Wait! Let’s be friends.

New parents at the coffee shop with their six-month old baby. “Why Don’t We Do it In the Road?” comes on the radio and mom bobs her head exaggeratedly. Baby waves his hands, happy and frantic. “Why don’t we do it in the roohohhoad!” mom croons. “No one will be watching us!” Dad joins in, shaking his shoulders a little.

Wiping up the table before they leave, baby joins in the upkeep. “Look!” Mom says. “He’s gonna be a busboy!” “Yes!” Dad says, “Yes, you are! You’re gonna be a buuusboy!”

Overheard: How Kind of You to Say

Scenario: French coffee shop owner at French cafe realizes American customer’s wife is also French.

Owner: Your wife is French?
Customer: Yep.
Owner: No kidding!
Customer: Yep.
Owner: How long since you’ve been back to France?
Customer: I don’t enjoy France.
Owner: Oh…
Customer: Yeah, I don’t like France at all.

Overheard: Drugs, Women

Scenario: A young man in his mid-twenties talking on his cell as he walks home from work.

“I know what you’re saying. I hear you. Willpower, homes. It’s gonna be hard to go out, have a good time, have some drinks, and not hit that. But that’s where willpower comes in.

The Seduction Community

-I know you. You’re one of those girls who likes to pretend she’s good but is wild underneath.
-No.
-Yeah. Yeah you are. You’re a bad girl who just doesn’t want other people to know it. I like that.
-No. No.
-Awww. Come on.
-No.
-No?
-No.
-I see, you’re one of those who likes to play coy.
-No, dude. I could not be less coy.

You Need to Listen

A man up the street is screaming into his cell phone. It is early morning, still grey.

NO! SHUT UP! YOU NEED TO LISTEN. YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO ME.

I push the stroller across the street quickly, and try to figure out where the sound is coming from. He is at least two blocks away, dressed in a red sports jersey and matching track pants.

I DO HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT! I GOT EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT. YOU NEED TO SHUT UP RIGHT NOW AND LISTEN TO ME.

He takes a few steps, pauses to scream, takes a few more steps. Hank and I walk to the neighborhood coffee shop and take a seat. A few minutes later, I see the man through the window. The hum of the cafe deadens his words, but he is gesturing in wide sweeps. He holds the phone to his ear for a moment, and then swings it out so he can scowl at it while he yells into the receiver, as though it were a microphone.

His gestures remind me of a hellfire preacher at the pulpit. I can see he isn’t actually angry, not anymore. He’s simply enjoying the gestures that accompany refined rage. He is flawless, infuriated, and somehow harmless. He could be a lovely actor, I think, and then retrieve Hank’s pacifier from the floor.

Overheard: Tattoo

Scenario: Girl in her mid-twenties talks to a friend on the street corner.

Girl: …and on my calf I want a heart and a cloud with a rainbow. Then coming out of the cloud, I want like little hearts and stars and lightening bolts. Friend: (Dubious look.) Girl: Like, not hell of um, but a few.