I am sitting once again at a table outside of Peet’s Coffee on Larchmont. It is my favorite people watching spot and I am feeling very lucky for finding it unoccupied. I am also in a particularly good mood today because I have not run into anyone I know. Just as I begin to get cozy in my stake out chair, two sleek looking asian girls pass by me and walk into Peet’s. One is wearing a short magenta dress with silver and black stilettos. The other is in skinny jeans and a fancy top with high heel ankle boots. Both of them are at most a size zero and their long, layered hair shines flawlessly. They make heads turn, including mine. They also make the Converse I am wearing look extra dirty. For the first time today I am thinking about what I am wearing; ripped jeans and the shirt I slept in. It’s only 2pm. I still haven’t showered. Isn’t it a little bit early in the day for them to be all dressed up?
The girls are now standing in front of the tables outside talking. There are plenty of chairs available but they continue to drink their coffee standing. Maybe they have somewhere to be and don’t have time to sit. They seem comfortable enough, but watching them stand in those heels is starting to make me tired. I will watch someone else for awhile. I turn my attention to an old man sitting on a bench across from me. There are two plastic bags at his feet. I soon realize that the bags are from Trader Joe’s and they are filled with dog treats.
This man has no dog of his own, but he feeds every dog that passes by. Most people seem to know him and look happy to see him. They chat for awhile and tell their dogs to thank him for the treat. He has a book in one hand which he glances at periodically. He is very distracted by the people walking by. Some people are caught off guard as he somewhat abruptly asks “Hey does your doggie wanna treat?” They look confused for a second, but before they can answer he is already in their dog’s face asking if the dog would prefer a biscuit or some jerky. All the dogs I have seen so far are happy to eat both. I find that I am not at all curious about this man’s dog feeding habit yet I would pretty much give anything to find out how long he has been trying to read that book.
I fantasize that this man has decided he will die when he finishes that book so he is trying to prolong that as much as possible. I imagine other things he could do to distract himself from reading. I am at this point so far gone in my own fantasy world, I hardly notice when a young couple walks over. They are both wearing skinny jeans and wool knit caps and are looking at their cell phones. They pause at the entrance to Peet’s and I manage to catch the three lines of dialogue that make my day:
Girl: Do you talk to them anymore?
Guy: No, I have to treat them like they’re dead.
Girl: That’s hot. Wanna get some coffee?