Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Unconnected

Going for coffee is usually a social experience. We go not just to have a cup of coffee but to meet our friends, perhaps make new friends, talk about the weather, the current state of politics both local and national or what our kids are up to these days. Some days the conversations are intense and animated, and then there are days like this one.

It seems that for some unkown reason everyone is in their own little world. Conversation is almost an intrusion. On those days it's not just my friends around this table, but it seems like the folks at every table are that way, not even reading the newspaper but just sitting there lost in their thoughts. Even the group of girls standing on the sidewalk seem unconnected to one another, each looking off in a different direction.

A few weeks ago I noticed a group of girls that I see frequently but don't really know all wearing denim miniskirts. Another group came in all wearing white dresses. I was curious, and asked them if they'd perhaps spoken to one another on the phone that morning about what to wear that day. "No" they replied, but all agreed that it was something that frequently happened.

On this particular day when everyone is quiet and very much into themselves it's interesting to look at the clothing choices. With the girls the unifying thing is the black tops, but one is wearing a floral pattern skirt with high heels while another is wearing a black dress, and the third is wearing black slacks, both with flats. Around the table one of us is wearing a garishly patterned sport shirt while two of us are wearing rose colored shirts, yet even here the other guy has long sleeves neatly pressed while I'm wearing a rumpled short sleeved shirt. Total disconnect. We sit in silence.

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