Observations In The Terrace Cafe

Through the square framed windows the sky is dark with heavy white clouds. On the grey roof of the opposite building a small brown bird hops across the roof tiles. Sitting in here, I listen to the endless late lunch time chatting. Different conversations blend together to form one continuous sound of voices. Mixed into this comes the sound of food packets crunching and the munching of sandwiches.

Plates and cutlery clatter together and somewhere chairs scrap backwards on the grey spotted orange floor. Loud words of ‘good bye’ and ‘see you late’ cut though the background voices and are then gone.

Sitting opposite me, a couple share a magazine. He wears blue jeans with a pale blue top and he has a shaven head. She wears a light brown t-shirt and many bangles on her arms. They get up, he collects his large sports type bag from the floor and she pulls down her black shirt. They walk out together, leaving behind them an abandoned sandwich packet on the table, its usefulness gone.

A girl’s voice flows over the other voices, ‘I could stay here all day.’

Another girl says ‘Where you off to now?’

Their voices fade once more into the background noise.

There is another man sitting opposite me now. He has a short black beard covering his chin and he writes on plain paper with a blue pen. He pauses and takes a bite from his sandwich.

A phone starts ringing, a hip hop music plays and is then quickly silenced. The answering voice is lost in a ripple of loud voices.

There comes the smell of chips that floats over the tables and then fades away.

A girl cries out, ‘Tomato ketchup on lettuce!”

The beard man opposite me has nearly written a side of paper. He stops and checks his phone.

The door opens on squeaky hinges and closes silently.

A man carrying a cutlery holder walks past. He smiles and nods his head at the woman on the till. He then crosses the floor to the cutlery stand, where he empties the cutlery into their correct holders.