grub + travels + perspectives

Arbitrary Theory


7:15 AM.

I am standing in line inside this coffee shop a few blocks from where I work. It was the usual scene. Busy bodies, the air smelled like caffeine, light background music and the stream of sunlight penetrating through the windows. It was just like any given morning.

This certain song played and I can't help but chuckle. It was a random morning made a little better because this coffee shop that I basically go to everyday suddenly plays my favorite song. I was next in line when the door swung open and I heard a familiar voice greet another person, "Good morning."

And like some cliche scene out of a cheesy movie I would never ever watch but it's so cliche it's been repeated in other ways over and over again, I looked at you and you smiled at me, all while the chorus of my favorite song was playing. All I could think of at that moment was God damn it. God damn it. God damn it. I try my best to smile back without that ridiculous twitching of the left corner of my lips when I'm so damn nervous. I really do hope my lips didn't twitch because I could not remember.

Of course you'd smile at me. We're friends. I met you at the most right and wrong time of our lives but I'm still thankful anyway.

"Cafe Mocha, tall, right?" asked the perky barista behind the counter.

Wha -- "Yes." Disrupting my train of thought was the reason I was here in the first place. I forgot I was next in line. I wonder how long I've been standing there looking like a complete idiot.

After I got my morning caffeine fix from the counter, I scanned the room for your face. We caught each other's eyes and you signaled a gesture of something like Let's go outside to smoke.

That's another funny thing with you. You always go to coffee shops but never get anything. You're just there to smoke. I remember you telling me that the first day we met, and I find it really quite bizarre and hilarious. You told me, "The smell of coffee is more than enough to get me through the day. That, and I just love to people watch." My brows creased at the thought of 'people watching.' And before I could ask, you continued, "No. Not the perverted kind, silly. I just like observing people. I just sit here, have a couple of smokes and watch people, just see how they start their mornings, for about 10 minutes then  I'm good. It's therapeutic, actually."

The next time we met, at some other coffee shop within the vicinity of where we both live, I gave you a playlist. After you took a drag on your first smoke, I handed you the CD and you read out loud what I scribbled in front, "For your people watching needs, weirdo." We both broke into laughter. I think that sealed the deal. You had been my best guy friend ever since.


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