99 The Plip Plop Coffe Shop and the future

The Plip Plop Coffe Shop was a haven for the conventional as well as the dubious. A young couple shook their heads and fingers and bickered like overstimulated kids, though quietly like adults to preclude embarrassment. They’d done it the hard way, a teenage wedding due to being with child, and decently paying but dead-end jobs, a profound switch from the channel to college and careers that had been theirs practically by right of birth (the way it was in San Anselmo, the most SAT savvy town on earth).
While baby Drew took a deep, pregnant breath after the cacophony of slaughter, the couple’s argument was masked by the plunking Strollin’ Bluegrass Band just outside and the cafe’s ambient soundtrack playing “Beware.”
She wanted a divorce. He didn’t.
“Not yet!” he protested. “We can’t show up at our ten year reunion separately! You were Homecoming Queen! I was . . .” He hesitated, hoping to score a point for modesty.
“First team All-League, and All-Metro honorable mention,” she tiredly continued for him. “And now we both work for Safeway . . .”
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” they said as one, and smiled for all the great times they were vain enough to value, great times but some time ago, watching “Seinfeld” reruns just before bed.
“We can’t walk in there separately!” he repeated, as if he could see the future too clearly. “What will everyone think?”
“They’ll conclude we’re separated, or something.” She did see the future.
“Divorced!” He stood up, fierce from the indignity, and stumbled over an inert bicyclist.
“Damn bicycle riders! Always in the way! Totally obnoxious, piece-of-garbage, bad smell . . .” He fulminated from fact and personal misfortune.
Baby Drew had recovered his wind, and the pause from heavy breathing allowed him to hear the young husband’s assessment.
Drew sagely nodded and commented, “Gg’g’n n’ oigg’g.”


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