Glancing at a couple in a Caversham café supping coffees.
Choices, choices, choices. Sit together. Sit facing each other? Sit side by side?
Sit side by side and look out at the world together, simply because it’s enjoyable observing? I’d agree with that. There’s nothing secret about the pleasure in people-watching. There’s always something to notice if you’re looking with the right eyes.
But if there’s no view – nothing obvious to look at? That’s a bit more curious perhaps. The couple a few tables away from me today, indoors in the café, sat facing each other but said little.
I could only wonder about what interests them, what’s on their radar. I reckon five will get me ten that they’ve been together for a long time; a time measured in decades. Perhaps there’s just not a lot fresh for them to say. They didn’t seem unhappy or awkward in their silence. Do they even need to say something? Is that a pressure they’ve freed themselves from? And anyway, what causes – or, indeed, constitutes – an awkward silence? And who is judging it to be awkward?
When they left, as they said their goodbyes to the couple behind the counter it was obvious that they are known, that they’re regulars. The comfortable, enjoyable familiarity that can come with being a local.