Wednesday, February 07, 2007

the day people

i've spent a decent amount of time either freelancing or just plain not working. during daytime hours, i travel the cafe circuit and hone my flaneur skills, observing and taking note of those around me.

i'm not alone in my pursuits. seems like wherever i go, there is a full house waiting for me, and in san francisco, this pattern is magnified. more people, more laptops, more lollygagging--what are they all doing? i mean, i know what I'M doing--i'm chillin', hangin' out--but are they in the same boat? invariably i make up stories about the trustafarians and the independently wealthy, tracking their days using a smart leather-bound planner, almost empty but for the long weekends spent snowboarding, surfing, or at intensive yoga retreats.

yesterday at a lovely cafe in pacific heights, i opened the door to find only women inside. it was 2:00 pm, and the chairs were occupied mostly by the contemporary "ladies who lunch" set: impeccably dressed, smooth hair, with fingernails uniformly shaped. the nearest duo in earshot chatted about all things parenting, including the best preschools and gossiping with disdain about two-earner households. nearby two solo women appeared to recognize that the three of us were all in the same spot: alone at 2:00 pm, reading, knitting, or concentrating on a late lunch. one approached me, asking if i knew of a yarn store nearby. i almost invited her to sit with me, just to see what might happen when a social more is disobeyed. the other comrade smiled faintly when our eyes met, and with this, i shifted my wild and glamourous stories of weekly facials, gold cards, and shopping sprees to perhaps being in between jobs, or holding down a full course load, or maybe working the night shift.

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