’s-so-awkward-we-both-just-said-the-same-thing-at-the-same-time’ laughter.
One woman walks out with a Simply raspberry lemonade and a sandwich. I couldn’t see what kind of sandwich but it looked like it contained pesto. Another woman just walked by with the same sandwich, and it looked like pesto again.
The line dies down, allowing one of the employees to turn on the music that had just shut off during the rush of customers. The music is very indie rock-y and very appropriate for this setting. I can hear the heels of women’s shoes click-clack on the floor. And now I smell something, it smells wonderful. They must be grilling a sandwich. The smell is similar to that of a grilled quesadilla, but it can’t be that, that is not on the menu. Maybe it is bacon. But bacon is a very identifiable smell. It is never “Is that smell bacon cooking?” It is always “I smell bacon.”
There are seven tables, each with four chairs, except one table in the middle of the room that is bigger than the others and has eight chairs unevenly spread around it. Five of those chairs are occupied. One by a large man with big black headphones hunched over his computer, the other four by a group of people, one female and three males, who seem to be discussing a group project although one of the men seems like he is just texting and ignoring his group.
A man brought his own cup in to fill with coffee, saving him twenty-five cents.
The woman that just ordered got some food in a small brown paper bag. I do not know if it is a donut, a scone, or a Danish, but the employee asked if she wants cream cheese, so it is likely a bagel. She heads for the toaster and it is confirmed—bagel.
There is some cool rail lighting overhead and plenty of natural light. Were everybody in here not sitting in chairs with their heavy coats draped over them, one may believe it was springtime.
A young woman pulls a lunch sack out of her backpack, pulls a Tupperware container of pasta with red sauce out of that, and places it in the microwave. She then leaves the room. The employees seem jovial. The woman has now returned for her pasta. It is steaming and smells like garlic. She takes it back to her table where her friends are and proceeds to blow on it to cool it off. The steam is visible from across the room. She perks up her body and swivels her head. She is on the hunt for napkins, and she has found them. She is wearing a white sweater and black pants and spilling the pasta on either one of those items of clothing would be embarrassing now and for the rest of the day. Maybe for the rest of time if she is unable to get the stains out.