I am sitting in a Starbucks, my elbows set on the long table I share with 8 other people. On my left, a woman is sitting with her hands crossed, staring at an invisible point in front on her. The couple next to her are arguing in Russian. On my right, a woman still wearing her fur coat, holding her bag on her lap, lost in her iPhone is stealing glances at the woman in a red dress who is talking in Spanish to someone on Skype- he wears glasses and smiles a lot; she doesn’t.
Across me, a girl is reading a book borrowed from a university library, and she is making notes inside, something that makes me flinch. Next to her, two women are correcting papers. I think they are physics teachers, as the white sheets are stained with drawings of arrows pointing up and down next to shapes and figures that resemble the physical world. They laugh about the mistakes of their students, and talk in between answers about other teachers. They are considering an answer: John would have given it a 4, but John is a softie; better give it a 3.
I take a sip of my vanilla rooibos tea, and I stretch. I allow myself to sink in this moment, next to these people, the soft jazz mingling with their chatter and their silence and their own moments. For a second, I am part of a painting on the wall of a cafe. I blend in; and so, I do.