It’s only recently that my almost 2 year old will stay asleep if I take him out of the car and put him into his pram. This has opened up quite an awesome opportunity for me. Hot coffee. I drive to my local Starbuck’s which is in a service station. This affords me a plethora of different people to nose at while I pretend to be on Instagram. I have found more joy in my new hobby of people watching than I thought I would. I’d heard of people watching before but never thought it sounded like my thing. That was until my first trip to this service station in an undisclosed location.
The best bit about my new found hobby is that in Starbucks they call out names for the drinks, so I have an added bit of sport guessing their names. Is this weird? I feel like this is a weird blog post. You may think I sound like a lonely strange person and to that I say yes, yes I am. I imagine you might appreciate a bit of alone time allowing your mind to wander too if you have two kids jumping over you or demanding things of you at home. Judge me.
Last week was a smorgasboard of personalities for my delight and story-making mind. The man in running tights and a gym top stood out from the dark suits and loud voices. He did a little smirk as he accidentally stepped forward for my coffee and I walked from behind him, nose in my phone, to get it. Was that an embarrassed smirk, a little hint of self depreciation? No, Carl (it would be Carl, of course his name is Carl that makes so much sense) has an air of do-I-look-like-I-give-a-fuck-ness all over him and I like it. As he walks out I take a nano-second to appreciate his shape, chide myself for not doing any bloody exercise and notice everyone is checking Carl out. Even the fella on the side table raises his eyes from his laptop to cast them over his physique. I’ve a feeling Carl knows it. And he doesn’t give a fuck.
There is always lots of people in dark suits with laptops. Most of them sales people, I suspect. Service stations are usually between places to meet for people who live far away from each other. Some of them like to talk loudly on their phones, some sit quietly. I reckon most of them have Facebook up on their laptops anyway. Steve though, he has a sort of eccentricity about him. He’s wearing a pink shirt under his waistcoat and has trendy specs on. I wonder for a moment if he works in the arts like theatre or something. I overhear him mentioning ‘The Apprentice’ quite loudly so maybe he’s in T.V.
I feel eyes on me. It’s the older couple sat to my right. The only people in this large space with no electronic devices in hand, or even on display. Renegades. They have chosen a seat in the window but both are sitting with their backs to it, and instead of sitting across from each other, are sitting side by side looking out into the room. Quite obviously passing remark on the varying people coming and going for their take out coffees. Hat’s off Beryl and Joe, you’ve upped the game considerably. Older people always do have the biggest balls though don’t they. That’s what living through a world war will do I suppose. I can feel their disdain seeping over to me, ‘look at her buried on her phone, baby asleep, has she no meals to cook at home?’ I look up and dart them a quick smile.
The last person who grabs my attention is Sophie. Probably the only genuinely busy person in here, she is eating something crumbly while she stands waiting for her coffee. She is in work attire, smart but not posh. I admire her tweed skirt, and her figure is lovely though she is not showing it off. I feel like she makes an effort to keep it that way. I can almost hear Sophie’s thoughts ticking over in her head, listing office tasks she has to do and then all the stuff she has to do after work as well. I’d have her married, teenage kids, curves or Zumba or something like that, saving for a conservatory. Or maybe something more exciting like a holiday, maybe that’s why she’s eating some kind of bird seed bar for her lunch.
I finished my giant caramel macchiato ages ago although I pretended to be still drinking it just for a bit. The baby will be waking up soon and hungry so I make a quick exit. Hopefully to return next week if the nap Gods are still smiling upon me.
This post is something a bit different to my usual content but I enjoyed writing it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.