Random Cafe Conversation: No Escape!

She’s talking about street demonstrations in Chicago and being chased by a mounted policeman during a riot. I’m not sure how we got to this point. I haven’t said a word in ten minutes. ‘Freedom of speech?’ she says, with a shrug.

Freedom to speak? Something like that. I made the, I don’t want to call it this but I will, mistake of sitting next to the only other person in the café. There are only the two comfy chairs you see, and I’m gonna be here a couple hours. She doesn’t do things like that often. I’m tuning out and in as she goes. Street demonstrations and such. She’s not really an activist. ‘Now, however,’ she says. ‘There was this movie, called Cover Up. You know, about the Bush family being involved in CIA drug running. The truth.’

I think this conversation began with a question as to where the electrical socket was. And now we’re already on the fifth tangent. ‘I bet you’re a Gemini. Am I right? An air sign.’ I’m a Libra. ‘See! I was right! Is a hobby of yours astrology? Not predictive, but synistrism, and that other one… what is it called? And do you have an accent? Somewhere out East?

‘You’re such a good listener. I should pay you for this therapy session. You look like you need to work though. I can tell. I’ll leave you alone. Oh, but I had a stalker once. And I was robbed. And then he found me in a crowd and asked if I was hearing voices yet…’ I’m multi-tasking now. England are in a dominant position after Day Three of the 2nd Ashes Test. And Kerry succeeded in securing a commitment from Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to a face-to-face dialogue. Well done there.

‘… and we owe so much money to China now, do you think they’re just going to take over?’ The Mariners are on a roll. Home runs in 23 straight games? Franchise record. And Froome is closing in on the Tour. There’s a sudden pause beside me. Silence for the first time in half an hour.

‘I hope you’re not typing what I’m saying,’ she finally says to me. Oh but I am miss. I am.


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