I was sitting in Doutor’s coffee shop in Yokohama yesterday drinking coffee, puffing a stogie, reading…and ignoring everyone. Sometimes it’s easy. I know what they’re doing. It never changes. It’s as predictable as the sunrise. I really have to shut down to have any peace of mind here and there’s nothing like Clavell to aid that process. As long as no one comes along and…
The table beside mine was empty in a cafe full of caffeine and nicotine junkies. Naturally it’s the last to be taken. Just then, the first taker came along. He put his tray on the table, and stared at me. I felt his eyes boring a hole in my head. Almost willing me to look at him so that he could time the turn of my head perfectly and by the time my eyes would reach where his eyes would be if he had any balls, I would just see the side of his face, his neck stretched to show that not only wasn’t he boring a hole in my head with his stare but that I wasn’t even worthy of a peripheral glance.
But, I didn’t need to see this…I’ve seen it a thousand times.
So, he continued standing, and boring into my skull, and scanning the cafe for a seat, or at least for someone approaching finishing their coffee and smoke. No one was moving. Woe was him. He was about to sit down, in the process of sitting down, still boring a hole, still scanning the room, still praying for an opening, and then, like it had become too much for him, he springs back up and stomps away into the non-smoking section where there were several seats available.
I know it’s probably just me but it felt like he didn’t want to be ignored…refused to be ignored…went out of his way not to be ignored. He had to know I could see, peripherally, everything he was doing. It was as clear as day. Did he want me to know? I’ll never know, will I? And, even if he did want me to know how much he didn’t want to sit next to me, so what? Just another asshole, right?
Anyway, just wanted to let y’all know that the effort to ignore people like him remains an ongoing challenge.