The girl was like the old blues tune being played in the background of the little coffee shop, beautiful in its delivery, but sad in its meaning. She wore denim pants and a plaid shirt, fitting for the cool weather that was outside the shop, but her face…her face was sad, much more sad than it should have been.
From my little corner in the back, I can watch people come and go from the little caffeine haven. Sunday mornings are meant to be slow and easy, and for most of the patrons that have ventured in and out of the little shop, it was exactly that.
But every once in a while, you catch a glimpse of someone that offers you more than just their appearance, they give you a small glimpse of their soul. And on this Sunday morning, at this coffee shop, the girl with the plaid shirt did exactly that, she offered anyone that was paying attention her melancholy
There was really nothing overly remarkable about her, I don’t think she caused much of a stir when she entered, and I don’t think anyone gave her much of a double take. But for someone that reads people for a living, I saw it, that little sense of someone that wasn’t sure if they wanted to be here or not, just that they needed to be somewhere.
She had no book nor a bag. She wasn’t on her phone while she entered, nor did she get her phone out while she sat. The girl with the plaid shirt stumbled through her order, as if she didn’t realized she walked into a coffee shop, all the while looking like she was hoping that whatever she ordered would be right.
She picked a place in the corner, the opposite one than mine, and simply sat. The other patrons around us were busy with their phones or computers or their conversations. This girl, the sad one, was busy with a conversation, but you could tell it was with herself, in her head.
What was it? What was she thinking that made this seeming normal person look so gloom? I don’t know, nor would I dare approach and ask. People tend to just want and sit and let the world go by around them, even if they aren’t able to participate themselves.
Sometimes people just want to go and be around normal people doing normal things, all in the hopes of feeling normal themselves. I get that. I do that myself sometimes, but this young lady was probably too young to know what she was doing, this is just the universe pushing her to a place that she was probably unwilling to go, but succumb to it because she just needed to be somewhere.
I could be wrong, she could have had a wonderful day, enjoying the wonderfulness that is the city during the holidays. Maybe it was just me, projecting some unknown sadness onto her. Whatever the cause, the sad looking girl at the coffee shop brought me pause, and then reflection.
I took a moment to stop the normal journaling I was doing and move in another direction. I went from writing a story about Thanksgiving with the family to one about love and gratitude and people.
Whatever it was that made the girl in the coffee shop sad, made me think, and whatever it was that gave her pause gave me direction.
I soon left the little shop, my bag and my computer in hand, and I took one last glimpse at the girl with nothing in her hand. She simply sat there and let the warm cup of whatever warm her up. Hopefully she was feeling better, hopefully all she needed was liquid energy, but whatever the case, she gave me something to think about.
And that’s why I love little places, ones that you can sit and people watch, see the crowds come and go. Sometimes you see happy things, and sometimes you see sad people wearing plaid shirts, but none the less, you see humans being humans.
Sometimes the most human thing we can do and watch humans being humans from our little corner of the shop.