No Hopper Here

I’m working at the new coffee shop next door to my house today. It’s become quite the hot spot for the remaining adults in Williamsburg, and a terrific range of languages can be heard opining on such grownup topics as weather and mortgages and socks. (Don’t knock that last one; I can talk about socks endlessly, especially the striped and polka-dotted varietals.) Now that the weather has grown so inhospitable, we’re crowded over big bowls of toast soldiers and eggstravaganzas (the owners let me name that dish of brussels sprouts, bacon, and poached eggs), and we’re sharing tables and gallows-humor grins. One language not being spoken at my table is the language of love. A couple is sitting opposite me: a very young, very beautiful woman wearing what they call “rich girl” hair (perfectly coiled and colored long, long locks), and a man closer to my age wearing an expensive sweater and an even more expensive smile. The two have been hissing at each other throughout their meal–even as I type with headphones, I can sense their tension building–and when the bill shows up, he hands it to her without a word. Oh my lord, does she ever blow up. “You know I don’t pay!” she bellows, narrowing her eyes, losing her prettygirl cool. “Oh yes you do, doll,” I almost say aloud. “We always do.”

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy