They’re already queuing four deep at the counter. People who look like they shouldn’t have to stand for more than a few minutes at a time are contorting themselves to catch a glimpse of the cakes inside the display case. An elegant old man turns and proudly makes his way out of the melee, tray held aloft, a victory face for all to see. An incentive to the rest to not give up, there is hope.

The old man sitting at the table across from me is holding his phone so close to his face that he misses the moment when his lady friend blows her nose, then uses the same tissue to dab at the corners of her mouth. To my left a man who looks like he’s ex-KGB devours a sandwich like a human waste-disposal unit. When the man to my right rises out of his seat to get some more coffee, he moves as if he’s rented his body and hasn’t quite worked out how it works. All around old ladies who look like they’ve shrunk in the wash wander about looking lost, either trying to find their way to the toilet or back to their tables.

The things you see when you go out for a coffee.



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