The GUY pulled a camera from his bag and popped out of his chair, just as his coffee date grabbed her iced latte, and positioned herself in front of the door to the coffee shop.
I was sitting kinda behind her, with no makeup, huddled in the corner like a troll, working on my laptop. [CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!] snapped the camera, as the girl did a thousand variations of “GIRL ON SIDEWALK WITH LATTE”.
— ohmigad, am I in this? I don’t want to be in this. I cowered behind my laptop. Finally – a reason for the 17″ screen! I slid lower in my plastic chair. Then I thought about my dry, white, unshaven legs, hanging out from beneath the table. Damnit. [CLICK! CLICK! CLICKITY-CLICK-SNAP-“OK I THINK WE GOT IT!”] – and he popped the lens cap on his camera. They hi-five’d, and she was off.
What the –? I peeked out from behind my monitor to get a good look at this dude. Everyone in LA is kind of “on”, or “off” — I just wanted to see which one he was. — OK both.
I was sitting at this particular coffee shop, while waiting for my car’s oil to be changed, down the block. The photo up top is of Lily who is always in the office at the mechanic. She was eating JellyBelly’s last time I was there. No matter that they’re not good for her, because they are the size of her eyeballs and it was adorable.
Back at the coffee shop, I was gaining adrenaline from the double latte I accidentally ordered. I could feel my heart beating in my earholes. I felt alive.
GUY: “I used to date a French girl.” I looked up to find that same guy, talking to a Japanese girl who had sat down with him. “She was SOOOOOOO FRENCH. Very French. Yeah — I mean, Parisian-French, so. We lived together here. In LA.”
JAPANESE GIRL: “OK…”
GUY: “I – LOVE – the French. I love the French accent, and France — just — all of it.”
JAPANESE GIRL: “Mm- Hm.” I was wondering if this was a date…? If so, he was bombing hard. If not — he was bombing hard.
GUY: (PAUSE) “I also like Tokyo!” FAIL!! FAIL, YOU!!!!! TOO little, too FRENCH.
OMG, ok back to my work. Focus. Sippy my caffeine drink. The Japanese girl flitted away. Another girl arrived, tied her seemingly old lady Boxer dog onto a plastic chair, and went inside to order something. GUY made a few calls that involved saying things like “OH HANG ON — I’M GETTING ANOTHER CALL — IT’S FROM SANTA MONICA AND IT MIGHT BE…. — YEAH, I’M NOT GONNA ANSWER IT.” He has unlimited minutes. And friends.
GUY hung up and then took it upon himself to make the dog sit down. Forcefully. I’m not an Animal Scientist, but I was always under the assumption that animals do what they want to be doing. They can sense tsunamis before they happen. They must be able to know when they want to sit. Or eat. Or poo.
He pushed the dog’s butt down, then sat in the chair next to me. Nooooooo we are not talking. I pretended to be extremely interested in my laptop, and furiously typed a bunch of keys to prove it. W@#%#$^h984dfjcv3462oinfZ*nf — HEY, I’m workin here, Buddy. #8CSeosigj238958)(BW*EDKSyysdhDFic& — No talkie time!
(Only secret listen-y…)
Dog owner girl returned.
GIRL: (Setting 2 coffees and a muffin on the table) “OMG, thanks for watching my dog! She’s such an old gal. She has arthritis. I mean — ugh, her doctors are literally more important than my OWN doctor. She’s a really special girl…” She leaned down and lovingly scratched the Boxer behind the ears with both hands.
GUY: “She’s got maybe another year on her. Sorry.”
BAH! WHAT! This dog might have arthritis, but she’s not DEAF!
Dog owner girl untied the dog and spilled coffee #1 on the table. GUY got up to help —- oh, nope. He got up to go back to his own table that wasn’t doused in coffee. Dog girl cleaned up the mess, and kept the conversation flowing. For some reason.
I actually was working, but my ears perked up when he started to talk about his work. Every word he spoke was fluent Douche.
GUY: “Y’know.. I’m enjoying my freedom too much — that’s why I got rid of my girlfriend. I still wanna climb mountains and, like, go shoot war photography. I’m gonna be on Oprah.”
GIRL: “Wait. I thought you said WAR stuff…”
GUY: “Yeah.” (Pause) “And a cookbook.” He shoots errrrthang. “I’m gonna shoot SYRIA and LIBYA and my girlfriend was like Oh I thought you were just gonna shoot food — so, she had to go.” At this point, dog girl spilled coffee #2 on herself, and used a tiny cocktail napkin to soak up a 16 oz latte. Without any helpful offers from GUY. “Yeah, I’ll be happy when I win a Pulitzer.” Barf.
And she agreed. Like we all do when we’re trying to impress that GUY with our arthritic dogs and our coffee-t-shirt contests.
My phone alarm signaled that my car was done.
I went inside to use the little ladies room, and when I came back out, a nice gentlemen held the door for me. As I flipped-flopped down the sidewalk, I wanted to travel 60 seconds back in time and do this:
Gentleman holds the door for me. “AH, MERCI!” I say, as I fake a shitty French accent.
GUY looks up from his table. He cannot resist the French-ness. I shoot him my best French “YOU DISGUST ME RIGHT NOW, GARCON” eyes. Then a quick PARIS-PARISIAN lecture about having manners, and how dogs are family members(!), and how you shouldn’t be crapping all of your war photography on people and not supplying napkins to someone in need, and would it kill you to listen to someone once in a while?? ADIEU!
Because, GUY…..I am listening to you. I am listening gooooood…