He went on for another couple of minutes about the lecture. I didn’t really follow all of it, I was half looking at the hippies and half not comprehending what exactly he was saying. He usually spoke to me over my head. Not on purpose, but he was vague in a philosophical way. If you asked him if there was an apple on the table when there blatantly was, he would reply with some sort of drawn out conclusion about the being of the apple, and no matter where it was there it was. Not many people disliked him, but sometimes he could get confusing.
Just then Tim and Con’s banter came to an abrupt halt. Sort of like if you are talking in class and the teacher sneaks up behind you when you are talking a friend. The friend sees him and you don’t but your friend stops talking and you get caught at the tail end of a sentence. "blah blah blah – so and so Mr. Heslen is a terrible professor."
"Did you see that?" Constance asked it total shock.
Having not paid attention, I did not see anything. I tend to be pretty observant, but sometimes people see things I don’t. Walking up to our table was Andrice. Maybe I forgot to mention this, but there happened to be a band playing at the shop tonight. Just your run of the mill white noise brought to you by some college sophomores. I hated bands that were technically good, but really didn’t have good influences. Most of their influence came from the top 40 or whatever. Throw in a few obscure or not so obscure Brit. pop bands.
Andrice was a nice girl. She exemplified a daddy’s little girl if I ever saw one. She dressed like a pro, and had a pretty good sense of color schemes. Pretty much all the girls that were in my circle of friends dressed like that. They used the modern fashionable colors, but not the clothes. Making it in style, but maybe not at the same time. At any rate, it worked.
She walked up behind Red covering his eyes. This was the typical juvenile game she played. It charmed everyone. Asking Red "Do you know who I am?" she stepped back a bit and waited before leaning in and whispering something intelligible into his ear. Red was no dummy, he gripped her hands like a man searching in the dark. He felt her specific jewelry and came to his conclusion.
"Andrice?" Red said questioningly but knowingly. He really was no dummy.
"How’d you guess?" She replied.
"Well, you know, I guess I am just good like that."
With a sly smile on his face, he pulled out a chair for her. She sat between Red and I, with Tim sitting directly to my left, and Con completing the circle. Red leaned on the back of the chair, Andrice leaned forward with her attention to Red, I slouched, Tim sat straight forward, and Con, slid back easy on her chair.
I tapped my foot due to my over stimulated blood stream. Coffee could and would effect me like that. Con got back to what she had noticed before: "I cannot believe she was holding his hand!" Con was too good for contractions.
"Who held who’s hand?" 2 or 3 of us said in shock.
"Oh this boy I see here who was dating that girl who read that poem last night. I saw her crying after her shift and now he is holding that other girl’s hand."
"Could it be his sister, cousin or niece?" Red asked.
"No I don’t think so…" "They seemed awfully flirty."
Constance frequently put her nose in other people’s business. We all did. We put our collective noses in other people’s business. In the shop we would sit. We would notice footwear, headwear, and pants. We were always looking for a good pair of pants. Cool jeans were hard to come by, and we weren’t loyal to ours.
To the left of me, like I said, was Tim. Tim, on this night, wore a plain pale green sweater. He was very particular about his sweaters. No print, little pattern, and non-restrictive. You would think he was OCD. But he’s not. He usually wears some nice pants, or some nice jeans, but he is more concerned about his sweaters. If there is pattern on the sweater, than it can’t distract from the hue of the sweater. He would wear sweaters in warm, cool, hot, and cold temperatures. He had a book with him, and the author was one of those intermediates between a great but over rated writer and an unfamiliar but under rated writer. He wasn’t really into literature, but he was if you talked to him about it.
Constance was in her athletic sweats. She was relatively active and played a few leisurely sports. She mostly jogged or walked, because sports can become too competitive. They aren’t to most people, but were with Con. She wanted everyone to get along. Her black running pants weren’t of the nylon persuasion. They make too much noise when she walked. They were some sort of poly-cotton blend. They stretched with her legs as she walked and were pretty fit.
Usually on rainy days, or nights that were too cold to go out and do something I would head to the library to read. On those days where my friends didn’t call me I just stayed in my room. Really, I know, I could have made the effort to call, but I didn’t. I am a bad friend like that, but usually, people don’t notice you are being aloof. They just think you are busy with work, or maybe out visiting your folks, or out with other people. So, for that reason, my friends don’t bother calling. They simply assume I am not pent up in this one dank, dingy, and dimly lit room.
Certain friends were different. Constance always wanted to know what was going on.
She was one of those busy bodies. Who was with whom, where are they going, what happened last night. The list goes on and on. Mostly though, I find all women are busy bodies. Well more so that they like to engage people and long for knowledge of every little detail. This is what I hoped, anyway. Con, wouldn’t let me call her (or anyone for that matter) Connie. For some reason, the juvenile connotation was a bit much. And since "Stance" wasn’t much of a nick name, I called her Con.
She always wanted to get what she had earned. This is evident in how she lives each part of her life. She works hard, she plays hard, and she has a good time. This is a very good quality (hard worker), but it wouldn’t kill her to be a little apathetic about something’s from time to time. Sometimes, she’d pretend to be apathetic. Though it would come off, obvious to everyone but her: that she was actually worrying more than she should. She liked to fool herself, and rarely fooled others. She was good at this.
Drinking a drink, overpriced and extremely bitter, Con once approached me. It was one of those rainy days I had just told about. She had also bought a drink. I think it was an orange tea of some sort. It was with three sugars and as sweet as her personality. At the shop where we sat, they were playing "Overture" by the Who. Quite a song for a rainy day, but I think it was to zap the works out of the weekday haze more than anything. Actually I think they were playing the whole Tommy record, a feat in it’s self.
She sat down quietly and didn’t say anything. I was reading a paper and depressing myself in the world’s current state. I can’t read papers, or internet news much. I get depressed about the world, it gets me down. If only we could settle every worldly dispute with a game of checkers. I would like to think there would be no more Israeli-Palestinian violence, no more religious persecution or, dare I say it…plastic and over played pop stars. Now, these aren’t the only problems in the world today, but without these, there would be a lot less. I guess it all comes down to putting down the guns, putting down the Bibles and burning the current pop stars at the stake.
But really, witch burning is what got us in this mess, right? Ok, Enough with the cryptic and confusing thoughts. I peered up from my paper at Constance. She was reading as well. Though it was light reading and only the text on her teacup. It was one of those tea cups that has a bunch of inspiration phrases that some fat man in an office came up with. As in: "I can’t get started in the morning without my coffee." Or something like "Today is better than yesterday, yesterday was Monday." They kind of make sense, but in the same light they don’t. They do, however generate and entice you into getting a refill.
Being that she was drinking tea, these phrases must have confused her and she stared off into the blank space that was the coffee shop’s ceiling. She sighed three times and finally spouted out, right in the middle of me reading about another massacre of the Tigers, that she was leaving.