Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday at the Common Ground Coffee Shop

I had a job this morning, lunch and two beers at Founders and now I'm at the Common Ground Coffee Shop, reading East of Eden, having coffee and smoking a cigar.

Three loud girls are at the next table.

One of the girls is complaining about a roommate. "He has no common sense," she says. "I put my name on my cream cheese and he ate it anyway." She says she's enjoying her freedom now that school is out. She sleeps in until ten.

"I'm connected to old boyfriends on Facebook . . . 'Oh, you look like a little old man.'" The girl is probably twenty-two years old at most.

"Churches help a lot," she says.

Someone used the word "gonzo" at Founders, and one of the girls just mentioned watching the movie Gonzo with a couple of friends.

Now the girls are talking about a guy whose guidance councilor said going to Michigan University was a "long shot". Now they are talking about their SATs. "I am not a fast reader," says tall gawky blonde girl.

Tall blonde has a pot belly, a tight white shirt, sad tits and horrible posture. The brunette in the middle has Tina Fey glasses and a red shirt with an American flag on the front and a white button down shirt over that.

"They wanted to place me in 202. I scored amazingly well on the test," Tina Fey Glasses says.

The third girl wears a brown shirt. She has bad posture and an unremarkable face.

The girl in the brown shirt is a chain smoker.

"What were we talking about?"

"We were talking about Lydia."

A guy shows up. He declares that he is tired. Black pants, black unzipped sweater jacket. White tee-shirt. Blonde hair cut close. Pale goatee.

Blonde girl gets up and hugs him. They sit on the sofa right across from me.

Tired Guy is going to California and then to LA.

"How's LA?" Blonde Girl asks. I think she likes saying "LA". I'm jealous of these young people. Apparently they are studying film.

"Like GR only more spread out," Tired Guy says.

Okay, I no longer am jealous. LA is like Grand Rapids? Really? I've seen Pulp Fiction too many times to believe that.

"I'm working with LA Catholic Worker?" Blonde Girl says. "I'm going to be living in an LA halfway house with homeless and three people who are dying?"

She ends her declarative sentences like questions. I hate that?

"These were fucking . . ." she says. "They call it the Hippy Kitchen. So what did you do in LA?"

"Different jobs, different companies. Made a few friends and made a few enemies," the Tired Guy says.

"What did you do?" Blonde Girl asks.

"Be myself," Tired Guy says. He seems pretty laid back. Non-annoying. That's saying a lot.

Tired Guy is in film school and Blonde Girl is in some kind of works program. They have been to LA and I haven't. I hate them and envy them at the same time.

Later . . .

"So I heard that Heather is pregnant?"

"Allegedly," Tired Guy says.

"She is so friggin' cute."

"I was nice to her, but that doesn't mean I have to like her."

Blonde girls starts a lot of statements with the word "Dude".

"I am now a film studies major."

"I wanted Photography but Calvin sucks ass."

"Finished French forever."

"You fluent then?"

"I wouldn't say fluent."

And later . . .

"I saw Fahrenheit 457?"

"What else are you doing?"

"Shooting movies."

None of these people have any concept of inside voices. I feel no guilt in eavesdropping. Eavesdropping? They're practically yelling their lines.

"I'm a vegetarian."

"When did that happen?"

"Oh, I eat cheese. Don't even start. I eat cheese, milk and eggs. I don't care what animals are abused for those or whatnot."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I've been to LA?

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I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at