This is What Happens When You Eavesdrop on People Having Coffee

“round brown wooden table with french press on top with white ceramic teacup beside” by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” — Henry David Thoureau

I sit in a coffee house a few blocks away from my old college — a storefront I walked by nearly every day for three years.

I listen to a conversation between an elderly man and woman. The two are strangers until they aren’t. “I like to sit here because the light’s better for reading,” I overhear him say before discovering I agree.

He obliges her request to sit at his table as he puts aside his copy of The New York Times. They speak easily. It’s clear both are well-read and versed in current events. They bond over their dissatisfaction with various world leaders.

Suddenly, the conversation shifts to the future. The gentlemen appears hopeful, while his new friend glances at him incredulously. Clearly she feels our best days are behind us.

The conversation ends just as it started, with a nod. They each rise from their chairs and head off in different directions becoming strangers once again.