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  • The two women walked into the cafe, carrying their rolled yoga mats. I heard them before I saw them, or more accurately, I heard the----I soon saw,----taller one of the two, with a cheerful high decibel bellowing self-loving bouncing off the pavement, reminding me that there are voices and there are voices, and then there is Saturday morning.

    The smaller of the two walked through the open wooden glass door of the cafe. She looked old, in the way a short round woman who has a towel wrapped around her shoulders hunching, holding her yoga mat in an odd skewed way, short, hunched, complaining, can look old.

    It was clear, or at least imaginable, that she too, had been talking all the while on the sidewalk, along with the taller one, because as they entered the cafe both of them were talking, one in a plaint, the other exuding the self-effervescence of a loud talker whose face was an all-loving all-inclusive package, just moulting namastes as she went.

    The yoga joint was half a block up the street.

    The boundless loud-spoken glow of the one, the sussurating murmur of the short one, suggested that mere moments and minutes and positions ago, they had been twisted in their separate and several self-improvement finery, leading one to hunch with a towel as a short shawl, and the other to manage, quite extraordinarily, to talk at a pitch and volume which covered the synth-pop beat, no mute that, and a small cafe full of Saturday morning babies, mothers, babes and boys, lovers, oldsters, and the unfortunately proverbial waiter, proverbially overrun on the weekend, while those with self-improvement on their minds also twisted understanding into misunderstanding, mistaking a working waiter who did not recognize her at all for a close relative whose house she came to every day, and where was the coffee.

    The synth pop provided a kind of underbeat to the full face smile adorning her face which was long and thin and which in unkind circumstances might be called a horse face, but I had no inclination to be unkind. I live and let live with the pop beats and the beat pops of a Saturday morning cafe, but tallie there was spreading the gospel of, and bringing the good news of her high esteem. High and wet.

    Her short companion, to my eye, as I sat down the wooden bench from them, looked anywhere from 60 to 35. It was like the middle-class kvetch and sundog version of being unable to judge the age of sunscorched street ravaged rag-draped women, street dolls, homeless or perched intensifying meth rants from corner thrones of free handout local what's on rags, friendly open all-inclusive in the modern disgraces of disgracia with no grace, and also the shopping cart Susies piled high with wares, those burnt and blasted souls, walking the same quaint streets as those piled high with themselves, such as the tall woman in the cafe, imposing her unrelenting cheer on the small room, a cheer which shed no light, brought no light, brought wraparound sound, as her short companion pulled the towel tighter, talked low and sadly, maybe a kvetch, maybe intense pain, as the tall one brought out her mobile device, just loving the world and all of g-d's creatures in it, and with absolute acceptance of herself as herself, proceeded to work her apps, looking up occasionally to nod and smile, continuing to accept herself, and getting up and hunting waiters, of which there was a single endemic.

    The waiter appeared.

    The tall one said, "I'll have the Royale. The one with the chocolate croissant, the regular croissant, the baguette with butter and jam, the fruit."

    The waiter said, "No more chocolate croissant, no more baguette, all gone finished."

    The tall woman, whose expression had remained a kind of equine teeth grin, like a Say Cheeze photo never-ending, said, "Yes, yes. That's right, The Royale."

    "No," the waiter said. "Oh....oh, there's one chocolate croissant. No croissants, one chocolate only, no baguette. I can bring you fruit and one chocolate croissant."

    "Yes, yes," the tall woman said, returning tandem to pay attention to her mobile.

    Her short companion allowed herself to be taken care of, or taken, or taken as a post-yoga ornament, a complaining bauble for her scarily energetic, frighteningly self-loving, amphetamine almost retro Bennies air of the tall dark-haired 30-something disturbingly loud talking definitely a morning person who no doubt soon would be offering those frequent consumer punch cards for all who knew and met her and would like a bonus Yoga and Yelling session, mat and latte, in which you could swim in her self sea and drown in her sensaround sound, smothered by loud fluff, trying to read the headlines about riots and fires to feel more situated in life.

    They ate, she yelled, she made personal eye contact with her pink device, she was the princess, royalty to herself, her friend (mother? sister?) more hunched, the murmur, unhappy, one unhappy, or who knows, chronically sad, the other with all the modern virtues which sell books, fit, yoga-y, self-loving, loud, special, one of a kind, able to leap tall building construction site sound earmuffs. She had not stopped talking for one deep breath.

    As if the yoga was a ghetto...and outside its gates....

    They left, the hunched one trying to get some notice, the tall one the modern woman letting nothing get in her way, even Saturday, even quiet.

    You know, quiet.

    At the introverts cafe.

    (Photo by Susan, January 2013)
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