A Coffee Romance
Ever been sat uncomfortably close to a couple who are on their first date? You have your coffee, you take a seat by the window and get out your book, ah… then all of a sudden you become aware of overexcited nattering, a conversation that has no rhythm or pace. One that is stilted, filled with bursts of awkward laughter and far too energetic for your liking at this time in the morning.
That’s right, it’s a first date.
You are far enough to graciously respect their intimacy and pretend that you are oblivious to them, yet close enough to hear every word, feel every tension and sense every apprehension. Your ears are burning. And before you know it, you are riding the wave of their rendezvous, subconsciously following the discussion, listening half-heartedly yet unable to focus on the book in front of you. You’ve read that same paragraph three times already.
This is precisely what I came across yesterday. At first the ‘first date’ couple’s overeager manner exhausted me, however, their conversation soon charmed me. I found it refreshingly different to the mundane everyday conversations that one overhears, or in some cases does not overhear but witnesses — I’m talking about the café couples who tend to sit solemnly side by side in silence, looking comfortably bored and unsatisfied with life, as well as with their coffee. Living in the city, we are come across miserable faces all the time, mostly in the metro and the tram. We look at the many faces of commuters, solemn, stressed, blank, and are aware that we too are becoming mirrors of their dissatisfaction.
The frenzy of stories, dreams and tales being shared next to me that Thursday morning, on the other hand, refilled my heart with faith for mankind and brightened up the start of my day. The conversation quickly swooped into the unknown, into passions for travelling and for escaping the ordinary. How often do couples who have known one another for a long time talk of such things? This is truly a clumsy and honest first date topic.
They talked about journeys, travels that they had done alone, things that they had done alone. One liked going to the cinema alone, the other to restaurants alone. At one point I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and quickly pretended that it was something in my book as they glanced my way. The simplicity and thrilled buzz of their conversation amused me.
Later my cover for being a non-Czech eavesdropper was blown as my friend approached me. “Claudia! Hello, sorry I’m late…” The couple looked my way apprehensively and I blushed. Yes I am English too, and don’t worry I will not tell anyone that you, girl, like to eat in fancy restaurants on your own, or that you, boy, dream of travelling alone to a big sandy beach, somewhere far away in the world, where life is ideal and free of worries. Your first date commotion is safe with me, myself and Medium.
And so, to the ‘first date’ couple in Andel x café on Thursday, here is to you!