Dulltown, UK: Today’s ancient Egyptian deity is the one appearing as a falcon, the god Horus. His cult centres are Edfu, Hierakonpolis, and Behdet, and his associations are sky and kingship. (Horus)
So, yesterday, carrying my tray I navigated the stairs to the upstairs room of the cafe; it looked as if would be nice and quiet in there; there were just two youngish smartly dressed women; they were busy peering at and poking their phones at a table by the window. I chose a bench seat off to one side, sat down, poured some tea, and took out my little notebook so as to be ready for writing something should the muse decide to sneak up on me.
The women laid their phones down in unison on the table where they could keep half an eye on them them, and straightway launched into some bubbling, but serious business chatter. Being business people they both proceeded in very loud, penetrating and confident voices, as if they weren’t in a shared public space at all, but in some high-powered meeting back at the office. When they started up they were so loud that I started, and as I had my cup to my lips, I almost spilled some hot tea.
Oh dear, I thought, these two are going to dominate the room for quite a while – I wonder if I should put my headphones on, just to take the edge off it...
No, I thought, what I’ll do is be positive and make the most of the situation – I’ll treat their chatter as one of my “Snatches of Cafe Conversation” pieces to use for a future blog post. I grabbed my pen and began listening, choosing, and jotting:
‘Work-wise and uni-wise he’s flexible and is the same.’
‘So then I decided to push him to the edge…’
‘It was like analysing, like!’
‘I said to him, “What’s wrong with me, that I don’t Jerry?”…’
‘Vacationists working as a team – ha, as if!…’
‘And what is going to turn out eventually as what?…’
‘What a pammel-cake!… But I was fortunate to be there!’
‘Angry!… Impatient!… “I’m definitely not sitting there,” I said, “I’m not doing it!”…’
‘You know you gotta do wuckie at uni!’
‘No, I’m not a book-keeper!’
‘I want to process my payroll now!… Now!…’
‘Document it! Document it…. and…’
Then, all of a sudden there was a new sound floating over the top of this interchange – it was the rumble of a masculine gruff voice, and then the clattering patter of tiny shoes on a hardwood floor. A small pink-faced male child came on stage stamping his feet, closely followed by a large male, whom I assumed to be its father. They flopped down opposite me and took over the low soft sofa. The child yelped and shrieked, and then squealed loud enough to rattle my teapot lid – he was having a great time, and he was heartily and vociferously encouraged by the large grinning male. They raged and rolled about for a while, probably waiting for, I presumed, a large female to arrive from the bar with beverages. The child was so loud and shrill that the two business women had to up their volume to be able to continue their conversation…
Yes, dear reader, I had suddenly been transported to hell – well, an aural hell I suppose. It was now officially ‘crazy-cafe-day’! I gulped down half of my cup of tea, grabbed and ate the last cube of brownie from my plate, jumped ship, and headed down the stairs. Once outside in the calm and gentle drizzle I felt quite a lot better…
Such is the life of a sensitive creative person in the 21st c.
Still, I did get half an OHCC (Overheard Cafe Conversation) out of it – oh, and of course, this account – I’m writing it now, the following day, in a quieter (apart from those two fairly loud, but bearable, middle-aged Chinese guys shouting at each other across that table over there) cafe…