She’s drinking Chandon at 7:22 a.m. Pulling at an earring while starting into space, she’s not just sipping from her glass, she’s taking large gulps. A secret drinker, frightened flyer, or off somewhere for the weekend, it’s impossible to tell. She takes the check, signs quickly and puts her purse straight back in her bag. No time to wait, no time to think about what’s coming next, and certainly no time for another glass. That would be unseemly, at this hour, but she’s been in worse states and worse places before, but she works from home, so being out and enjoying champagne before 8 a.m. is one way to combat the ennui of day to day existence.
She took her seat to replace a gentleman, who was unassuming and casually dressed in a grey sweatshirt and baseball cap. His breakfast arrived, he ate steadily, methodically, preferring to leap up and grab another table’s ketchup than bother the bartender, who wasn’t all that busy. He was quiet, occasionally muttering into his phone. He paid his check, wiped his mouth, and tossed the crumpled and stained napkin back onto his plate.
“Well, I’m heading to my best friend’s daughter’s wedding,” he announced at me.
“Oh, that will be lovely.”
He smiled and looked back at me. “It’s in Nashville. Last night, both the bride and groom were caught up in a shooting. Right in the shoulder.” He pointed to his arm.
To say that was unexpected was an understatement.
“Oh my God, what in the actual – “
“Yeah, they’re still going to have the wedding. “
“But, that’s awful, what…why…oh my God, I am so sorry.”
He shrugged and started to stand up from the barstool. “Yeah, just one of those things.” He shook his head. “You have a good day now,” and walked away, unceremoniously, leaving behind a cloud of incredulity in his wake.
Suddenly, I regretted only ordering a coffee.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”