People in Places

She’s reading a book on acting, taking notes right on the paperbound pages and listening to something probably Beatles or Nirvana through iPod white headphones. An aspiring actress, she’s a little overweight, and too young for that not to matter.

His laptop has his girlfriend’s name on it and he’s talking about taking her out to do something tonight. She doesn’t speak much, but he loves to tell tales of writing music and taking acid. He’ll volunteer up information to you, after only meeting you, that you wouldn’t expect to know about him for years after being friends. He doesn’t change his clothes much and rarely has enough money for two beers. But he’ll often give you the second one.

They’re twisting their hairs around their index fingers. One in a plaid coat that reminds me of a table cloth at an Italian restaurant, the other has a prominent Pittsburgh nose and has her right knee cocked up into her chest. They’re sipping frappuccino type slushy coffee drinks and annoyed at all of the smoke in the place. From their sassy head swinging and fluid rolling eyes, I get the feeling that they’re annoyed at everything else in life, too.

He’s reading the newspaper, or at least folding the pages back and forth. I get the feeling that he’d be much happier in an Internet lifestyle, where every story doesn’t require folding and unfolding, but I’m probably wrong. He looks like he’s enjoying running his finger, smudged slightly black from newsprint and ink, up and down the various sections. I wonder how many crossword puzzles he’s completed in his life, how many obituaries he’s read about people he never knew, how many times he’s thought about buying a convertible out of the classified ads, even going as far as to call the seller up and haggle the price down to just above what he’s willing to pay.

They’re laughing and should be in love, if they’re not, which they are. But they’d never tell eachother. And maybe not out of fear of rejection from the other, but out of fear of losing this great flirtation that they have to some more constant “relationship” that might take them to another level but probably wouldn’t last as long as this initial thing they have is good.


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