Date Night At The Coffee Shop

Usually begins with an awkward hug
at the counter while I wait to take
the order.

The girl usually orders a fancy drink
with chocolate or caramel or both
and the guy usually orders plain coffee
but makes up for it by ordering two of
the most expensive desserts.

Then there is some contrived argument
about who will pay, where
the girl pretends she is surprised
at his treat. Most say ‘thank you’,
but some don’t.

Tables are good for first dates
while couches are usually reserved
for the second or third.

Conversation topics usually
involve the following:

-travels
-occupations
-hobbies
-hometowns
-family
-pets

Occasionally there are some nuances,
such as
the guy who was missing
his arm below the elbow,
which he
strategically kept draped behind the back
of the sofa for the duration of the date,

or the girl who got so drunk she fell
out of her seat and onto the floor
where she remained
crying
for an unforgivable amount of time.

But the biggest nuance of all
was when the old girlfriend walked in on
her ex on a date with the new girl, and
James Brown came on the stereo.

The old girlfriend sat alone at a table
with her green tea and granola parfait,
typing away at her computer.

A while later I walked by, pretending
to adjust the chairs
but really trying
to read what she is writing…

Unfortunately all I could make out
was the uneaten parfait
and something about
soggy clothes and cinder blocks.

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