I have a glint of satisfaction in the glint of that woman’s eye as she sees me sitting in the corner. I have my tea; I have my books; I smile as her smile widens and leave it at that. The music gives this coffee shop a sense of space, a sanity, an air in which we each do as we want, in which, if we suffer, that’s our business. Four men play chess, people talk over coffee, eat sandwiches, wait in line, and out of line, listening to the tune Sure I’m lonely but I’m content among so many. I know what I want and I’m not desperate for the first sign of liking to turn into a life-long fling. She sits down across the way, a pretty woman comfortably dressed, and starts talking to a handsome man, obviously someone she’s met before.

20 March 1979