Drinking a cup of lukewarm coffee in one of the trendiest (see: hipster) coffee joints in Portland. It is called Heart. Just Heart. A girl rides by on her bike with flowing red hair and I have to turn around to stop typing and stare at her. She is gorgeous. I’m sitting in the window seat which provides me with the optimal view of everything going on. There is a man sitting outside of the window at the small silver tables smoking a cigarette and writing on a long scroll of paper. He furrows his brow and places the pen down, re-reading what he’s written. I can’t tell if he’s writing upwards or downwards or all the way across. His letters are small and precise. He had an espresso, a small cup of sparkling water, and a regular glass of water. He is wearing light brown leather loafers and dark blue socks. I try to crane my neck to see the rest of him but all I can see his his wrist hanging limply with the cigarette, the smoke blowing off into the wind. He has nice fingers and I wonder if they have built in g-spot navigation. He closes the scroll of paper, which is a long and intricate postcard. He drags on his cigarette like he’s trying to cough and inhale at the same time. I’ve grown bored with him.

The girls at the long stretching community table lean closely together, surrounded by cups. A girl to the left of them sits and does work of some sort, constantly checking her cell phone for messages. She never gets any. The man sitting immediately to my left is reading a thick book he’s only just started. The music in the background growls Nobody loooooves me, no-bo-dy. He strokes his neck beard. He has consumed some sort of pastry in the time it’s taken me to check back in with cigarette man. He is finishing off his water and standing up to leave. He strokes his hair back. He fills his pockets. He grabs his cups and stacks them. He looks up at me, briefly.

I’m caught.

He slips inside and loads his dishes and then he’s gone, giving me one last curious glance.

I look around to see who else is here. A small group of men with ray bans surround the counter near the barista. They make high pitched sipping sounds as they taste different roasts. They are wearing vans without socks and grey denim shorts that hang near their knees. I notice the man sitting on the same bench as me for the first time. I don’t know how long he’s been here. He’s got a sketchbook out and is drawing something. He takes a break to check his phone. He sips on coffee.

I feel strangely comfortable here. But I don’t think any of these people could be my friends. I wonder if they could, though. The girl checking her phone waiting for her husband to call her back. The two girls working together on an important project for work. One of them looks like Peggy from mad men. The guy with the thick book. I don’t know anything about him, but he keeps furrowing his brow too and I don’t need that kind of nonsense in my life.

My cups only half gone. The sun is coming out. I feel compelled to live but don’t know where to start.


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