(Man, it’s like these gumballs go from the height of sugar-sweet-deliciosity and then not long after, they just spoil in your mouth. Who thought up that transition?! Don’t make it SO good if it’s gonna crap out so quickly!)
So I have to tell you about Friday night’s trip to Second Cup. Which one, you ask. And I say, I know. It’s like Starbucks in California. Except they have Second Cup and Starbucks here. So anyway, I was gonna title this “Canadians are easily confused” and then I thought, huh. Several of my friends might take offense to that, particularly without those jovial and good-natured facial and hand expressions I do that let you know I’m just a comedic genius and mean nothing seriously. So I thought, the least I can do is write a totally long disclaimer about how I purposely overgeneralize (because a measure of generalization is good, but over that amount is bad) to make poignant commentary on the many things to which we can be reduced. *Building Pulitzer shelf* Ahem. So, if this happened at one of the cancerous growths in California (Starbucks), I would have titled it, “Californians” or “Starbucks patrons are easily confused”. But it happened here. So it’s Canadians.
ANYWAY. I walked in and saw two chairs in front of a fireplace and, since I’d just come in from the nighttime cold, I took a seat there. The chairs, it turned out, were slightly shorter than they should have been and I kinda had to fall the rest of the way. Aside from which, they were super less comfortable than the normal chairs situated with regular tables. But this one was in front of the fireplace. So I stayed. There was a seat across from me which was left vacant when Josh had to go back into the cold for what ended up being a long and purposeless walk. ANYWAY. So I have my mug of cocoa – with the foam I asked them to leave out – and my iPod and my other minutia. Aside from making mental note of the fact that everyone in the shop save the baristas happened to be the same ethnicity, I was actually trying to read something over. But I kept getting distracted.
You see, on three separate occasions, a couplet of patrons would venture over to the fireplace and – seeing that one of the two chairs was occupied and that the coffee table had belongings atop it – stood there. In the smallish path between the tables behind them and the chair in which I sat. Confounded, the two – holding mugs of their own and at a loss for words – stared at me, mouth agape, and then looked at the fireplace – who was pretty much succeeding only in providing ambiance and an arguable fragment of warmth – and then looked at each other. What were they to do? They had walked all the way from the counter to here and were met with such a confusing muddle of circumstances. Here were the two chairs they had expected. But, it appeared, there was only ONE vacant. Well, this was such a pickle as to require entire minutes of contemplation, turning half in one direction as though a decision had been reached and then turning back to face the fireplace fully. The first couplet was clearly the most inspired. They – two men – sat quickly down at the table behind them. And then stood right back up. This simply wouldn’t do. It wouldn’t. Try as they might, they could not be satisfied. They left. The second couplet was a young man and a young woman. They smiled and giggled to each other – still standing directly next to my arm and brushing it when they turned about in flirtatious indecisiveness. The last was made up of two young women and they lingered the longest. They even walked away and wandered back, as though I might have felt so guilty at having occupied what for them was apparently a magical space that I would have vacated it. In the fifteen seconds it took them to double back.