Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Coffeeshop Conversation

I thought they were having an affair, but it's much worse than that.

Affairs always end one way, but this is much worse.

She's beautiful, her hair, while once en vogue, is styled, but no longer stylish. An oval face with nearly perfect skin, probably late-thirties, early-forties.
I've never seen such an intense look; she hasn't broken his gaze once. He's handsome but not too much so, someone out of an older soap opera; dated clothes and matching hair.
"After this, you're going to be a better mother." He says.
She plays with her hair, and apparently thinks Radiohead "sounds a lot like Neal Young."
"The place is real nice, the judge is real nice." She says.
They've each removed their reading glasses and placed them on the table on top of loose papers. He has a accordion file-folder, she has water purchased elsewhere and a tall coffee.
"I would never mess up a 'seven and seven'" she says. "There's a very real way to make those, and I'm the best."
She gazes, he returns. His face doesn't match his voice, sounds like he's missing teeth, but I looked at him, he wasn't missing teeth. She plays with hair, studies her water bottle, spins her reading glasses and returns his gaze. God, I wish they were just having an affair.
"Step three is giving it to a higher power. God, Jesus, Buddha, Dionysus, you can make one up if you want to, but you've got to give it to a higher power."
He starts telling a story; animated and convincing. She smiles a weak smile and buries her head.

He stops the story.

"Do you think I'll get my daughter back?" She asks, her voice surprisingly composed.

"I don't know. You have to stop drinking" The man says.

"I really hope so."

"I hope so too."

I wish it were just an affair.


The Passerby said...

you should eavesdrop more often.

holly elaine said...


DawnaHartman said...

i just noticed you had a blog... and this most current blog is familiar to me basically because i eavesdrop continually when i'm in public. it's a bad, bad habit. neil scowls at me every time he notices i'm doing it. it's sad to say i've heard a real similar conversation...

hope things are well with you!

Stephanie Risinger said...

So it's worse to have an addiction than to have an affair? What if the affair is the addiction? Which one is more easily treated and remedied? Which one hurts more people? Just a few questions to add to this thought provoking conversation.

Seaner said...


I'm not sure really, I think I wished it were an affair because of the casualty count. To me, alcoholism seems to strike a deeper vein. I guess naturally, I just have less sympathy for an affair.

I guess if I were to have to choose, I'd rather my family be ruptured by an affair/divorce than, as a child, being taken away from an alcoholic by social services.

Obviously they are both unthinkable and always, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

Thank you for writing