Today I visited a cafe that I have never previously been to or even knew existed. In that cafe I was meeting a woman who I have never met before, but I was pretty certain she was real. Ninety percent certain. After taking my order the man behind the counter noticed me peering around the room. “Is everything OK?” he asked. “Yes” I replied “I’m meeting someone here and I don’t know what she looks like”. “Oh” he said at a loss for anything more constructive. I continued “But I know that she is not a man or a dog and as they are the only inhabitants of your fine establishment I can only guess that I am here first”. “Great” he said “You now have the advantage”. “What advantage would that be and why would I need one?” I wondered, but didn’t say out loud to avoid overt rudeness. “You can choose exactly where to sit” he explained. “Perhaps he is a mind reader, I had better be careful” I thought. “Stop thinking” I thought again. “I see, and where would you recommend?” I asked looking around the almost empty room. “Well our most popular table is the one behind the man eating the enormous bacon buttie” he explained “people will clear that table of dirty dishes just to sit there”. “But surely that man would be irritated if, bearing in mind there is a room full of vacant tables, I decided to sit right next to him”. At this the dining fellow looked up and gave a slight nod of agreement, unable to speak due to his sandwich eating activity. This apparently hallowed place didn’t look particularly special to me, maybe I was missing something. It was decided. “I will sit over in the corner, away from the window, diagonally opposite the breakfasting gentleman.” And so I did. I have always been wilful.
My mystery companion arrived moments later and I recognised her as such instantly. She was very nice. We had two coffees and many words. This event may happen again, but next time I will let her choose the table.
This photo of a self-seeded fennel has absolutely nothing to do with coffee, cafes or tables. However I do not have a picture of any of the above so it will have to suffice.