It seems to be the perfect coffee time for friends at 2:15 in the afternoon.
The cozy little seating area tucked in one corner of the large store has simple wooden tables and a row of roomy black leather armchairs just beneath a wall of windows looking out onto the parking lot. A low wall partitions the table area from the rest of store, while also doubling as a tall and very long seating booth, which is mimicked along the other real wall, beneath the TV. Upon turning the corner into the area, after passing an array of condiments and utensils neatly arranged on a counter-top, one is greeted by a microwave and a tall soda machine that seems to grumble constantly. Occasionally, the machine drowns out the soft elevator-style jazz music echoing around the building, as well as the faint beeping of registers and rustling of bags being filled.
There are two tables each with two women chatting over ceramic coffee cups or food, two tables each with an elderly couple eating pre-made deli food in plastic boxes and talking very little, if at all, and a fifth table in the corner is hidden under books which are being explored intently by a black-clad woman who appears as if trying to remember twenty things at once. She does not even look up later when the mother of an adolescent child accidentally drops a full water cup in the middle of the area, causing a momentary debacle and a ten minute process to clean up. The mop bucket arrives eventually, accompanied by Paula Deen’s cries from the TV over the newly-made, perfect bundt cake, and still, the woman does not even notice. It is only after the child acquired a new nose and musical instrument in the form of a plastic cup, and regaled his parents with his renditions of animals noises, that she does move–when she simply glances up at him blankly.
In another corner, directly under the TV but also completely oblivious, two well-dressed, energetic women sit, empty ceramic coffee cups between them long cold, laughing and talking excitedly. “Oh Melissa, I thought to myself, you’re nuts!” the darker haired one bursts out at one point before subsiding back into a quieter voice.
In the opposite corner near the windows, an elderly couple sits down to some pre-made food and water, remaining silent until the man asks as if continuing a previous conversation, “How many porkchops in the fridge?”
“Two,” the woman responds, gesturing as to their size.
“Are you sure?” he asks blandly, which he is responded to with a full bite of food accompanying, “Mh-hm.” Apparently fully satisfied, they both return their attention to the food, remaining silent until their departure a few minutes later.
Minutes after the more excitable, well-dressed women eventually left their table, it is claimed by another pair of women, coffee in hand. Same table. Interesting place, to say the least.