I was watching a couple. Twenty-ish white people, they seemed to be going through emotional turmoil. Separated by six feet, they entered the noisy coffee shop. She, a blond, was in the lead with her arms crossed over her belly, casting stoic eyes over the coffee shop population and then the menus on the wall. Taller and darker, he came in behind her with awkward shuffling, moved closer to her, leaned in and spoke. Without answering, she turned, stepped around him, and left. He stood for a moment, staring at nothing as though thinking, and then turned and pursued her.
I watched them through the large front window. They’d come in a new-generation red Camaro convertible. I noticed it as it pulled up, as sunlight flashed off its polish. She didn’t walk toward it, but drifted toward the crosswalk to go across the highway with the same stiff body as before. He watched her, then put his head down and stood for several seconds. As she reached halfway across the road, he went after her, but with a slow pace. Then he looked back at their car, paused in the crosswalk, and continued on after the girl.
I lost sight of them. The red Camaro was still there when my wife and I left. Soft Cell’s 1981 medley of “Tainted Love” and “Where Did Our Love Go” streamed into my thoughts.