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Choose your own adventure

12 Apr

Choose your own adventure

I went to the café tonight. Across the room, a man sat alone with a pot of tea and a glass of water. He had no book, no phone, no newspaper, and a direct view of the door. He sat quietly and patiently and looked toward the entrance with a steady look in his eyes. It was ten to 9; he must be waiting for someone, I thought.

Nine came and went. He remained alone, quiet, looking — not watching, looking. Every so often I’d glance up and he was still doing the same thing, as though waiting for something without knowing what it was. He didn’t look miserable, but his face was slightly melancholy.

So now is the part where you get to guess what happened next! (more…)

Tea for two. Or one. One.

30 Mar

Tea for two. Or one. One.

Ritual is notorious for being a Missed Connections hotspot. At any given moment, half of the people here are probably scanning the room for someone they are too scared to talk to. I can’t help but think that it’s weird that so many of us are too timid to say hello or merely smile. So far, I have never been a Ritual missed connection. If I were, it might go something like this:

You were the bespectacled vixen in too-tight shoes. Maybe if you hadn’t tried to squeeze into a 7.5, you wouldn’t look like Oliver Twist’s anemic ladyfriend. Wish I’d said hello.

I like coming here because I’m too lazy to walk farther, the music is usually good (not tonight, though) and the people-watching is spectacular. My favorite moments involve first dates. I love reading the couples, gauging their newness, and witnessing the connection or lack thereof. Ritual is actually not a great place to have a first date (or so I’d imagine) because it’s often loud, and there’s that space during which your drink isn’t ready, so you wind up hovering awkwardly as the baristas whip it up.

A while ago, one of the baristas and I talked about Jawbreaker, and from then on, I was a regular! I even got the “Hi Annie” treatment, which is the sort of tiny detail that makes SF start to feel like home after almost three years. Then he quit, and so did the girl who always flirted with me, and so did Nick with his chest tattoo, and now there is only the bearded boy with the French tattoo — and I am never sure if he recognizes me anyway. Right now, it is time to close the coffee shop, to close the computer, and to close the night.