A peaceful protest

Walk into cafe.

All the tables with outlets are taken.

The kind, older couple I’ve written about before (Frank & Irene) are sitting at one of the tables I sometimes sit at and drinking coffee together.

They greet me as I sit at a nearby table.

As I open up my laptop bag, they stand up. I look over…

“You can have our table.”

“What? Oh no. Please. Enjoy your coffee! I couldn’t.”

“You need it more than we do.”

Despite my protest, they gather their things to switch tables with me.

Seeing that I’m outnumbered, “Ok, fine. It’s two against. Not even fair.”

And Frank says, “Now don’t say we never saved you a table.”

“I won’t! I’ll have to make it up to you.”

“You better!” says Irene, laughing.

I love these two.

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What's his face

Walk into cafe.

The older couple I’ve written about before see me and wave. They’re sitting in “my” spot.

“We’re saving your table for you again.”
“I see that! Thank you.”

I get some coffee and sit nearby.

The couple finish and come over…

“Hey, do you just want us to call you Hey?”, asks the woman, with a laugh in her voice.

“Well, you can,” I say laughing, “But my name is Zero.”

“Yup. But my last name is Dean. You can call me that, too, if you want.”

“Well, Zero is probably better. We saw you come in and I said, ‘Hey, there’s what’s-his-face’!”

I laugh.

“I’m Frank.”, says her husband, “And this is Irene.”

I smile, “Frank & Irene. I will remember that!”
“You better!”

Love these two. And now they have names.

Even better.

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A fine dining experience

Walk into cafe. All the tables with electrical outlets for my laptop are full.

The kind older couple that comes in for coffee almost every day (that I’ve written about before) is sitting at my usual table.

But rather than just coffee today, they’re enjoying what appears to be a feast of pastries, too. There are certainly many more plates than usual.

The older gentleman sees me first and waves. I wave back.

The woman speaks up, “We’re saving your table for you.”
“Oh! Thank you. I appreciate that!”

I set my stuff down in a nearby booth, get coffee, and then sit down and draw on my tablet.

15 minutes later the older gentleman is standing in my peripheral vision. I look up.

As if he’s the host in some expensive restaurant, he says, “Sir, your table is ready.”

I look over and see that they’ve not only vacated the table, they’ve cleared it for me as well. It’s totally clean.

“Thank you!”, I say. He nods. “And hey, if I’m here first tomorrow, I’ll save a table for you, too.”

They laugh as they head out the doors.

These two are always a pleasure. I can only hope my partner and I come across in this way when I am older. They really do make the world a better place in their own way.

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Musical chairs

Walk into cafe.

The kind older couple I’ve written about before is sitting where I usually sit. We smile at each other and I set down my gear at the open table next to them.

“Would you like to sit here?”
“What? Oh. No. This is good… Unless you’re leaving.”
“We’re not leaving, but isn’t this your seat?”

I laugh, “Well, it’s not like it has my name on it.”

“I think it has your name on it,” says the woman smiling.

They stand up and grab their cups. We switch tables and they sit down.

I pull out my laptop and turn, “You know, some people… no matter whether you see them regularly or not, are always a pleasure when you do. And you are. THANK YOU.”

“You’re welcome… And thank you. We’re retired.”
I laugh, “Well that explains it!”

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Relational aspirations

Confession of the day:

Couples that look genuinely happy together make me happy. Especially older couples.

There is this couple that comes into this cafe (in southern California) almost every day around 2pm. They sit, talk, and enjoy coffee together.

They’ve seen me enough times to know that I’m a regular (when I’m in the area), too.

I was away for 5 months, but they were here the day I got back (a few days ago).

They didn’t say anything, but they gave me a nod of recognition, and a smile. That was enough.

And today when I came in, they offered me their table as they got up to go — which is what they used to do on occasion (because it’s in a convenient spot for working on a laptop).

I don’t really know them. And we’ve only exchanged a few words here and there, but they feel familiar. Like good people you want to know.

As you know, not everyone is like that.

I hope that when I’m with someone later in life, we can give off the same kind of vibe.

It’s remarkable how much of a difference you can make by just setting a good example.

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