17 September 2013


There were two young Middle Eastern men at the table next to me outside Starbucks this afternoon. One of them took out a cigarette and started smoking it, but when the smoke wafted my direction and I leaned back out of the way, he said, "Oh, sorry," and they both got up and moved to a bench a few feet away, at the edge of the street, where the smoke wouldn't blow toward me.

A few minutes later, a homeless white couple came over and sat at that table. 

One of the original occupants of the table came back over and suddenly there was a little commotion.

I looked up, and realized that the first guy had left his frapuccino on the table when they went to the smoking bench, and the homeless guy had started to drink it.

"Sorry, man," the homeless guy said, "I didn't know it was yours. Sorry, bro." He offered it back, partially consumed.

The two young men threw their hands up in despair and left.

I can sort of see both sides: it did look abandoned, but you don't really expect a frapuccino to be stolen from a few feet away.

It occurred to me, too, that I could have watched it for him, considering that he only moved to accommodate my dislike of cigarette smoke.

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