Finding some minutes to spare, a stop in a coffee shop occurs: the first in how long? Unknown. A sense of disjointedly familiar, like a friend you reconnect with and you don't know much of their recent history. You weren't with them when they bought those shoes, for example, but you would still pick that pair off any shelf as representative of their style.
A seat is taken by a long window. The glass is portioned out in thick-rimmed plastic rectangles. Light shades overhead, circles within circles, echo the placing of cup on saucer. Retro modernity.
A man is asking the manager how to access the wi-fi connection, is answered something about a password. There's a dash of urgency on this request. Whatever he has been typing must be ready to be sent somewhere. Staff talk, over by the till, say something about 2am; no, yes, 2am, it was.
There's no door at this coffeehouse, it's designed to be an integral part of a revamped supermarket. On the other side of the glass shopping trolleys line up and cars arrive with a sense of reluctance. Sugar glossed pastries, jewelled in cherries, wink at passers by from the counter. They sigh, remembering their diets.
Meanwhile, one espresso sinks, a few notes are scribbled.
Years have flowed, a river of coffee… from jars of instant, from freezer-kept fresh in foil packs, from cafés, hobs, beach fires, the Rayburn hotplate; from anything on reasonable offer, from the Trung Nguyen tin.
"Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers."
Heroclitus 535 BCE- 475 BCE