“Giant wave rushes down” I heard the two old men chatting at the table to my right. They talk as their coffee cups become emptier. It is a cold foggy morning and white light pours over all of us from a partly shaded sun. It falls like a cold silver shower on the garden touching with careful fingers white chairs gathered around black tables, and purple blossoms hanging from bright stems among wide green leaves.
“It is a painful inflammatory condition” he adds. And the second man nods, sips his coffee with his eyes fixed on the visible cracks of the black table’s skin. There is a pause in their conversation. A shade passes through his forehead, he mumbles one thing then another and as if steering an airplane away from a knot of turbulent winds, he lands on a different topic “Portland is a great place”.
In the tiny pause that ensues they look at their neighbor, me, this man crouched on top of a notebook writing furiously as if assaulting the white page. Unaware their words are metamorphosing into ink the second man replies “That’s where my sister in law lives” before resuming their conversation.
A tiny girl with big round blue eyes shining like turquoise marbles on her forehead looks at me with the curiosity of those for whom the world is new. There is a group of Indian folks to my left, filling the air with foreign syllables and in front two university students read their notebooks, look at their laptops and scroll down their phones all at the same time.
The sun’s white round circle burns warmer as people pour into the garden. Suddenly the murmur of conversation fills the place, enveloping all with the sounds of a world suddenly filled with lives other than my own.
Silence has fallen on the table to my right. A clatter of china, and a screeching of metal on cement makes me turn my head. They walk away with short careful steps and disappear through the black revolving door, their words growing fainter until they are no more.