20 April 2009

Third Sunday

It’s beautiful sunny day today because of me, a wild beard dull-colored old man declares as I walk towards the booming adobe-style building. He’s sitting outside on the friendly California grass playing a 5 minus 1 string guitar. My phone rings. I walk away without acknowledging him. I wonder if my response is the norm, or a minority.

I sit in the backseat of my slowly cooking silver Honda with my feet resting on the shoulders of the front seat chairs. A moon-shaped sweat stain forms under each breast as words from an old friend flow into my ear. I walk back to the abode-style building with a sense of place, with a gentle smile growing on my face.

A flash of the two-finger peace sign accompanied by a side-lipped smile leaves room for personal space but still hints at that cliché connection we SHOULD all have. I’m not sure if I do.

People momentarily dance to the ultra hip-hop Girl Talk as they walk about the coffee shop; I’m sitting in the corner drinking Mate, with a comprehensive view of all the twittering human bodies. I have a sliver of the outside porch in my view, where violently waving hands lead lips through conversations.

A young man walks in without shoes or a shirt. There are no signs plastered to the wall informing of mandatory clothing. Not here, not anywhere in Arcata, I’m sure. His small white shorts parallel his crew-cut beaming blond hair. No one looks up. He isn’t an oddity; he is normality. Everyone is comfortable.

Dreadlocks spring from the head of one of the employees. A girl walks over, eye contact, “It’s fucking hot today,” she says as she opens the door. It’s probably 72 degrees outside. I make a futile attempt to connect by offering to open the windows close to my reclusive corner. Another employee calls out prepared drinks as questions, "Chai MooooKA Laaattee?"

White shorts walks back in. He's wearing shoes now, but still no shirt. Now I think he might be gay. His toe-concentrated, hip-swaying saunter exudes his sexuality.

A little girl walks in dancing. Her mother is wearing a fluid black dress, with ideal exposure of the earth tattoo on her back. “We are all one” is tattooed underneath the back dominating earth. A baby does a little finger-pointing dance move in the woman’s arms.

An impoverished man taps a woman on the shoulder. She dropped a dollar and he's telling her with his hoarse, mucus-laden voice. He walks outside and spits. He sits down outside at a quaint picnic table, next to his pile of random items. Jam and bread are sprawled over the table. I peak out the window to get a better look. His sun-spotted jaws are moving. His indented chest is exposed. Another shirtless human. He’s eating out of a metal saucepan, with his brittle elbows hovering vertically over the pot as a spoon shovels food into his dehydrated mouth.

All the while, a comparatively plain woman tutors a comparatively plain man general chemistry. She’s getting progressively more frustrated. He’s getting progressively less educated.

I smell garage. It reminds me of Paris. I feel all nostalgic. The impoverished man is moving around outside.

A woman with an asymmetrical haircut clicks her pointy purple boots on the scratched wooded floor.

I look out the window and sigh, reflectively not sadly. The Douglas Fir trees are peaking over the tattered shops that are lined up across the street.

The music changes. “Sugar magnolia, blossoms blooming, heads all empty and I don’t care…”