Take A Seat…

I rushed into Starbucks to sit because in my hometown, there is rarely ever space to sit at and today, passing by the window I noticed that the coveted ‘comfy’ chairs were open. I rushed in and put my bag down on the seat even before ordering, aware that this is a bit irritating to everyone in the coffee shop as it is an unspoken rule that you only get a chair if you’ve bought a drink, but today I don’t care because I’ve bought so many drinks and rushed out, not sitting down, in the past two months that frankly I think I deserve that darn seat! After buying a drink and putting it down on the wooden stump that is now used as the modern ode to the old “rustic” style table, I drag my foot up to my butt and plop down into the arm-chair completely delirious with excitement. I pull out the hefty book in my bag, a biography on our first president George Washington, which I have decided to read because I became acutely aware that I have read very few biographies in my lifetime, and reading biographies is something that adult people seem to do. I picked this particular book because I googled top biographies and it came up in a list, and as we all know, all lists on the Internet must be trusted. So I printed the list, bought the book, carried it to Starbucks, sat in the comfy seat with my foot between the cushion and my bottom, opened the cover, and began to read about good ol’ Georgy.
That’s when it happened. Inching towards the twin seat positioned lovingly towards mine that I imagine one day a stunning beautiful beau of mine will sit, was an old man who seemed unaccustomed with the social decorum of leaving everyone else alone when they are reading. He politely asked to sit down in the seat across from me, and feeling as though there was nothing I could do but to say yes, I quickly nodded and continued to read my book. I became “engrossed” in the book, which is to say that I kept peering over the rim of the pages to see what this old man was doing. He had nothing with him, just a cup of tea, and was staring out of the window. It was then that I noticed a glint of sadness in his eye. It wasn’t a sadness that you see when someone experiences trauma or loss, but rather the type of sadness that glitters in people’s eyes when they are lonely and just want to talk to someone.
I slowly positioned my book in a way that he could see the title, and when I leaned in for a sip of my coffee I made sure to make eye contact with him. This gave him the opportunity to start a conversation and to my surprise, he did! Thus began the most genuine and heartfelt lesson on both history and politics in the United States. Where once sat a creepy man was a wealth of knowledge who hadn’t just read about all of these past presidents of ours but had actually been alive during their terms. He knew dates, and details about the ailments of each president I named. He quickly transitioned from promoting a documentary about the Eisenhower’s, to dismissing JFK’s infidelity as a symptom of the testosterone he had to take because of his back problems. This old man amazed me, not so much so because of his knowledge, because frankly, with that many years under your belt it would be astounding if one didn’t know a thing or two about a thing or two, but rather it was how comforting it was talking to another human being without any agenda or need. It was wonderful and I was taught to always offer up the seat next to me. You never know who the universe will sit next to you.

6 thoughts on “Take A Seat…”

  1. Love it! I try to think about that from time to time. How my initial thoughts about a person mean very little. You never know what unique story, insight or background that person may have.

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