I went to the Coffee Pot tonight.  The Coffee Pot is a cafe in Hell’s Kitchen.  I hesitate to take anyone who is picky about their scenery to the Coffee Pot.  It’s pretty barebones, has dance music, constant TV on and intriguing easily eavesdropped on conversations.

While standing in line I smiled at a young man.  I don’t have a problem smiling at people.  Usually it goes over okay, but sometimes they take it as an invitation to talk more.  After I went to sit in the corner, the young man sat at the computer near me.  His phone rang.  He didn’t pick up and said “Excuse me, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course,” I said.  I was feeling really relaxed and had already gotten more work done five minutes SANS internet than I do in three hours during the day. He launched into a story about how a woman with mangled legs hit on him and he gave her his number, “I know you ladies say like you have a boyfriend or something, but I didn’t want to be mean” and now she won’t call him.  Larry Davidesque.  I gave him my standard advice.  Note I had already cleared this SAME advice with Linda the ghostwriter on how to attract men.  But this advice was on how to NOT attract a woman.  Yet the same words.  It’s like a Zen koan.

“Ignore them.”  (Well for the woman it was “ignore her” for the man “ignore him.”)

He protested but I assured him this was the only way the woman would stop calling.

Later he got into a discussion with a 56 year old black man sitting near by.  The young man was black too and their conversation had a kind of cute father-son quality.  The young man asking about apartments.  The old man declaring he paid $2600 in rent (!)  They talked about rap artists, Chris Brown and Rihanna.  The young man was pretty cool as a cucumber.  The old guy kept trying to subtly provoke him, but the young man would kind of brush him aside.  They talked about Oprah and at one point the young man said Oprah tore apart Chris Brown “for ratings,” the old man said, “Oprah doesn’t need ratings, you’re crazy” and the young man said, “If Oprah didn’t need ratings, they wouldn’t run previews.  They still run previews.”

Later the young man drifted away and hell broke loose between a neatly dressed white guy and the old black man.  Except it was clearly friendly and a middleman assured us they went on like this all the time.  The topic:  Do people around the world wear Yankees caps because of Jay-Z (who used to work less than a block away from this cafe.) The neatly dressed white guy declared yes because 1) he works in advertising, 2) he’s been to London 3) his white nephew dresses just like Jay-Z.  The old guy declared no because 1) the Yankees are a well-established brand 2) David Beckett has not sparked off a rush for soccer gear in the US and 3) the cafe server guy is from Ecuador and knew the Yankees insignia from a sports station.

I was having trouble drowning this conversation out and ended up going home.  Fun night though!

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