This Moment: Starbucks 10:08 A.M. June 8,2012

I am seated at a small table near a window with a view of a SUV-filled parking lot. Julia Stone's It's Alright set the tone of my day with it tale of strangely distant and unrequited love. The music playing in the coffee shop at this very moment is a jazzy disco attempt featuring a flute and synthesized drum beat. The more I focus on it, the more I feel the urge to scream Uncle to make it stop. The shop is filled with women paying homage to Queen's fat-bottomed girls song until a thin blond woman in cut off jeans shorts and a black tank enters. The bald man at the table next to mine looks up from his laptop for the first time, crosses his arms on the table and leans into his observation. He has a large black flattish mole the size and shape of my thumb's nail on his left cheek just under his hawk-like cheekbones. Suddenly he pulls a ball cap on. His focus has shifted to a muscular blond with a winged snake tattoo spread over her ample forearm. He is leaving now, laptop tucked under his right arm. He is much older than I first thought. I am reading a memoir of a woman who was abandoned at three by her omma in a South Korean market who has used travel and cooking to escape her loneliness. A small child and his buzz hair cut is skipping around the coffee displays punching the air and shouting, let's roll dude! Until his mother collects her drink and purse and repeats the same directive. Another woman and her crying son enter and head straight for the boys room. The man sitting across from me is all neck and muscle, his black soul patch nearly disappearing into his army chin. The woman and boy leave, broad smiles stretched across their faces. A beautiful older woman in wide cropped pants and peasant blouse resembling Puccini's despairing clown orders a caramel macchiato and I think to ask her how she gathered her courage this morning to dress for a role in the opera. She leaves and I watch until she drives away. When I am in Paris this fall I vow I will pull my long dark hair back into a tight bun at the nape of my neck and channel Maria Callas. A song from an era before I was born about not being promised a rose garden comes on and is my cue to leave and walk out into the day and it's bright unforgiving light.

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