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The Café

So, I’m here, all the time, in this café. Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes not, but even when it’s bustling, no-one takes notice of my old face for more than a fleeting moment, not really take notice. I’m always here, ready to tell my story but everyone seems far too immersed in their lives to interact with me.

Oh, oh, that lady’s looking now, will she like what she sees? Will she stay? No, she’s getting up, leaving, a young man taking her seat almost immediately. Will he look at me I wonder? I hope so, it gets a bit lonely here, even with all the conversations going on, the clattering of cutlery, the clinking of cups, the chattering of conversations, the collection of coins.

Many come and go and I watch them all. The solicitors meeting their clients for a quick breakfast meeting; the street cleaner grabbing a well deserved mid-morning break; the writer with a cup of cold coffee, obliviously tapping away at a laptop; the artist maniacally scribbling into his Moleskine; the builders, with their muddy boots; the excited yummy mummys who’ve just dropped off their children at nursery, others with babies, as yet too young for that.

Here there’s an eclectic mix of patrons, a microcosm, all with a story to tell. It’s the same the world over, I suppose. But I wouldn’t know. I stay here in this café, I don’t move, well not much. Me? I’ve a story to tell too. It lasts for 12 hours, then I tell it all over again. I have to go now, a man’s looking at me, checking his watch against my hands. ‘It’s ten to two Sir.’ Look, he’s smiling at me, we must agree.

Ken Balneaves also wrote, The Greatest Gift, available at http://amzn.to/QF7RLd (US), http://amzn.to/O12kgX (UK)