There is an interesting dichotomy that most people exist in while at Starbucks.
It is a coffee house, so there is always a certain element of social interaction as you walk thru the door.
People talk to strangers in line and while they wait for their coffee.
But, once they have their coffee in hand, if they are alone and not leaving, there is a mental “Leave me the hell ALONE!” vibe that springs up. (I have purposely avoided the word Fuck in this sentence.)
Some more than others.
There is a woman sitting at the end table at my local starbucks.
Pretty without being beautiful, well dressed without being chic.
But there is a vibe going on there.
It is a palpable menace that exists in a bubble around her.
You don’t realize it is there as much as you just realize that your pucker factor goes up a couple of notches if you get too close.
So much so that, even in a medium busy Starbucks, the table next to her is empty.
I have named her the Ice Queen, because she is cold.
“Let it go” is playing in my head as I watch her.
She is using a tablet and ignoring the world around her.
Magoo is the perfect name because he is oblivious and squints at everything. (Don’t bother Googling, you either know why this is funny or you don’t and getting an answer from Google won’t explain it.)
And Magoo is in everybody’s shit.
He is talking to everyone in line, people near line, the employee rolling the garbage can past him, the cashier, the barista and 4 people waiting for their coffee.
He is not dumb, but you would never call him smart.
Magoo is entirely too happy about the mundane shit. (There may be something to be envied there.)
And then he spies the empty table next to the Ice Queen.
His sits and sips his coffee, being quiet for the first 30 second period since he came thru the door.
“Good morning! Is it a beautiful day out or what? Hot coffee, hot day, talk about paradise.”
The Ice Queen says nothing, she doesn’t even look up.
Total ice off. Not unexpected, but impressive.
Few people have the ability to tell the modern social contract to go fuck itself, but the Ice Queen just did.
99.999% of society catches the clue at this point and awkwardly moves on.
You find something interesting to look at on the other side of the room, suddenly become engrossed in your cell phone, something, but you have to remove yourself from the awkward.
Not Magoo, like emotional water off of a ducks back, he begins talking about the beach area in the Summertime and his favorite vacation spots.
And there is a noticeable paradigm shift.
The Ice Queen no longer holds sway here.
She senses it too, you can tell from her body language.
Finally, she looks up.
The look on her face is lifeless, like that of a mob hitman, staring down at you as the truck lid closes.
“Do you mind? I am reading.”
And she goes back to her tablet.
And Magoo doesn’t miss a beat.
“What are you reading? I just finish an amazing……”
It was beautiful to watch, like geese flying in formation, something majestic that took her icy facade and poured a hot cup of Social on it.
And it didn’t end there.
Magoo kept talking.
And then, she broke.
The Ice Queen did not look up, but she began answering questions.
I could not hear clearly, but it didn’t sounds like rephrasings of “Leave me the hell alone.”
When I left, Magoo and the Ice Queen were still doing their little dance.
They will probably be married in less than a year.
The Magoo’s of the world live in an oblivious bubble that the rest of us can barely understand, much less try to emulate.
Me? I would still be clearing the pepper spray out of my eyes.